Shadow of Phoenix

Respect for Games

Shade’s Review of Alien Resurrection (PlayStation)

Posted on this Site: Monday, March 28, 2022

Originally Published on Thursday, February 5, 2015 at https://shadevideogames.blogspot.com/2015/02/shades-review-of-alien-resurrection.html

The Alien Resurrection video game was released exclusively for the PlayStation on October 10, 2000 in North America, and on December 1, 2000 in Europe.
Argonaut Games (dissolved in 2006) was the game’s developer, and it was published by Fox Interactive.
It came out three years after the film on which it was based ran in theaters.
According to Gamespot’s review of the game, the delay was due to it originally being made as a third person adventure, and it was apparently scrapped.
The final product turned out to be a survival horror, first person shooter more similar to Alien Trilogy released on PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and MS-DOS in 1996.
I can’t review Alien Trilogy because I don’t currently own it.
 
I remember my parents getting the Alien Resurrection game for me when I was a kid.
I tried playing it so many times, but I couldn’t finish the first level without getting too scared to continue.
I couldn’t even watch the Alien movies at that age because I was too afraid to see them.
Years later as an adult, I finally watched all the Alien films, and fell in love with the first two movies in the series.
I recently decided to make time to the play the game and finally finish it.
 
As usual when playing a game, the first thing I noticed is the controls.
Since the game is in first person, the left analog stick moves the character, and the right analog stick moves the camera.
As long as the character has a weapon then the weapon equipped will be drawn at all times, and the R1 button is pressed to fire.
If you play this game on the original PlayStation digital controller (no analog sticks) then the d-pad will be used move the character back and forth (up and down buttons) as well turn the camera left and right (left and right buttons).
Firing the weapon will be changed to the X button.
 
The digital controls are smoother as far as moving the character back and forth, and turning the camera left and right with the d-pad.
The problem is strafing left and right (which is moving the left stick left and right on the analog controls) is moved to L2 and R2.
Also, in order to move the camera up and down (moving the right stick up and down on the analog controls), the L1 button must be held while pressing the up and down buttons on the d-pad.
I understand that the developing team made button layouts for the both the digital and analog PlayStation controllers since some people might have one controller style but not the other.
I’ve read a lot of people complaining about Alien Resurrection’s controls.
I’m not sure if they’re referring to the analog or digital controls.
I can definitely see where they would have difficulty with the digital controls.
I would suggest using an analog controller for this game if you can since it’s more straightforward with the left stick doing all the character movements, and right stick making all the camera movements.

It’s also more similar to how most current video games are controlled.

The only problem I had with both controls is going down ladders.

When the character is right in front of a ladder, players press down for the character to climb down.
The problem is that when I press down near a ladder, half of the time the character will just move backwards away from the ladder instead.
Maybe I just wasn’t in the right spot when I got near a ladder, though going down ladders in this game is a pain.
Alien Resurrection is also compatible with the PlayStation mouse, and some people claim that it’s the best way to play it.
I don’t have a PlayStation mouse so I can’t test it.
The PlayStation mouse is hard to find, but it’s not expensive.
It’s not sought after by many people since only a small amount of PlayStation games are compatible with it.
I did try to test the mouse controls with the ePSXe emulator, but I couldn’t get the emulator to recognize my mouse.
 
There are Heads Up Displays for the health gauge, ammo count, motion tracker, and flashlight.
Gauges for embryo impregnation, and oxygen while swimming also appear when these events happen.
All saving is done manually.
Players have chances to save between each level, and at save stations while playing.
Manually saving at specific points is part of what makes players worrying about surviving in a survival horror game.
 
The horror in this game starts out good.
I kept anticipating the first alien at the beginning, and it made me nervous.
The first few levels continued to be a little tense with an eery atmosphere in waiting for the aliens to come for me.
Once I reached the middle of the game, however, I didn’t find it that scary anymore.
I think it’s because the atmosphere does not keep me on edge throughout the game, and I get used to fighting the aliens so I’m not as frightened of them as I was in the beginning.
 
