Cancelled Aliens RPG Was Like a ‘Terrifying’ Mass Effect

Chris Avellone shares the details on Obsidian’s cancelled RPG, Aliens: Crucible, which got as far as a “really cool” prototype.

Speaking to VG24/7 about his time at Obsidian and the cancelled Aliens RPG, Avellone said a “rough comparison” of the gameplay would be “basically Mass Effect but more terrifying.”

He added that the studio’s relationship with Sega deteriorated to the point that eventually the title was cancelled.

“We wanted to make it. But by that point Sega, I think, was… the publisher/management relations had gotten to a point where they were just tired of dealing with [Obsidian].

“Everyone working on Aliens: Crucible was really excited about it. It was shaping up to be a really cool game. The prototype was really cool. But then Sega’s like ‘nope!’”

The plot would have seen players travel to an alien planet where they’d find one of the Engineers’ ships, a valley of creation, and a weapons testing facility. As the player enters the atmosphere, they discover the planet is unstable and the crew becomes separated. Avellone explained that the plot was somewhat similar to the movie Prometheus, something he’d only discover after watching the film when it was released.

“The biggest challenge we had was how to keep the fear going even in conversations,” Avellone said. “You can make conversations stressful and frightening. How do you do it so that an alien could be attacking you at any moment? You can’t take shelter in a conversation with two talking heads while you try to figure out what to do.”

Footage of the game leaked back in 2013. The game started development in 2006 and development went on hiatus in February 2009 and while it was assumed reported in June 2009 that there might still be hope for the title, it never saw the light of day.

Shabana is a freelance writer who enjoys JRPGs, wine, and not finishing games. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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