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Best Games - Aliens TC Doom Mod

I realize this isn’t a game. 
No. I’m not going to go that far. It is a game. It is a fully formed game. Not a wholly original work, but that’s not important, is it?. 
It’s a mod. A mod of Doom.
The Aliens TC (total conversion) Doom Mod uses all the built-in content of Doom, controls, gameplay, a fair bit of the graphics and sounds, but it also adds a lot of its own additions.
There is no doubt that the movie Aliens had a massive impact on game development in the early 90s. Games where you battle against unstoppable hordes of monsters were nothing new, but the thrill ride mentality of Aliens was an easy bleed over to the newly minted genre of first person games. Doom already had a lot of Aliens in its DNA.
Licensed games in the early 90s were a bit of a crap shoot. Most of the ones made during that time were cross marketing tie-ins with little or no intrinsic value. There is a tragically large library of 8 and 16 bit licensed games that are absolute junk.
Making a game built on the Doom engine that follows the events of Aliens, seems like it would be a no-brainer. Space marine walks down darkened hallways shooting monsters. It’s surprising there wasn’t ten of them. Of course, due to the track record of movie tie-in games,  they would probably have been awful. 
So what’s to be done about it then. If you’re Justin Fisher, you pick up the Doom modding tools and do it yourself.
Aliens TC includes a full campaign of custom levels, sounds and graphics ripped from the movie, and reskinned and tuned weapons made to resemble the ones in the film. There had been game mods before Aliens TC, but none of them took the base of a game and built an entirely new one on top of it. There are games like Heretic, where Raven software took the Doom engine and built something else entirely out of it, but that was an effort on the scale that a single person could never have accomplished it. For the most part, the Aliens TC was made by one guy.
It was a good mod, and that is great and all, but why is Aliens TC important at all in the history of video games? Mods don’t typically deserve much mention in the history of the medium.
Aliens TC wasn’t just good. It was a fundamental shift in the way people thought about games. This was a massive effort, but one that could be accomplished by a single person. The tools that the original game developers used were available, and sometimes they shipped on the disc with the game. The separation of engine and game had just hit a pivot point, and one guy decided to take advantage of it.
For anyone that thought about getting into game development, there was before Aliens TC, when you needed a comp-sci degree or 10000 hours of bedroom coding on an 8bit computer, and there was after Aliens TC, when anyone sufficiently dedicated to the task could learn some tools and make a mod.
Even if you had no interest in making games, Aliens TC was an extremely fun way to play a game you already owned all over again. Only this time you get to shoot xenomorphs.
Aliens TC for Doom is one of the best games.

This post is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 by the author.
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