Now that Star Wars is free from EA's tractor beam, we're getting a bunch of new games (opens in new tab). This is good. I'm happy about it. But I'd be way happier if Disney made a bunch of Alien games instead. Alien deserves better than one great game every other decade. Apparently there's an Alien game in the works right now (opens in new tab), which could be a shooter. But we already have AvP, and Colonial Marines was a disaster (opens in new tab). So let's try something new. Something that takes advantage of one the greatest sci-fi settings in history, but in a less obvious way.
Alien: Isolation, but set in the Alien 3 prison
I'll level with you: this article was just an excuse to share this idea. Imagine an Alien: Isolation sequel set in the maximum security prison from Alien 3. You're a prisoner, you wake up in your cell, and everything has gone to shit. A xenomorph is on the loose, the prison's security systems are malfunctioning, and there are hardened space criminals roaming the facility. But you can use the security systems to your advantage, remotely opening and closing electronic doors to guide the alien around the prison or lure it into traps.
Alien space trucking simulator
The original Alien movie famously features a crew of crude, sweaty blue-collar space truckers, so someone should tap into that for an Alien game. Pilot industrial towing ships like the Nostromo through deep space, hauling giant refineries and other cargo. Hang with the crew, dodge questions about the bonus situation, and respond to distress calls. Receive morally dubious orders from your Weyland-Yutani paymasters, and decide how to act on them. And maybe a xenomorph could show up, since it's an Alien game I guess, but only in a really rare randomised event.
Alien city builder
So we know Weyland-Yutani loves 'building better worlds' by aggressively terraforming them and constructing colonies like Hadley's Hope from Aliens. Well, that's a game right there. You're the administrator of a new Weyland-Yutani colony on a distant world—a world that, inevitably, has a crashed ship full of facehugger eggs on it. Design and build your settlement, deal with your citizens' problems, call in squads of Colonial Marines to protect it, and maybe make some money on the side by experimenting on facehuggers for the company—which could (will) lead to a xeno infestation.
Okay, so XCOM is basically already Aliens. But I'd love to see a similarly designed turn-based tactics game set in the Alien universe, with Colonial Marines, xenomorphs, pulse rifles, and all that good stuff. There might be a few levels where you fight human enemies—those Weyland-Yutani commandos from the end of Alien 3 spring to mind—but mostly you'd be up against various breeds of xenomorph. Fighting enemies in an XCOM-style game who move forward aggressively, and have acid for blood, would add an interesting dynamic to the turn-based combat, forcing you to move a lot more. This is actually a pretty unimaginative idea, but whatever, I'd play it.
Alien kart racer
A colourful arcade racer featuring cute chibi versions of all your favourite characters. Ripley! Bishop! Every kind of xenomorph! That blue dude from Prometheus who melted after drinking a bowl of DNA soup! Race on wild and wacky courses inspired by locations from the movies, from the loading bay of the Nostromo to that weird wooden planet from Vincent Ward's unused Alien 3 script. Collect power-ups and launch them at your opponents, including facehuggers and hood-mounted pulse rifles. Man, I started writing this one as a joke, but now I actually want to play it.