Most of the aliens in the game are the regular ones that we’re used to seeing.
There are also human enemies that appear at certain points.
The alien queen and the hybrid alien make appearances.
My favorite is also present during most of the game: facehuggers.
I hate facehuggers.
I’ve had nightmares about them, and seeing them still makes me uncomfortable.
Even though the game became less scary for me the more I progressed, I was still afraid of those things getting me.
 
A facehugger can latch onto the character, and it will be the screen like it’s on your face.
It makes me jump every time.
The screen will go black after a facehugger jumps on the character then the character will wake up with a new HUD gauge for the embryo.
The embryo gauge goes down pretty quickly, and it’s the amount of time the player has to use an autodoc unit to extract the embryo.
If time runs out before then, the chestburster will kill the character leading to a game over.
There are portable autodoc units that can be collected, and the communication units also have autodocs.
Some doors, however, will not open if an alien presence is detected, and that includes the character being impregnated.
 
The characters played in the game are from the movie: Ripley, Call, Christie, and DiStephano.
Ripley is the character that is controlled the most throughout the game, but there are levels where one of the other three characters is played.
There is very little story or character interaction.
Any character interaction that does happen is silent dialogue with text on the screen to show what they’re saying.
The only time voices are used is when a person is heard screaming.
 
My guess is that this is due to being a video game based on a movie.
It’s common for movie based games to stray away from the movie’s plot, or at least leave out important plot details.
Understandably, the movie studio doesn’t want the video game to spoil the plot of the movie on which it’s based.
Of course, the Alien Resurrection game came out three years after the movie.
Why bother?
I don’t know, but I would presume that 20th Century Fox would still not want to game to reveal anything about the movie’s plot.
 
Besides being based on the Alien Resurrection movie, this game is known for it’s difficulty.
There is a reason why it has a cheat menu that can be unlocked with a button combination in the options menu.
It is a hard game.
Part of it is due to controls.
Another part is the gameplay itself.
Players have to figure out how to conserve ammo and health (which isn’t easy in this game), there isn’t always an autodoc unit nearby when you get facehugged, and save points are few and far between.
There are four cheats that can be used: infinite health, infinite ammo, no chestburster, and no drowning.
The cheat menu also has all ten levels available to select.
If you play the game, don’t be surprised if you find yourself needing to use cheats to get through it.
I ended up using the cheats a lot because I really wanted to finish it.
 
There are two final things I must address.
It’s a little easy to get lost in this game, and there isn’t much replayability.
The big problem with getting lost is that there is no map to help players keep track of where they are on the ship.
The only replay incentives are the three difficulties: easy, normal, and hard.
As a result of this, most players will play it once or twice.
 
If you like survival horror, first person shooters, and the Alien movies then you might like the Alien Resurrection game.
If you like the Alien Trilogy game then you might like this one too.
As far as I know of, it’s never gotten a release on the PlayStation Store or anywhere else.
It can only be found in it’s physical release form for the PlayStation.
If you don’t have a PlayStation or PlayStation 2, it can be played on any PlayStation 3 model and the ePSXe emulator.
 
Be warned that there is a bug when playing it on ePSXe.
The third or fourth level has a door that will not open when it’s suppose to after you press the button.
I never got the chance to test it myself on the PlayStation 3, but I’ve read on forums that people have been experiencing the same bug when playing it on the PS3.
If you play it on the PS3 or ePSXe, the only thing I can suggest is that the cheat menu has level selection, and you can use it to skip to the next level.
It’s not ideal, but that may be the only way to continue through the game if you experience this bug.
 
As for price value, I would suggest $5 at most complete with the case, manual, and artwork.
This is primarily due to the lack of replay value, and it’s not well sought after by collectors.
Most current listings on eBay have the game for $10 or more.
I personally think that’s a little too much.
If you’re interested in the game, I recommend watching gameplay footage to see if the eBay prices are worth it, or just wait patiently until you can find it at the price that you want it for.

Gamespot’s review of Alien Resurrection on PlayStation
http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/alien-resurrection-review/1900-2637344/