The success of Tomb Raider encouraged the developer of Alien Resurrection to scrap its original vision for the game.
Speaking to Retro Gamer magazine, producer Gary Shirwald spoke about how Alien Resurrection survived three iterations before its launch in 2000: ,. “The game was initially developed as a top-down parallax scroller because the original movie idea was for the main spacecraft to be like a tower block in space, on many levels.”
Shirwald goes on to explain, however, that “when Tomb Raider became a huge hit, the Alien Resurrection game was changed to a third-person action adventure. What they originally asked us to do, we did, and then we all decided to throw it away and start again from scratch. Originally it was a top-down Gauntlet meets Alien Breed game, but then we went for the third-person shooter.”
As development progressed, however, certain first-person segments already existing in the game led to another change. Jez San, founder of developer Argonaut Games said that “the main decision to move [the entire game] to first-person was so you could have stuff jump out at you, which felt more, well, Alien-like.”
That change had a significant effect on the game’s release window. While movie tie-in games traditionally launch pretty close to their source material, the new direction saw Alien Resurrection arrive on PlayStation almost three years after the film’s release in November 1997.
Despite its late release, Shirwald suggests Alien Resurrection, “paved the way” for future first-person games on PlayStation thanks to its dual-analog stick approach.. But this game could have been entirely different were it not for feisty Lara Croft and her success.
The xenomorph shows up in first-person once again in our list of the best horror games.