Obsidian’s Cancelled Aliens RPG – Investigating Aliens: Crucible

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In the summer of 2006, development studio Obsidian Entertainment received a call from Sega. Impressed with Obsidian’s work designing story-based role-playing games with a strong emphasis on player choice, Sega expressed it’s interested in having Obsidian develop a role playing game based on an original IP for them. Obsidian agreed to the offer, and in 2006, this title – a third-person espionage-role-playing game which would become known as Alpha Protocol – would begin development in rigor.

Sadly, much of Alpha Protocol’s development would be fraught with trouble, with Obsidian’s staff unable to define a clear direction for the game, and lacking experience designing stealth-based gameplay. However, in the midst of this, Obsidian would receive yet another offer from Sega. This time, Sega was interested in contracting the studio’s talents to develop a game based on one of the publisher’s more lucrative properties: the Alien franchise.
While this game – Aliens Crucible – would ultimately end up being cancelled at Sega’s behest, what information that has emerged about the game in the years following its demise suggests that Obsidian Entertainment may have had something truly special on their hands. More than just an RPG in an Alien mold, Aliens Crucible would have featured a macabre return to the franchise’s horror roots bolstered by Obsidian’s expertise in crafting meaningful player choice, making for what could have been an enticing proposition for both fans of Obsidian Entertainment and the Alien franchise alike.

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