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Alien 3 Logo

Über die Qualität der Filmvorlage kann man streiten, darüber dass es für den Amiga bislang noch kein vernünftiges Spiel mit den widerlichen Biestern gab, herrscht Einigkeit. Hier kommt eines frisch vom Mega Drive!

Alien 3 Eifrige Kinogänger seien gewarnt: Acclaims Konsolen-Konvertierung hat mit dem Streifen eigentlich nur dem Namen und die außerirdischen Hauptdarsteller gemein. Klar macht man auch hier Jagd auf Aliens und befreit bedauernswerte Opfer, doch wo sich Ripley einst unbewaffnet dem Heldentod entgegen kämpfte, darf man nun munter ballern und stirbt auch nur, wenn Energie oder Zeit alle sind. Was übrigens bei den Alien-Geiseln eine schön eklige "Brustgeburt" zur Folge hat...

Die 15 Level lange Action-Hatz beginnt mit der Landung auf dem Gefängnisplaneten Florina 161 und führt alsbald in den Untergrund, wo Aliens in allen Größen lauern (Normal- Zwischen- und Endgegnern); ein paar exklusiv für das Spiel erdachte Monster gibt's obendrein. Sie alle dürfen mit einem reichhaltigen Arsenal an Feuerwerkskörpern in den Alien-Himmel geblasen werden. Manche Viecher wollen mit dem Flammenwerfer geröstet sein, andere zerlegt man besser mit dem Maschinengewehr oder wirft eine Grenate. Jedenfalls sofern vorhanden, denn Munition ist in den mit gefährlichen Ventilatoren und anderen Helden-Fallen durchsetzten Gängen Mangelware und muß, genau wie Pakete mit frischer Energie, erst gefunden werden.

Alien 3 Finden muß man vor allem auch die zahllosen Gefangenen, wobei ein Radarschirm gute Dienste leistet. Opfer und Täter werden nämlich farblich unterschiedlich angezeigt. Allerdings ist an viele Geiseln nur schwer heranzukommen, oft muß man kriechen oder klettern und dabei auch noch schräg nach oben bzw. unten schießen. Als schlimmster Feind erweist sich da immer wieder das Zeitlimit, weil es zudem lebenswichtig ist, in den verzwickten Abschnitten termingerecht den Ausgang zu entdecken. Na, wenigstens macht die tadellose Steuerung keine Schwierigkeiten, denn obwohl auch Sticks mit zwei Feuerknöpfen unterstützt werden, tut es ein Button ebensogut - die Waffen lassen sich dann flott und bequem per Tastatur anwählen.

Alien 3 Grafisch mein man vor einem Mega Drive zu sitzen, das Scrolling klappt prima, und die Animationen kommen sehr ordentlich rüber. Leider sind manche Sprites etwas klein geraten, und die düster-farbarme Optik mag zwar atmosphärisch sein, dürfte also nicht jedermann gefallen (schon gar nicht der BPS mit ihrer Blutallergie). Über die Klasse der gelungenen Musikuntermalung wird es dagegen kaum Diskussionen geben, und auch die Sound-FX mit den gruseligen Schreien sind okay, wenn gleich nur spärlich vorhanden. Wer also nicht auf innovativen Spielideen besteht, wird von diesem ausgereiften Action-Game sicher gut bedient. Ein wenig "Berufserfahrung" sollte man halt mitbringen, denn selbst beim leichtesten der drei Schwierigkeitsgrade ist Alien 3 kein Spaziergang! Und die fehlenden Levelcodes machen die Jagd auch nicht gerade einfacher... (mm)

Amiga Joker, March 1993, p.32

ALIEN 3
(ACCLAIM)
ALIEN - ACTION

72%

"BISSIG"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
MUSIK
SOUND-FX
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPASS
70%
72%
75%
66%
75%
72%
FÜR GEÜBTE
PREIS DM 79,-
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
1 MB
1/NEIN
NEIN
NEIN
ANLEITUNG


Alien 3 Logo CU Amiga Screen Star

What's eight feet tall, has acid for blood and needle sharp teeth? That's right it's... Mark Patterson.

