Sci-fi horror owes much to the visionary genius of Ridley Scott. A masterpiece in slow-building tension and sheer atmospheric terror, the original Alien movie was the first cinematic effort to take horror to outer space. And while the film’s legacy reinvented sci-fi cinema, Alien influenced video games all the same.
Xenomorph-like creatures popped up in franchises such as Metroid and Starcraft. Alien species became a staple of intergalactic shoot-’em-ups. And the space horror genre gave gamers some memorable frights. So, what are the most blood-curdling horror entries set in outer space? Here are three spooky space horror games to try out. But remember, nobody can hear you scream when stranded in space.
The premise of Dead Space might sound familiar to Alien fans. The story kicks off as engineer Isaac Clarke embarks on a rescue mission in the hopes of finding his girlfriend. When his team’s ship suffers damage while docking the abandoned USG Ishimura, Clarke sets out to explore the seemingly derelict spaceship. But the Ishimura is infested with undead alien creatures, leaving our trapped engineer to fight for his life against lethal Necromorphs.
With its intricate storytelling through clever level design, Dead Space quickly stood above the pack. The game’s out-of-his-depth, relatable protagonist swarmed by deadly monstrosities also worked wonders to subvert the classic overpowered space soldier trope. And this standalone title eventually spawned a full-blown franchise. Fifteen years after its original release, Dead Space is even getting a remake on next-gen consoles. Better yet, a movie by John Carpenter is reportedly in the works.
Alien: Isolation picks up fifteen years after Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic. The plot follows Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda. When her missing mother’s flight recorder gets located on the Sevastopol space station, Amanda joins a retrieval mission to get much-needed closure. But as she reaches the decommissioned space station, she meets face-to-face with the same perils her mother desperately tried to eradicate on the Nostromo. Playing hide-and-seek with the Xenomorph is the only way to make it out alive, only hostile androids and humans have other plans for Amanda. As nerve-racking as hair-raising, this brilliant first-person survival horror game conjures up the tension and brooding horror of the first Alien film.
If you’re in the mood for more action, though, games like Aliens Vs. Predator and Aliens: Fireteam Elite take a more bombastic approach to the franchise. The films’ imagery has even inspired some unexpected gems, from a pinball game to slots available on the world’s top online casinos. In the Southern Hemisphere, players can use casino bonuses in New Zealand to try pokies like NetEnt’s Aliens. Lofty rewards like welcome packages and deposit bonuses are available upon first signing up. Some offers even cater to low-spenders willing to play risk-free, such as no deposit bonuses. Hence, players can access an extensive catalogue of pokies and classic games without breaking the bank.
The year is 2032, and the Talos I space station is orbiting the Moon. A prime symbol of private space enterprise, the station is part of an experiment meant to alter the human race. And the experiment is on you. But as you awaken in the shoes of space test subject Morgan Yu, you quickly find out that hostile aliens are running amok aboard the station. Hunted by this deadly threat, you must leverage all the tools you can get to stand a chance. But in exploring your environment, you might uncover the darkest secrets of the Talos I and ultimately unravel the truth about your past.
Blending elements of open-world role-playing games with stealth and first-person shooting, Prey is the full package when it comes to action-oriented space games. With slight cyberpunk aesthetics, this 2017 reboot compares to System Shock. For all its shoot-outs, though, the game’s eerie tone leans toward atmospheric horror. The sense of powerlessness that overcomes the player in early game may even feel more unnerving than straight-up horror, although several conventional jump scares await down the line.
Space horror games tick the right boxes for gamers craving paranoia-inducing exploration and tense gameplay. Of course, the original Alien laid much groundwork for the genre to thrive. The cinematic franchise also inspired many a space shooter. A new top-down shooter named Aliens: Dark Descent has even been announced for 2023. Long story short, Alien fans with a knack for gaming have more than a few entries to dive into.
If you're a fan of Alien / Prometheus and would like to discuss Alien: Covenant and its upcoming sequel with other like-minded fans, be sure to join in our Alien: Covenant forum! Ranked the #1 Prometheus forum back in 2012 and reigning as the web's top Alien: Covenant fan site, it's a great place to discuss the upcoming Prometheus sequels, dissect details from every trailer and engage with other fans just like you.
The future of Alien
The Alien franchise is taking a dramatic turn at 20th Century Studios, now owned by Disney. Currently there are two major Alien projects in development - a new Alien TV series by Noah Hawley and a new, stand-alone Alien movie being directed by Fede Alvarez. Both of which will be taking the franchise in a new direction - moving away from the Alien prequel direction Ridley Scott set out to pursue back in 2012.
Treat yourself to some Alien Merchandise!
As we await the next Alien movie, now is a great time to build your Alien collection and expand your Alien-themed wardrobe. Check out some products below and click here for even more options!
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