Cliff Bleszinski’s Boss Key Productions shuttered less than a year after LawBreakers came out and only about a month after its battle royale, Radical Heights, hit early access. But those weren’t the only games the studio was attached to. Bleszinski took to Twitter to reveal that the team was in talks with Fox in making an Aliens first-person shooter. And not only was it going to take the series in some new directions, it was also going to retcon Alien 3 and everything after it.
Bleszinski tweeted out the premise, stating that players would control Newt, the child and Ripley’s surrogate daughter from Aliens, on Earth as weaponized Xenomorphs ran free in a Weyland-Yutani facility. Ripley would serve as your help over the radio like Anya from most of the Gears of War games, which Bleszinski was obviously heavily involved in. The project was canned when Disney purchased Fox and the talks got “lost in the shuffle.” This also happened to 3D Realms as it pitched a four-player co-op Aliens game called Hadley’s Hope where colonists and marines team up to take down the Queen and her hordes.
Anyone — as Bleszinski directly points out in a later tweet — who has watched Alien 3 can see how this proposed game would serve as a retcon as Newt dies off screen in the beginning of Alien 3. James Cameron, who directed Aliens but not Alien 3, said in 2016 that killing Newt (along with Hicks and Bishop) was “dumb,” which was likely a sentiment fans shared as it almost negates the struggles of the prior film. This weirdly goes against Terminator: Dark Fate, which Cameron recently produced, as that movie also kills the sacred child from the last movie within the opening act while also negating everything after the second film. Neill Blomkamp’s shelved Aliens film was also going to retcon all entries post-Aliens.
Video games have a history of having no problem retconning Alien 3. Aliens: Colonial Marines‘ Stasis Interrupted DLC (pictured above) shows a very sleepy Hicks recalling what happened to him after Aliens. It’s hard to buy but shows how desperate people are to erase what Alien 3 did. It had a hellish development cycle but that doesn’t excuse its many shortcomings.
A good Aliens shooter is going to be hard to make, given the lethal nature of the Xenomorphs. Developers are either going to make them cannon fodder (like Colonial Marines) or make them powerful opponents, which probably wouldn’t sustain a traditional first-person shooter. Essentially, this is what made Alien: Isolation the best video game adaptation as it neither had fast shooting nor did it neuter the beast. A full sequel is unlikely to come out soon, but is hopefully somewhere in the cards.