Aliens: Colonial Marines will be an Aliens experience in three acts, an interactive exploration of the story that follows Alien 3, which promises to delve into both the horror and the action of the storied franchise.
That's a tall order, but Gearbox Studio's president Randy Pitchford says his team is up for it. Pitchford's knowledge, respect and understanding of the series is hopeful.
After a 30 minute presentation of the game, the two of us chat about our young memories of that first movie—that very first chestburst.
Like Pitchford, I was about nine when the movie came out and seeing that movie scarred me. It left me so traumatized that knowing that that moment existed in the movie made subsequent viewings of the film almost impossible for me. The anticipation was too much.
Pitchford tells me he had a very similar experience. It is a movie, he says, that has been shaping the games he makes for decades.
"This franchise has affected us all," he said.
During the demonstration of the game, Pitchford said that his game is meant to be a true sequel to Aliens—even though it actually takes place after the events of Alien 3—because the game is about a squad of Marines with lots of equipment and bad-ass, powerful tools fighting against hordes of xenomorphs. But later he says that the game is really going to bridge the gap not just between stories, but between the feel of the movies.
"James Cameron's take was to raise the stakes a lot," he says, speaking of 1986's Aliens movie. "He amplified the action by increasing the number of protagonists and making exponential the number of antagonists." Many Marines versus a swarm of aliens.
"The third film tried to get back to the feel of the original film,"he said, speaking of David Fincher's Alien 3. "The neat thing about video games is that they're a lot longer than just 90 minutes. We can play with all of these things. We can play with survival horror; we can get into squad-based action."
Will there be unexpected, shocking moments of horror in the game like the iconic alien bursting from a chest in the first movie?
"There will be several moments like that," Pitchford said. "Of course we're all expecting the chest bursting, we have to treat it in a way that is clever. We need to get into the mind of the spectrum of the audience which includes people who have seen moments like that before and people who haven't."