Whether they’re slimy, huggable, or just all-round otherworldly, us gamers tend to have a soft spot for top notch alien creature design. And although most are portrayed as enemies, it’s still just as satisfying to shoot a Chimeran marauder directly in the jaws as it is to see our favourite Lombax traverse unearthly cityscapes in a smooth and graceful fashion.
Sci-fi and video games are two elements that have remained intertwined for decades and this trend doesn’t look likely to slow down – we wouldn’t have it any other way. To celebrate, we’ve put together this list of our top 10 best alien creatures in all of gaming, each expertly demonstrating the type of beings that just might exist beyond the boundaries of earth! Pulse-rifles at the ready, we’re going into the unknown.
Ratchet (Ratchet & Clank Series)
An alien that falls more into the ‘fluffy’ end of the alien spectrum, the titular Ratchet is one of the last surviving members of the feline-like race, the Lombax. Forced to flee from his home planet Fastoon, this wise-cracking and loveable engineer knows his way around a ship or two, being the epitome of both feisty and cute as her hurls away at enemy foes with his trusty Omni wrench. A simple alien creature design that firmly proves sometimes less is more, we’re sure Ratchet might be able to pick up satellite TV on those ears but we love this video game alien all the same.
Necromorphs (Dead Space Series)
Forget everything you thought you knew about the human form being the perfect result of progressive evolution. As Isaac Clarke swiftly discovers soon after docking on the doomed mining ship the USG Ishimura, there’s very little comforting about the sight of a re-animated and mutated corpse, known in Dead Space as a necromorph. Clearly inspired by John Carpenter’s 1980’s cult hit The Thing, these alien creatures are a gory amalgamation of both human and alien, which only serves to make them look all the more unsettling and disturbing.
Crypto (Destroy All Humans)
Crypto (and all his following clones) might at first appear to be suffering from a classic case of short man syndrome, but don’t be fooled! Invading Earth on behalf of an alien race known only as the Furons, Crypto-137 is all about one thing – harvesting human brain stems! When he’s not busy doing this in the effort to subtly invade American shores, you’ll typically find him mocking someone, being sarcastic or mistakenly greeting cattle as rulers of the planet. His design is inspired directly from the classic alien image of two large black eyes and spherical skull, but he’s mean and lean all the same.
Xenomorph (Alien Isolation)
The original ‘Alien’ in many respects, the eerily creepy and mouth-watery Xenomorph never failed to scare our pants off when on the cinema screen, so how do you think we felt when we were forced to avoid and dodge the thing in Creative Assembly’s brilliant Alien Isolation. The Xenomorph was smart, cunning, and just generally a force to be reckoned with, whereas most other games featured in this best alien list simply serve their creatures up to us on a silver platter, no weapon will keep this alien from hiding away for too long.
The Chimera (Resistance series)
The yellow-eyed alien freaks that sought to begin their own invasion during the height of WWII, the human race was suddenly shot into an alternate timeline in the attempt to fend of the Chimera enemies and avoid being harvested. Rumoured to be the next step in human evolution which bodes the question “have they come from somewhere a little too familiar?”, even though the Chimera’s ambitions might be questionable, surely it’s worth it for all those awesome weapons that includes the bullseye, auger and LAARK each baosting their own unique alternate fires.
Thane (Mass effect 2)
A member of the drell who was also rumoured to be the most skilled silent assassin in the galaxy, Thane is really the cream of the already very lucrative crop that is the extended cast of Mass Effect 2’s cast of alien characters. He’s a man who lives by a certain code and takes meaning from every target he assassinates. In a universe plagued with gungo-ho races such as the Krogan and ancient aliens from long ago (the Protheans), Thane’s more spiritual approach easily made him one of the most valued members of Sheppard’s crew.
Metroids (Metroid series)
Die-hard veterans of the series will recognise that no, Ridley is not a Metroid, and while we’re at it Link is not Zelda. But when they aren’t being confused for our hero’s main arch nemesis metroids as an alien species still regularly crop up to give Samus Aran a great deal of trouble. Long rumoured to have been created by an alien race, the Metroid series simply wouldn’t be what it is today without the titular jellyfish-like creatures, with the odd mother brain thrown in for approval. Just don’t too close to those X parasites.
The Locust (Gears of War series)
Just as Broad-shouldered, mean and gruff as any member of Gears of Wars’ Delta Squad, the Locust simply ooze hatred and evil from their very core, committed to carrying out their goal of terraforming the earth-like planet Sera. This is what makes it all the more satisfying and easy to take a chainsaw to their neck, only to be treated to lashings of reptilian blood to the face. But it’s all worth it in the aid to save humanity from these aliens.
The Covenant (Halo series)
A society that is actually made up of multiple alien species who seem intent on putting Master Chief and his fellow Spartans through the paces continuously, the Covenant act as the main foe throughout Bungie’s original Halo trilogy. Boasting superior weapon technology and various levels of enemy classes which makes them more formidable, every legendary hero needs a legendary enemy and the Covenant are definitely it.
Mordin Solus (Mass Effect 2)
I know it’s another Mass Effect 2 character, but it is the grand-daddy of sci-fi RPGs after all. A Salarian geneticist, professor and all-round smart dude, Mordin Solus first makes himself known aboard the Normandy as your Sheppard attempts to regain his/her sea legs after being revived back to life. This guy is all about logic, and thankfully it doesn’t take him too long to discover that reapers = bad and humans = better than reapers anyway. Quick-talking, sensitive and affable, try and keep Mordin alive to the end of the trilogy and he’ll pay you back tenfold.