Amazing article and a nice read. ALIEN Resurrection the movie and long delayed game tie-in gives me 1997-2000 nostalgic chills. It's also a story of an amazing game's potential popularity, lost during fast-moving advances in gaming technology in the transitionary period of new console generations.
I recall the PSOne being long in the tooth around October-December 2000 with the Playstation 2 being demoed in pods HMV and GAME shops in the UK, so the buzz for a PsOne release was over.
I liked ALIEN Resurrection the movie enough (at the time) November 1997 but I'll admit it was a short-lived infatuation, only stoked by ongoing news of a game tie-in. I was more optimistic as ALIEN-Trilogy (also PSone) proved popular amongst gamers, critics and videogame sales in 1996.
I recall the "Teletext" gaming news feed on old-school tv sets (remember that service which rivaled the pre-dial-up internet?) I think it was GameCentral (which lives on to present day via METRO.co.uk free Newspaper) reporting extensively on the development of the Resurrection game 1997-2000.
I recall talk of a Tomb Raider style third person game and the News team had almost monthly updates on ALIEN-Resurrection (along with a very early incarnation of DUKE NUKEM Forever by another development team). Developers would write in the feedback section with updates, team changes or handing in notices in frustration!
I can't remember if any video demo of the "TOMB RAIDER" style gameplay ever saw the light of day but I did see screenshots and talk of the character Dom Vriess.(wheelchair guy) being a reverse aiming gun strapped to your back in harder levels.
Didn't know the Moss Brothers (Argonaut games) were originally planning to do a game based on the game LOADED-1995. Although to clarify that was a GREMLIN Interactive game based on "ALIEN BREED" which was ironically a topdown "ALIENS" style rip-off.
I don't know anyone who owned LOADED but a lot of high school friends played the shit out of the DEMO that came with the PSone.
The change to a TOMB RAIDER clone would've sucked as too many games who tried to emulate were inferior knock-offs. They did not understand why the gaming mechanic of Lara Croft was ideal for her global travel but unsuitable for anything else.
You only need PsOne games like the FIFTH ELEMENT, BATMAN AND ROBIN, Deathtrap Dungeon to prove this point.
I'll admit I raised my eyebrows when the Resurrection team finally came back and said a first person shooter was in the works. At best PsOne FPSs were for the larger part, unplayable. Low polygon count, low frame rates, game slowdown and blocky enemies (Star Wars Dark Forces or Duke Nukem).
The end product though was, IMO, better than ALIEN Trilogy and far more intense and satisfying. I didn't feel the need to upgrade to a PC to play ALIENS VS PREDATOR 1999 as Resurrection was on par with graphics and physics.
Speaking of which; it's interesting that Argonaut thought the next ALIEN movie (following Alien 3) being drafted by 20th Century Fox in 1996 would be an Aliens Vs Predator movie. I think many high school friends and their parents in this era shared the same hope with talk and rumours.
Alas, ALIEN- Resurrection was a safe but ultimately boring movie. A sentiment shared by its game developers who did better work on the franchise than the movie itself.
It's not like ALIEN 3 had that problem too.........oh wait.