A new VR experience called Alien: Descent will be coming be to a Southern California mall on April 26. While Alien is an iconic movie franchise, it's had a robust shelf life in other mediums too, including video games, comic books, novels and toys. These spinoff titles get to explore other aspects of the universe and play around with the mythology of the series in unique ways.
There have been a number of great games based on the series over the years, including Alien: Isolation, Alien Trilogy and 1999's Alien Vs Predator. There have also been plenty of duds too, including the new infamous Aliens: Colonial Marines. This 2013 title was heavily promoted as a canon sequel to James Cameron's movie, but everything from the buggy gameplay to the ridiculous story saw fans quickly turn against it. It was recently revealed FoxNext – the game division of Fox – was working on a new shooter title based on the series.
Given the rise of VR tech in recent years it felt like a matter of time before the Alien franchise gave it a try, and now FoxNext has announced Alien: Descent. Descent is a VR experience based at The Outlets at Orange in Orange County, California, and will be available from April 26, which is Alien Day. The game allows up to four players, who are free to move around wearing special wireless VR headsets. They're given prop weapons and motion trackers, and special environmental effects will simulate the experience of being on an actual bug hunt.
Alien: Descent lasts about 15 minutes and will cost players $22; FoxNext will also announce other locations for Descent soon. Alien games typically fall into two categories; fast-paced action or sweaty dread, but it seems Descent will be aiming for a mix of both, with players teaming up to survive attacks while paying close attention to their motion trackers.
The future of the Alien movie franchise is currently in question. The last entry – 2017's Alien: Covenant – was a critical and financial disappointment, and both of Ridley Scott's Alien prequels have proved divisive so far. The director also wants to push the title monster out of the series and focus on the danger posed by A.I. instead, with the planned next entry said to focus on Michael Fassbender's David creating his own world on a new planet.
Aside from games and events like Alien: Descent, it seems the movies are on pause while Fox decides what to do next, which may include another reboot. Neill Blomkamp famously developed a sequel that would have brought Sigourney Weaver's Ripley back to the series, but that project was cancelled and the director has since admitted the fire to make an Alien movie has since left him.
Source: Alien Descent