Aliens! Where would our medium be without them? Whether friend or foe, our fictional extraterrestrial neighbours are an ever reliable source of validation for our bumbling, clueless species. So lets go through some of the best gaming has to offer.
5. The Blorg - Stellaris
The Blorg were something of a happy accident as far as Stellaris’s pre-made species go. Originally created as a joke by the devs during a livestream, the Blorg were a friendly species of fungus creatures who just wanted to travel the galaxy and make friends, their affable nature handicapped by their grotesque appearance (yeah I’ve never been good at parties either). But players loved them enough that the devs added them to the game, making them a surprisingly wholesome addition to a galaxy filled with murderous bug people, genocidal robots and crippling lag.
4. Headcrabs - Half Life Franchise
Lets be honest, not all aliens are the clamorous, world conquering type. Some, like Half Life’s headcrabs have to fulfill other roles, even if that role amounts to oversized inter-dimensional headlice. Well, if by headlice you meant brain-sucking parasites that latch onto the victim’s head and turned them into screaming zombies. Still, I don’t think it’d be that big of a crisis if headcrabs were to invade our world. Remember whenever there was a headlice infestation at school? That shit got acted on fast. Mind you it might be a challenge putting ointment on a zombie.
3. Grunts - Halo Franchise
If you’ve ever played a Halo game, you’ll have almost certainly fought grunts. Diminutive and cowardly, grunts tend to attack in numbers and flee once things start going south for them. But in all honesty, I kind of feel sorry for them. Sure they might make up the bulk of a genocidal army of alien religious fanatics but you kind of get the impression they’re there for comic relief. I mean when you headshot them they even spout confetti. If that’s what the viscera inside their heads looks like I can only imagine how they handle weddings.
2. Space Invaders - Space Invaders
Ah Space Invaders. A game so iconic its sprites are even found in clandestine spots around Newcastle. Even my dad played this one back in the ‘70s. Back then you really had to use your imagination to fill in the gaps but I wouldn’t recommend overthinking it. After all there you are, the sole defender of our planet against an extraterrestrial armada. Sure, you might keep them at bay for a while but they just keep coming. You are but a pebble trying to hold back the tide. Your demise is inevitable, at which point you stop hogging the arcade machine and grab another pint.
1. Batarians - Mass Effect Franchise
I couldn’t write this list without including one of the many species that populate Mass Effect’s rich universe, but actually picking one was another matter entirely. In the end I settled on the Batarians, the second angriest species in the galaxy, with a fierce reputation as warriors and pirates. Still, compared to the sleek, avian Turians or the bulky, reptilian Krogan, I kind of feel the Batarians are pretty dorky looking with their four eyes and adorable, stubby noses. Its why, much like the Grunts, I have a soft spot for the Batarians. Here’s to you, you angry, angry boys.