Cancelled Aliens RPG would’ve been “Mass Effect but more terrifying”

Chris Avellone has revealed details on Obsidian's cancelled Aliens RPG Crucible, and compares it to a scarier Mass Effect.

We’re not sure what upsets us more – that we didn’t get Obsidian’s Aliens Crucible, an ambitious third-person Aliens RPG from the creators of Fallout: New Vegas, or that we got Aliens: Colonial Marines instead. Now writer Chris Avellone has shared some previously unrevealed details about Obsidian’s cancelled RPG – including the tantalizing description of it as “Mass Effect but more terrifying”.

Aliens: Crucible was cancelled by SEGA shortly after the disappointing release of Alpha Protocol. As Obsidian’s interesting but flawed spy RPG was also published by SEGA, where upon release it received disappointing reviews and poor sales, it’s perhaps hardly surprising that the publisher wasn’t willing to cooperate with Obsidian on another project.

Avellone particularly notes that, while he’s disappointed the game didn’t happen, he doesn’t blame SEGA for the game’s cancellations – instead he suggests that “the publisher/management relations had gotten to a point where they were just tired of dealing with [Obsidian].” Which is sad, because as Avellone says, “it was shaping up to be a really cool game” – with a few ideas that Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel Prometheus would later attempt.

“The weird thing is,” Avellone noted in an interview with VG247, “that when Prometheus came out, I saw some of the similarities, [and thought] ‘oh, we had a character like that’. But the entire world was more violent and there were a lot more Aliens running around. It was more a question of survival.”

Crucible also had more than a few similarities with BioWare’s Mass Effect, with two AI companions who players could order during combat encounters. It was however, according to Avellone, a lot more focused on being a horror game. “The biggest challenge we had was how to keep the fear going even in conversations. You can make conversations stressful and frightening. How do you do it so that an alien could be attacking you at any moment?”

Related: check out the best horror games on PC

We’ve heard relatively little about Aliens Crucible in the ten or so years since it was cancelled, although it was supposedly almost ready to ship, and at least had good xenomorph animation. Aliens: Colonial Marines, on the other hand, was so bad it was allowed to ship with the Aliens broken by a typo in the game’s code. We know which one we would’ve preferred, anyway.