‘Alien: Covenant’ Preview

It’s now been four years since Prometheus was released to mixed, but mostly positive, reviews. The movie raised some interesting questions concerning the Alien universe, and fans are getting excited to have some of those answered in the upcoming Alien: Covenant. Where Prometheus acted as more of a stand-alone prequel rather than an official entry into the franchise, Ridley Scott has decided to eschew any pretense entirely and turned what was originally planned as a Prometheus sequel into an officially titled fifth Alien film.

Fans are frothing at the mouth for the next official movie in the franchise, and they’re eating up any scrap of information available on the title. The first photo from the movie was just released, and it shows off the patch from the latest ill-fated mission for extra-terrestrial life. According to early reports, the plot for Covenant will revolve around a colony ship of the same name discovering a lush, uncharted world only to run into David, Michael Fassbender’s android from Prometheus. The crew quickly discovers that it isn’t the paradise it seems as horror ensues.

This definitely sounds promising, and we can’t wait to potentially see more of the terrifying xenomorph. The last official Alien film was 1997’s Alien: Resurrection but that was uneven at best and nearly 20 years old at this point. Devotees of the franchise looking to get their fix have had to rely on video games to see more of their favorite acid-blooded aliens in the interim. These games based on the Alien franchise have definitely been a mixed bag in terms of both quality and gameplay. Aliens: Colonial Marines from 2013 was nearly universally lambasted by critics while the more recent Alien: Isolation fared much better. 

Colonial Marines was a first-person shooter that attempted to play off of the action-horror made popular by the second movie in the series. Unfortunately, the game failed on nearly all counts with critics deriding numerous bugs, poor A.I, bad graphics, and just about everything else except for the music. The recent Alien: Isolation, on the other hand, was a thoughtful, well-paced survival title that focused much more on stealth and scares than any other game based on the franchise to great effect and critical acclaim.

One thing you can say about the Alien franchise is that it’s definitely willing to experiment with the formula and try new ideas in both its movies and its games. The series itself has bounced from claustrophobic horror films to action movies to convoluted science-fiction prestige pieces, and the games based on the series have also run the gamut as well. Over the years, Aliens has tried its hand at myriad genres, including Final Fight style beat-em-ups in the 1990s, first-person-shooters of varying quality, and survival horror. Aliens has also spawned its own licensed slot game on a platform that asks players to “join Ripley, Hicks and the rest of the crew” in a surprisingly immersive game. It features a variety of reels used to collect ammunition for encounters against the titular aliens as players move through the world of LV-426. The goal, of course, is to work your way up to the alien queen herself.

This willingness to experiment and explore with the property is much of the reason for the success of Alien. Prometheus introduced new creatures and expanded the mythology while also incorporating a new design on the classic alien. There have been hints that the movie could contain early design concepts for potential xenomorphs and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for a new take on the space-bug. We can only imagine what hidden H.R. Giger designs Ridley Scott might have his hands on, but we can’t wait to see what the latest incarnation of the space terror could be.

Alien: Covenant is scheduled for an August 4, 2017 release date.

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