One of the forerunners of the Survival Horror genre!

User Rating: 9 | Alien 3 SNES
At first glance Alien 3 strikes you as a run of the mill shot'em up/platformer, and you'll prepare yourself to just obliterate everything you see (similar to Konami's Aliens Arcade game). What you quickly realize is that this is a mission based game with much more depth than a run and gun. Each level is pretty large and there are a number of objectives that must be completed in order to move on. To access you mission objectives you most log onto computer terminals, which are located in a few different locations in each level. These terminals also give you access to the blueprints of each level and you'd be smart to use them as you'll run out of ammo quickly if you try to randomly search for the mission objective locations.

Way back in the day when this game was new and I first rented it, I remember being very impressed with the graphics, and they really are quite good for this era's mainstream consoles. The color pallet is a little drab but of course that goes with the overall imagery of the entire Alien motion picture series. The backgrounds are very nicely detailed as are the foreground objects. Ripley's animations are very good, you'll notice small attention to details such as the way her gun moves as she swings from pipe to pipe monkey bar style. Also the sound is very good and the music makes the missions seem even more urgent than they really are.

Now the down sides of the game, the controls although very responsive have a few quirks to them. The flamethrower is assigned to the Y button ,but you have to hit it once to bring the thrower up and then again to fire it. This is a bit cumbersome in later levels when you are being over whelmed by aliens. Facehuggers are low and you need to kneel to shoot them, but also appear on ceiling. Unfortunately you cannot aim up while kneeling, this will cause you to stand. This up and down will lead to the receiving of much unneeded damage and frustration. One complaint I hear often is the mission don't really build upon each other and are basic "complete or die" style but this was a 1993 console game after all don't expect today's complexities. Overall I don't have many complaints, yes the game is hard in the later levels, but I love a challenge and it doesn't downright frustrate to death like some games of this era (I'm looking at you Super Star Wars trilogy).

Even though the popular consensus is that Resident Evil began the survival horror genre, this game really should be given some credit. Obviously it has the horror aspect, it also stressed conservation. In the later levels you'll be avoiding conflicts as much as possible to save ammo and just keep yourself alive. The missions break up the creature killing much as they do in modern examples such as Dead Space, and are a nice alternative to the other games of its day. Overall the game is enjoyable and really a standout title for the SNES despite popular opinions, no its not a Contra clone, but that's what makes it great.