Alien Syndrome breaks out on PSP
Monster resurrection coming to Sony's handheld for summer 2007
"In space", the trailer for the classic sci-fi movie Alien famously intones, "nobody can hear you screen".
But what about on the bus? In six months time will the nation's public transport systems play host to a cacophony of intermittent yelps and gasps of terror, as PSP owners explore the otherworldly action of Sega's upcoming Alien Syndrome?
Being developed by well-regarded US studio Totally Games, Alien Syndrome will be an action-orientated role-playing game boasting the genius addition of a four-player co-operative mode as well as the standard single-player campaign mode. After all, most of the Alien movies' best moments came from the semi-terrified banter between the crewmates of Sigourney Weaver's ET-busting Ripley.
In Alien Syndrome's single-player mode you play a different heroine however – Earth Command Trooper Aileen Harding – and guide her through alien-infested spaceships and their bizarre home planets, taking on both 100-strong hordes of different aliens and also huge bosses, shooting everything that moves and plenty that doesn't and muttering tough asides and spitting.
As fans of the movies would expect, we're promised a veritable armoury of some 20 different weapons including flamethrowers, quad-barrelled lasers, nanobot swarms that dissolve enemies, and incendiary grenades that sprout fire geysers from the ground.
Each weapon has different advantages and disadvantages, depending on how you've developed your character via the RPG elements of the game. A wide selection of character specialties and skills will be yours to pick to begin with, and then, as you progress through Alien Syndrome's campaign, you can improve these existing stats as well as unlocking new capabilities.
While it all sounds like the freshest thing since microwavable bread, Alien Syndrome is in fact a remaking of a creaky old Sega arcade game from 1987. That original offered two-player as opposed to four-player action, though, and as far as we can recall none of the RPG elements billed for the 2007 version.
"This new Alien Syndrome offers a refreshing blast-athon on a venerable classic," confirms Larry Holland, president and creative director of Totally Games. "It has allowed us to exercise our science fiction chops to the fullest to create a totally involving futuristic action-RPG game experience."
What Larry Holland's chops have to do with anything isn't clear in Pocket Gamer towers; perhaps the team was hungry. That's no surprise – they've a lot of work to do if they're to get Alien Syndrome ready for summer 2007. Click 'Track It!' to be alerted when we get screenshots or more gameplay details.