DescriptionAliens Online was a massively multiplayer first person shooter released on the GameStorm subscription service. Players could choose to wield a pulse rifle as a member of the Colonial Marines, or stick to the shadows as one of H. R. Giger's iconic Aliens. Gameplay pit the two species against each other in a standard team deathmatch with limited respawns. Players could fight in one of five initial maps, with multiple games running simultaneously and selected from an in-game chat area and browser.
Maps ranged from a loose reproduction of the colony from Aliens, to a derelict spacecraft with an Alien hive in the lower levels. Every map had cramped air ducts or sewer pipes that the Aliens could speedily, and usually securely, make use of - with hatches that allowed the player to drop onto unsuspecting marines and rend them with claw and tail attacks.
Marines carried a selection of long-range firepower based on the weapons in the film. A lone marine only had access to a pulse rifle, pistol, shotgun, and motion tracker (deployed like a weapon, and not part of the HUD). Up to four marines could also band together in a fireteam, unlocking heavy weapons like the flamethrower and the auto-tracking SmartGun. Members of a fireteam could also open minature "helmet cam" windows for each of their teammates, and see a feed of what that player was seeing.
Kills and victories resulted in experience points, which were permanently tracked by character. XP milestones granted stat-increasing ranks to marines, making veteran soldiers tougher and deadlier. A similar system also existed on the Alien side, with XP points granting the ability for one player per open game to play as the Queen - a bigger and tougher Alien requiring teamwork to take down.
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|Science Fiction Weekly||1998||A||100|
|GameSpot||Apr 16, 1998||7.2 out of 10||72|
|Computer Games Magazine||Jun 29, 1998||70|
|PC Joker||Jun, 1998||2 out of 3||67|
|Topic||# Posts||Last Post|
|"15 new Windows screenshots"||3||Lumpi (197)
Dec 08, 2009
DevelopmentAliens Online was originally released with only one game type - "Eradication." Players simply fought until the marines exhausted their supply of respawns (called "billets"), or every Alien on the map was wiped out (To recreate the sense of a proper infestation of Aliens, there were over a hundred computer-controlled drones wandering around each level. Alien players would jump to a new body when killed, while Marines could whittle down the Aliens' "lives" by killing the relatively-defenseless computer drones).
Later patches introduced more game types. A "capture the flag" mode required Marines to fight down to the Alien hive, remove a set number of eggs, and drag them back to the drop zone. A variant on this required Marines to lug explosive barrels from their drop zone to different areas on the map. A third mode disabled Marine respawns, and required them to reach an evac point inside the level before being wiped out by the Aliens.
EngineAliens Online used a modified version of Mythic Entertainment's engine for Rolemaster: Magestorm.
FacehuggerOriginal plans were for a new Alien player to begin as a lowly facehugger - killed by a single shot, and sporting only an embarrassingly weak tail whip as an attack. After a few kills, they would move up to the standard Drone, and then on to the Queen. This was never implemented, presumably because killing a player with a facehugger was so notoriously difficult that it would have driven off new players.
Instead, Drone became the default starting point on a player's evolution. However, facehuggers were still selectable as a playable character (with its own set of respawns aside from the main Alien pool. Veteran players would sometimes use them as a joke. Actually killing someone with the huggie was considered a badge of honor (or for the unlucky Marine, a badge of shame).
ShutdownOnline gameplay for Aliens Online was shut down on May 29, 2000.
Information also contributed by BurningStickMan
Related Web Sites
- Alien Legend - Aliens Online (Computer) (Information about the game including a long description, gameplay strategy, links to interviews, screenshots and video.)
- Aliens Online - Wikpiedia (information about the game on the open encyclopedia site)
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