The graphics are very nice throughout the game and the main character is of considerable size and animates very well. Ripley jumps, crawls, crouches, throws grenades and fires weapons very smoothly. The scrolling is perfect, which is important since the game scrolls both vertically and horizontally. The two main Alien enemies only come in two different shapes though and, although there are face-huggers and eggs too in some levels, there's a lack of variety. The levels are well designed and make for a varied game-world anyways despite the lack of variety of enemies. The levels vary from spaceship corridors to Alien hives and things in between. There are also tunnel-systems that you can crawl through. The power-ups are very clear and the different weapons are cool to watch. The intro screen and options screen are both very well designed and the terrifying screen before each level with an Alien head peeking around a corner with animated slime dripping from its jaws is just awesome. 81%
Alien 3's easy controls are very intuitive and after a couple of minutes of playing they come very natural. The game is time-based and you get a certain time in which you must find a number of prisoners, but that's just the normal missions. There are also levels in which you only have to get out quickly and some where there are no Aliens just prisoners to rescue. There are level guardians as well, which are boss-Aliens kind of things that are a bit of a disappointment as their patterns of moving and attacking are easy and once you get the hang of it they feel too easy. There's something strangely satisfying about killing Aliens with the marine assault rifle and burning Alien eggs with a flame thrower. The aliens will show up on your motion detector as light blue dots and human prisoners as red dots and for finding prisoners it's kind of helpful, but for the aliens the detector isn't much help as the aliens, more often than not, comes out of the ground or drop down from the ceiling, and by then it's too late. It also runs out of batteries really fast but fortunately you can find more batteries scattered around the levels to keep it going. I usually hate timed levels but these levels are so well designed that it doesn't really bother me, but the game IS hard, and if you don't like trial and error gameplay, maybe you should look elsewhere for a cool game based on the "Alien" franchise.
One of the strongest points of Alien 3 for the Genesis is its sound-effects and music. The music sticks in your head for a long time after you quit playing the game. It's written by a guy called Matt Furniss. The many different weapon sounds are a joy to listen to. My favorite sound is the "thump" sound of the grenade launcher. Priceless!
After you've finished the game once, you can always go back and try to finish it again on a harder difficulty level or try to get more points. At the end of each level there's a point's screen which gives you extra points for the amount of ammunition and time you have left. I personally go back and finish the game once every few years. There's no password system, so you'll have to play through the whole game if you want to play the last level again. Fortunately you can boost up your "tries" from three to a maximum of nine.
A well presented game that plays well, if you're into timed slime-dripping action!