The Best Gaming Aliens Take Us To Their Leaders


Posted December 2, 2010 - By MonfetteG4

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Shortly, the folks over at NASA are going to hold a press conference to discuss a “significant astrobiological finding” that will impact mankind’s search for extraterrestrial life. While we’re hardly expecting that the chief NASA science advisor will take the stage alongside some gift-bearing life-form from the planet Whatever, the possibility that evidence of life somewhere in the vicinity of our solar system might actually exist has gotten us thinking about…well…aliens. Largely because if aliens do exist, and have been monitoring our electronic entertainment for the last thirty years, they’d likely have an opinion of us as ruthless, blood-thirsty alien killers.

Hell, we’ve been shooting, stabbing and exploding aliens in videogames for decades. One glance at our game collection and they probably would not be coming in peace. Given that observation, we thought we’d take a quick look back at some of our favorite alien species in gaming.


The Akrid from Lost Planet

It wouldn’t be a list of deadly, man-eating aliens without there being a fair amount of giant, insectoid enemies. Native to the planet EDN III, the Akrid are broken down into a number of sub-species of various seizes and biological designs, ranging from creatures at average height to towering, hulking behemoths. They survive in the deep freeze of the snowbound planet due to the thermal energy that is carried inside their body, and subsequently harvested by humans in the wasteland. Advantageous in our struggle against these massive, carnivorous beasts is the fact that they quite conveniently glow orange exactly at their weakest points.

The Best Gaming Aliens Take Us To Their Leaders

The Furons from Destroy All Humans

Sometimes, rather than killing aliens, it’s more fun to play as the aliens…and then kill some humans. In the aptly titled, Destroy All Humans, you play as a Furon tasked with the retrieval of samples of human DNA. Dropped into a retro, 1950’s, B-movie landscape, your little, green man (and we mean that literally) will travel the world with his raygun disintegrating farmhands, extracting brains, destroying townships and battling against your greatest intergalactic enemy: moo cows.

The Best Gaming Aliens Take Us To Their Leaders

The Kilrathi from Wing Commander

Throughout the entirety of the Wing Commander saga, mankind’s fiercest enemy has always been reminiscent of the most powerful predator here on Earth, the African lion. The Kilrathi invaders are towering, feline bipeds with thick, lionesque manes and dark, distinct markings that distinguish tribe from tribe. So every awful, terrible dream you’ve ever had after watching too many hours of the Discovery Channel is about to come true in a few hundred years when The Sci-Fi Cats from Outer Space finally decide to invade.  

The Locust Horde from Gears of War

Sometimes, the most dangerous threat doesn’t come from the night sky, but from the ground beneath your feet. Especially when your feet are standing firmly upon the bedrock of an alien planet that doesn’t truly belong to you. That’s when things like Emergence Day happen and massive, lumbering, ashen-skinned figures emerge from the ground with advanced weaponry and murder nearly an entire civilization of humans in a single, devastating attack. Ranging from mindless grunts to massive, tentacled, ten-story creatures, the Locust are perhaps the deadliest enemy in video game history. They are, however, thankfully non-resistant to chainsaws.

Space Pirates from Metroid

We’re not entirely sure if you’d call these biomechanical alien baddies “threats,” exactly,” considering that the iconic bounty hunter Samus dispatches them with relative ease, but they’ve certainly caused enough problems for anybody without a fancy, well-armed space suit. Read: The rest of humanity. That said, they’re a constant presence throughout the Metroid adventures, and whatever new creatures or villains might pop up from chapter to chapter – Dark Samus, for example – the most consistent opposing force have always been the Space Pirates. Cannon fodder that they are.

The Asari from Mass Effect

Not all aliens look upon humans with murderous ill-intent. Sometimes, just sometimes, they’ll even make sweet, sweet love to mankind – or to men, kindly – if you manage your dialogue tree well enough. Virtually sweet talking this blue-skinned, bi-curious race can often result in some rather positive inter-species relations. But as it turns out, after some zero-gravity shenanigans, they also have quite a bit to offer in the way of advanced technology and spiritual awakening, as well. But the terrestrial tantra certainly doesn’t hurt.

The Best Gaming Aliens Take Us To Their Leaders

The Extraterrestrials / Ethereals from X-Com

The aliens in X-Com come in all shapes and sizes – usually both very strange – and are generally the kind of creatures that make you wonder, “How they hell did these mutants build entire spaceships and advanced micro-technology with no opposable thumbs?” But as part of the Extraterrestrial Combat Unit, otherwise known as X-Com, it’s your job to strategically eliminate the alien threat as it emanates from Mars. The long-running series is getting a reboot next year and from what little we’ve seen, you’ll be battling anything from giant, all-powerful, monolithic ships to gelatinous creatures like the Black Oil from X-Files.

The Best Gaming Aliens Take Us To Their Leaders

Space Invaders from Space Invaders

Never have deadly aliens from another planet – presumably somewhere just above the top of the screen – been so damned cute. Sure, they look like adorable cookie cut-outs, shuffling clumsily from left to right, but let ‘em get too close to your base, and you’re in a world of trouble. This fight between man and alien could literally cost you dozens of quarters…

The Zerg from StarCraft

Engineered as a near perfect biological specimen, the Zerg might look like ruthless, shapeless monsters on the outside, but their relentless pursuit and absorption of useful genetic material makes them the deadliest, self-evolving species in the universe. Or, at the very least, the universe of StarCraft. Created by the Xel’Naga and enslaved to the Overmind, the Zerg eventually broke free of their masters to scourge the universe for better, purer alien DNA, becoming ever stronger and more complex as they dominated entire societies.

The Best Gaming Aliens Take Us To Their Leaders

The Flood from Halo

Certainly the worst, most pandemic threat in all of humanity’s struggle against digital aliens, The Flood represent the very essence of unchecked consumption. They spread; they devour; they procreate; they grow, so much so that the destruction of entire galaxies has been considered a sufficient sacrifice to halt their expansion into the universe. The Flood is simply an alien virus with vicious, gnashing teeth, looking to devour the fabric of the world until there’s nothing left but darkness…and the smallest Halo of light.


The Best Gaming Aliens Take Us To Their Leaders


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