1999 Fox Interactive
Platform: Sony PlayStation and SEGA Saturn (unreleased)
A short entry to share some screens showing a much earlier version of Alien Resurrection, featuring a 3rd person perspective for the game that was eventually dropped for a 1st person viewpoint in the end.
Contributor Ross Sillifant also asked Argonaut’s Martin Piper about his involvement on the game, who revealed some interesting details about the title and how it evolved into the final release:
ROSS: I of course have to ask you about your role on Alien Resurrection…as i’m a huge Alien/s fan and loved the game on PS1. So, to get the ball rolling – were you involved with the original, 3rd person viewpoint version of the game? Which I believe was canned despite being some 80% (?) complete for not being scary enough. So how did it feel to have so much hard work go down the pan?.
MARTIN: There were four version of Alien Resurrection. I was there from the almost beginning.
1) It started life as a platformer with some pre-rendered sprites jumping around a pseudo-3D side scrolling level.
2) Then the producer at Fox Interactive saw Reloaded and wanted Alien Resurrection to look like it. So we went to top down isometric 3D – https://www.youtube.com/watch?
3) Then Fox wanted to be like Tomb Raider so we went full 3D with high poly third person Ripley. We added vent crawling, where the camera switched to first person with a gun.
4) As a quick coder hack we then tried out making it first person for the whole game and that was the magic moment. We calculated that we could make the levels much larger and have more realistic aliens and levels if we saved all the polygons from the third person Ripley.
The switch from 3rd to 1st person actually didn’t throw away much code. The 3rd person system was full 3D anyway. It did throw away a lot of the high poly model and animation work for Ripley though.
So many of the screens that you will see here are likely containing assets that were still used in the final game, but just shown from a different perspective. It would be very interesting to be able to see and play the earlier editions, especially the platform version (if it got very far to be playable). In April 2021 we were able to do just that, thanks to the amazing efforts of The Hidden Palace with their Project Deluge release, where a 1998 prototype has been preserved and which you can check out!
Credits: Thanks to Ross Sillifant for providing some of the scans and for Martin Piper passing on some screenshots of the level editors in December 2021.
Sourced from Fox Interactive press kit 1999, with thanks to a contact of Ross.