Whenever licensed franchises are being made into video games, fans of said franchise quiver in their boots. For good reason, of course, as it's extremely rare that licensed properties get great gaming adaptations.
Recent history, however, has been relatively kind to this particular genre of game making. When fantastic development studios are given strong franchises with unfettered access, the resulting game is actually a good one. Take a look at Batman: Arkham Asylum from Rocksteady, as an example.
Hopefully Gearbox Software is going to do the same with their turn in the Alien universe. It's good news that, according to CCO of Gearbox Brian Martel, Fox is actually giving the studio a good amount of freedom with the license. From his interview with GameSpot:
"They've given us a lot of freedom at 20th Century Fox. Fox has been really cool about it. They want us to stay within the canon of the movies, so this game takes place after Alien 3…
…But it is a spiritual sequel to Aliens, so it really lets us be in the boots of the Colonial Marines. But Fox also let us delve into the aliens hive life-cycle and those kind of things. So we've been able to dig in there and kinda create new aliens that make sense for gameplay because making a game is very different than making a movie, so you need different requirements. But they've been very cool with it, so its been a very exciting experience to work with those guys."
Martel is spot on when he talks about the necessity to have access to the alien hive life-cycle. A game wouldn't be very good if you were fighting nothing but standard aliens, baby aliens and queens. Gearbox will be creating new additions to the alien gene pool for the sake of gameplay.
Martel also commented on how Gearbox has been receiving feedback from franchise fans:
"We definitely listen to what everybody wants, listening to the forums, bringing in people to test our games and those sort of things. We’ve really been able to hone in on what it is to be a true Aliens: Colonial Marines game."
Let's hope their success with this property rings true, for the sake of Alien fans the world over. Aliens: Colonial Marines is set to launch in 2012 for the Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Wii U.