The minds behind the well-executed-but-a-little-too-expensive The Martian VR Experience are working on a new immersive tie in for the next entry in the Alien movie franchise, Alien: Covenant.

Movie tie-ins, once reviled in the gaming community, often viewed as worthless, lazy cash-ins, may see a renaissance with the advent of consumer virtual reality technology. There have been a handful of genuinely interesting, worthwhile immersive experiences launched over the last couple of years to lend credence to this assertion too – the most recent and notable being Fox Innovation Lab’s The Martian VR Experience. It’s an example of a thoughtful, immersive extension to the original movie experience and, although it was too short and perhaps a wee bit too expensive for many to consider as a purchase, it nevertheless sits as a high watermark of what can be achieved in the space.

Now comes news from the team behind The Martian VR Experience that they’re working on a similar virtual reality tie-in for the incoming and highly anticipated Ridley Scott directed Alien: Covenant, the latest installment in the Alien franchise and direct sequel to the 2012 Scott-helmed Prometheus. A new trailer for the film was released over the holiday period and it’s garnered much interest, especially from those (myself included) who felt that the original had a tad too little actual Alien in it (among many other issues which I’ll not anger myself or bore you by going into here).

Hands On: The Martian VR Experience is a Triumph in Motion

Off the back of that trailer comes news from Fox Innovation Lab that a new VR experience is in the works and will arrive after the film’s release in May this year. Unfortunately the press release has scant information on exactly what form this new VR experience will take (and when we say scant, we mean none) but, as with The Martian VR Experience, Ridley Scott takes the Executive Producer credit.

We’re hoping that the same level of polish, creativity and immersion seen in The Martian VR Experience transfers to this new project. Those who had the chance to dabble in the hidden VR functionality and play the excellent Alien: Isolation immersively will likely attest to the terror VR can induce when your senses are thrust into such a well known horror universe as Alien. We’ll leave you with the teaser paragraph taken directly from the press release, and we’ll of course let you know once we learn more.

'Alien: Isolation' is One of VR's Missed Opportunities, But There's Still Hope

The VR Experience for ALIEN: COVENANT is a dread-inducing journey into the depths of the Alien universe.

Viewers will discover the true meaning of terror as they navigate through horrifying alien environments and a story where every decision could mean the difference between life and death.

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Based in the UK, Paul has been immersed in interactive entertainment for the best part of 27 years and has followed advances in gaming with a passionate fervour. His obsession with graphical fidelity over the years has had him branded a ‘graphics whore’ (which he views as the highest compliment) more than once and he holds a particular candle for the dream of the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Having followed and been disappointed by the original VR explosion of the 90s, he then founded to follow the new and exciting prospect of the rebirth of VR in products like the Oculus Rift. Paul joined forces with Ben to help build the new Road to VR in preparation for what he sees as VR’s coming of age over the next few years.
  • Raphael

    Yes and most of us know it’s going to be pish. What we want is an alien game with proper VR support (alien isolation doesn’t qualify). This is yet another dismal sub-par short experience demo that will be most likely overpriced like the Martian.

    • hazdude

      If you want it so badly I’m sure you’ll stump up the multi-million dollar development costs then? Or maybe subsidise HMD and high-end PC production to lower the price tag and expand the market to a point where funding this sort of game makes any sort of financial sense? ….. or you’ll just maybe just continue to throw your toys out of the pram and moan about it on an internet forum

      • Raphael

        Utter pish. No idea what all that was for but it doesn’t make any difference to the outcome. This alien movie VR experience is gonna be a load of crap.

        ” Or maybe subsidise HMD and high-end PC production to lower the price tag and expand the market to a point where funding this sort of game makes any sort of financial sense? .” – Given how popular the VR broken Alien Isolation was for VR users that statement is utterly bizarre.

        I’m sure you’ll enjoy this movie tie in 10 minute experience immensely when it arrives.

      • dextrovix

        Raphael is always pretty polarised on views I’ve noticed, so much so that I don’t bother discussing anything directly. I see he called you a moron for example- nice, but that’s the internet.
        VR is going to be a slow burner, as like you said I agree too that it costs a lot to develop VR content, and recovering that with a limited user base will put most stake holders off.
        I think the situation will improve over time, but not likely short term to make this much more than a limited experience I feel.

        • Raphael

          Aha… You don’t discuss things with me directly which implies you have an intermediary for that.

          I promise I won’t call your intermediary a moron.

          I do not understand why you and buddy have chosen to launch into a cliche dialog about Vr being a slow burner and an alien game only being feasible with 10 million dollars funding.

          Alien isolation was greatly received by vr users and there are rumours of a Vr version coming.

          So I have no idea why both of you chose to go into some bizarre cliche rhetoric about fledgling Vr industry. You’re both pretty odd. I want your intermediary to know I don’t judge him or her in the same way.

          Movie tie-in games and experiences have a long history of being shoddy and out of touch long before VR was reborn. My statement is perfectly reasonable given the Martian movie VR release which if I recall was overpriced and quarter-baked.

          I’ve tried a number of horror movie VR tie-in experiences all of which have been shite.

          since for some bizarre reason you and chummy decided to offer only cliche dialog about VR games being very expensive to develop (onward developer had a massive team and budget did he?). It should be pointed out that a film corporation with massive amounts of cash already showing an interest in VR is the one type of entity with the budget to bring quality VR games.

          There is no excuse for a film studio to release quarter-baked crap other than the fact that movie tie-ins have generally been that way.

          You and chummy need to look for alternative cliche VR rhetoric I think. This “games costing too much to develop for small market” dialog is wearing thin.

          • hazdude

            Umm… The Onward developer was a young CS college drop out who dedicated 14 hours days for a long time to getting Onward ready and breaking through into the industry. He didn’t have bills, overheads, or a mortgage. Massive respect to him, but he’s hardly representative of the games industry, with development studios that need to prove there’s at least a decent chance of making a VR game that makes money. A quick browse through the Steam store would show you how the majority of small time VR games tend to do (hint: not like Onward).

            It’d be like wondering why any indie devs struggled to make money by pointing to Notch and Minecraft.

          • Raphael

            Bleeting on about small industry and risk is getting well boring. It’s nonsensical given the alien isolation dev team may be coming back with a full vr version. So your generic speech is utterly baffling.

            I quite rightly said that people want a full vr alien not a 10 minute badly made experience but you for some reason go into making excuses mode for Warner brothers. Utterly bizarre.

  • wheeler

    To be honest I wouldn’t pay anything for The Martian VR experience. It was just flat out terrible (thank you Steam refund feature). So forgive me if I’m not excited about this.

    And I hate to be totally negative, but I’m not too sold on the movie after watching the trailer. The music was completely out of place.

    What we really need is just a proper VR version of Alien: Isolation.

  • Foreign Devil

    Why are we expected to pay for promotional VR type trailers for films? They are after all glorified trailers that will be shown at kiosks and theaters to promote the films.

  • Ben

    I’m more looking forward to the Neil B Alien movie as I think the plot holes in Scott’s more recent films ruin much of what are other wise visually stunning movies. Alien Isolation is still one of my favourite releases in years, an official VR update or sequel would be nice.

    • dextrovix

      I agree, Alien Isolation in VR for me (when it worked on DK2 natively, and now using VorpX) was thrilling to feel that close to the Alien, and some content fully designed for VR I hope would take that to the next level.

  • SwissChris1

    “We’re hoping that the same level of polish, creativity and immersion seen in The Martian VR Experience transfers to this new project…” -Are you kidding me? The Martian VR was the most terrible VR experience to date for me, and the first title I refunded on Steam in 14 years! That’s how terrible it was.