Alien 3 IN SPACE NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM
Some people seem to attract loonies, others act as a magnet for viruses, Ellen Ripley seems to draw acid-spitting slaughter-hungry aliens. As the main character in the Alien films, she's outlived the crew of her starship, a platoon of colonial marines, and, in the most recent movie, an entire prison colony. The game starts in the nicest area of the penitentiary, although even then it resembles the kind of kebab shop a starving man would pass by. The aliens who are now residing in the colony have been very busy. Using their ability to secrete a noxious, tougher-than-rope resin, they've glued all the prisoners to various bits of the colony. Being a good egg, and not wanting the aliens to breed anymore, Ripley takes it upon her self to free them and slaughter every xenomorph that gets in her way.

If you've seen the film (which I thought wasn't too bad), you'll probably have sussed that the game's plot differs somewhat. Unlike the film, where Ripley was armed with nothing more than a dangerous haircut, here she's really kitted-out for action. Her arsenal is made up of hand grenades, a flame thrower and a pulse rifle (complete with grenade launcher). Each weapon has a limited supply of ammo, which dwindles very quickly when you're faced with aliens that take several hits to kill.

She also has a motion tracker which pin-points the position of any prisoner or alien in the nearby area, although it only has a limited power supply and batteries have to be found to charge it up. The problem with this, though, is that by the time it picks up an alien, it's already making a determined leap at your throat. However, because there are so many prisoners on the later levels, it becomes an essential bit of kit.

THIS TIME IT'S WAR
There are 14 levels in total, all of which are set against the clock. If you run out of time you get to witness the aliens bursting out of the remaining prisoners, which is almost worth deliberately running the clock down to see. Obviously any sane person would do a runner rather than take on an entire alien race single-handed. What prevents Ripley from following suit is that the last doorway doesn't open until the final prisoner is rescued.

Ripley only has a limited amount of energy, which is depleted by contact with the aliens and long falls. She can also be a bit of a danger to herself. There are several storage rooms in the colony which contain cans of fuel that explode when hit by a stray bullet or grenade. Moving around the levels can be quite tricky, even if you avoid most of the hazards. There are loads of moving platforms which provide the only link between gantries, so Ripley's formidable leaping abilities are put to the test. Security doors also pose a hazard. Most can be opened by operating the controls at the side, which is handy as they can be closed behind you to lock out aliens. The alternative is to select the grenade launcher and blow it away.

TOO TOUGH TO BEAT?
Alien 3 Apart from the hazards with slavering jaws, there are plenty of other things to be avoided. Some levels have slippery ramps, and stepping on one of those leads to a very long drop. There are also spiked pits and gigantic fans which spell instant death. Plenty of long-drops have been placed under tricky jumps to liven things up further.

Naturally the prisoners are usually stuck in out of the way locations, and half the challenge of rescuing is finding them in the first place, Often you need to retrace your steps to find a passage or doorway you might have missed, which can be a little hair-raising with the clock ticking down. The prisoners are very heavily guarded after the tenth level. Egg-sacks are placed right next to them and they release a face-hugger as soon as you approach. There's one level that differs from all this though. The mayhem stage is devoid of prisoners but full to bursting point with aliens and facehuggers. The object isn't so much to find the way out as to survive. This sets you up with almost no ammo for the next level, which makes things tougher still. One of the trickier features of the early levels are the networks of ventilation shafts. You can't tell where the passages lead to and aliens have developed a nasty habit of dropping down vertical shafts at high speed. The hand grenades come in very useful as they can be dropped down tunnels to clear the way before you crawl into the unknown.

THE BITCH IS BACK
Every few levels the scene changes and Ripley finds herself locked in a room with a queen Alien. Apart from being significantly larger than her offspring, she can leap huge distances and spit acid. It takes a ridiculous amount of ammo to finish her off, so you have to make each shot count. Like the normal levels this is time limited, so you can't wait for her to jump into your sights.
Face huggers start to appear on the later levels. These burst out of their eggs and make a spirited attempt at grabbing Ripley's face. If they succeed they'll slowly drain her energy. Only a large amount of joystick waggling will be capable of throwing them off (if only John Hurt had known that in the first film). The worker aliens also start dropping down the ladders, so it's nearly impossible to tell where you'll come under attack from next.

Alien 3 To begin with the scenery is nice and recognisably human. There's the hospital, the abattoir, complete with corpses, and the cell block. As she works her way deeper into the complex, the background becomes more alien-like, with tubes and other organic bits adorning every wall. Here's where the game gets really tough. You have to move very quickly as the maps are complicated and the prisoners are stashed all over the place. In addition to that, acid drips from the ceiling and there are more Aliens than ever. There are also secret rooms, which can usually be found by running into walls. These often contain ammunition and medical packs, although on the last couple of levels they play host to prisoners. To begin with it doesn't take long to learn the levels, but later on they become so big that it's impossible.

LET'S ROCK AND ROLL
The sound effects are fantastic. Noises for the pulse rifle and grenade launcher have been sampled from Aliens and they sound terrific. Music plays throughout, although it's very subtle and you don't always notice it. The graphics are excellent. The Aliens are suitably spindly and, well, alien. There's some nice variation between the backdrops, although 1 think a little more could have been done with the Alien levels at the end of the game.
You can't really say that this does the film justice, mainly because most people will rate the game better than the movie. It also has so little to do with the movie's plot. What it is, though, is an excellent Aliens game. it's full of action and the variety of weapons offer Ripley plenty of death-dealing opportunities.

Alien 3 is definitely very challenging. There's plenty to shoot, lots to explore and the backgrounds vary enough to hold your attention. It has all the atmosphere of an Aliens film as you never know when one's going to leap out at you. This is one of the best movie-to-game conversions I've seen.

CU Amiga, December 1992, p.p.43-45

GUNNING FOR ALIENS
It's one thing having plenty of weapons, it's another knowing how to use them. While each one is perfectly capable of blowing an alien into very small bits, they also have specific uses.
FLAMETHROWER
Very powerful. It's put to best use when burning alien eggs and face huggers.
PULSE RIFLE
The best all-round weapon. It gets through ammo like nobody's business, though, so use sparingly. Ripley can point it at the ground when she runs, which is useful as that's where many of the aliens burst out from.
GRENADE LAUNCHER
This is very effective indeed, capable of destroying aliens before they come on screen, but it has as slow rate of fire.
HANDGRENADES
These are best employed in the elevation shafts as they bounce quite a bit when they hit a surface and take a while to detonate.

MEGADRIVE MEETS AMIGA
Alien 3 is already a big success on the Megadrive and rightly so. It's nice to see that Probe have converted the game almost exactly onto the Amiga, right down to the same level maps. The only difference is that it's slightly slower than its console counter-part, although that doesn't effect the gameplay.
The Amiga version of the game can also make use of the three-button Megadrive control pad. Because the Amiga isn't really built for this type of controller, only two buttons work so you still have to use the space-bar to change weapons, but it makes it a lot easier to play.

ALIENS, ALIENS EVERYWHERE
The Aliens are a little like ants, albeit eight-foot ants with a hatred of all things warm-blooded. All of them have several physical traits in common – they bleed acid, they have two sets of jaws, they like damp locations and are constantly dripping with some kind of slime.
In Alien 3 they take a new form, well the single alien in the film does. It now appears that an alien inherits some of the genes of the creature it bursts out of, in this case a dog. Whereas the aliens in the previous movies have been actor shaped, this one has a tail and scrabbles around all fours (although there are no embarrassing incidents with lamp-posts).
Although Ripley buys it at the end of the film, rumours abounds that plots have been drawn up for the next three movies in the series. There's scope for a Predator versus Aliens film, which was alluded to in Predator 2, where there's an Alien's skull in the big guy's trophy room.

THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE
There have been several other Aliens games on different formats before now. The first, which was a strategy-cum-adventure based on the original flick, was released on the C64 ages ago. It received some praise at the time, but never really took off. The came the Aliens movie and along with it two games on the C64. The first was a first person perspective exploration game with overtones of Operation Wolf. When an alien appeared you had to steer a crosshair onto it and blow its head off. Because most of the screens looked the same the game was a little dull.
Finally there was an Aliens US. It looked good to begin with, featuring what passed for colour digitised pictures in those days and with each level based around specific scenes in the film. What let it down was the lack of any talent on behalf of the programmers. The ventilation shaft scene was translated into a maze game which looked like a really poor version of Pacman, and the scene with the drop-ship at the start of the game just had you steering it through several white hoops.

buyers guide
release date:
genre:
controls:
number of disks:
number of players:
hard disk:
memory:
 
November
Arcade
Joystick/Joypad
2
1
No
512k

 

ACCLAIM £25.99
Playable and atmospheric platform blast...
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY
88%
90%
93%
92%
OVERALL 92%