Creatures from outer space have always sparked a huge interest in people and many conspiracies have been created along the years concerning their existence. Starting from the infamous Area 51 and ending with impromptu UFO sightings or tales of abductions, aliens are an important part of the modern folklore. Their appearances in video games are as elusive as the ones in real life and this is one of the reasons we decided to do our best and find 10 space games that include such special encounters with beings from other species. They can be our in-game ally or foe, or we, as players, can assume the role of such a being while trying to save our motherland. However it may be, today’s video is dedicated to our galaxy neighbors!
Endless Space 2
Still in Early Access, Endless Space 2 is a turn-based space strategy game that allows the player to take the role of a leader whose task is to guide a civilization towards making its first steps into interstellar travel. There are 8 major playable factions but for the moment only six of them have been announced: the Horatio – a people of clones, the United Empire – technologically inclined humans, the Vodyani – with energy filled suits, the Lumeris – amphibious beings, the Cravers – an insectoid life form and the Sophons – android-looking aliens. By choosing any of these races you’ll be able to confront the other seven in epic space battles.
Nexus: The Jupiter Incident
A science fiction themed real-time tactics game, Nexus: The Jupiter Incident focuses on tactics and ship management. In each of the missions the player receives a number of large space ships, along with bombers and fighters. He must use them in missions against the bloodthirsty, reptilian Gorgs while being allied with the peaceful alien race, called the Vardrags. In fact there are several races of aliens that can be encountered in this game, besides the two just mentioned there are also others named Ghosts, Locusts and Raptors. Nexus: The Jupiter Incident has been appreciated especially for its visual effects, but its steep learning curve always represented a drawback.
Star Conflict is a massively multiplayer space simulation game where the player takes the role of an elite pilot that engages in an interplanetary skirmish. After a mysterious Cataclysm destroys an entire sector, a great civilization of Aliens was recently discovered and all of the mercenaries and adventurers of the Universe are now fighting for Alien artifacts. There are multiple races and species of creatures that can be found within the game; they are identified by their ships and can be Biomorphs, Scouts, Hunters and Predators.
Revolving around space exploration and managing an empire, Stellaris is a 4X grand strategy video game where players control ships and make trade agreements with the other species that surround him. There are eight such species that each race can belong to: Arthropoid (insect-like), Avian (bird-like), Fungoid (fungus-like), Humanoid, Mammalian, Molluscoid (invertebrates), Reptilian, and Plantoid. Besides these, there are also spaceborne aliens that inhabit a certain area of space and are rarely seen away from it, creatures such as amoebas and crystalline entities being very common. Stellaris is appreciated for its immersive and almost RPG-like early game.
In Elite: Dangerous the player is able to explore a 1:1 scale open world galaxy based on the real Milky Way. After a player reported a Thargoid encounter while playing the game, a full blown frenzy was started, more and more gamers begun searching for these specific aliens. While the developers haven’t yet confirmed this hypothesis, they did announce that the Thargoids would make an appearance in some capacity later in the game, maybe in an expansion pack or a DLC. Anyway, a space alien looking starfish seems to have been found by the said player and we have the footage to prove it.
FTL: Faster Than Light
Faster Than Light is a top-down roguelike space ship simulator where the players control the crew of a spacecraft while being pursued by a considerable rebel fleet. The ship must be guided through eight sectors, each with its own planetary systems and procedurally generated events. The combat of FTL takes place in pausable real time gameplay. Besides humans, there are also other alien species: the mechanical Engi, the insectoid Mantis, the Rockmen, the pure energy Zoltan, the Slug, the Crystal, the metalic Lanius and the Ghost. When you gather your crew you can include a total of up to eight members from these different races.
In Freelancer the player assumes the role of Edison Trent, an elite pilot who must go through a series of missions to save the Sirius sector from an alien force named the Nomad. To stop them from controlling the minds of the human inhabitants and ignite a civil war, the player must join a secret organization known as the Order and help rescue the president from the aliens. 48 known star system are available for exploration and activities such as dog-fights with other players, bounty hunting and commodity trading are also available in Freelancer.
Sins of a Solar Empire
Sins of a Solar Empire is a real-time strategy game where the players are given control over a spacefaring empire in the distant future and are tasked with conquering star systems. They can use military, economic and diplomatic means to reach their goals. There are three different races the players can choose from: the industrial TEC, the psychic Advent and the alien Vasari. The playable map area is a 3D web of planets and other celestial objects and the game emphasizes a sandbox approach to its gameplay. The players can choose to enter an online multiplayer campaign or play against AI opponents offline and try to make contact with the other races.
Once again, the player must assume the role of a pilot and fight against the mysterious aliens, the Shivans while defending the human race and its allies, the Vasudan aliens. At the same time, a rebellion must be quelled by any means necessary, so the stakes are high in this space combat simulation title. The action takes place in detailed star systems and nebulas, the player being able to use fighters, corvettes, destroyers and gigantic capital ships. FreeSpace 2 has been especially praised for its attention to detail when depicting the ships of the different races, the textures and clarity of the backdrops, and even the realism of the explosions.
Homeworld follows the alien Kushan exiles of the planet Kharak after their home planet is destroyed by the Taiidan Empire. The survivors’ goal is to reclaim their ancient homeworld. To do so, in each of the game’s levels the player must collect resources, build a fleet, and use it to destroy rival ships and complete mission objectives. Homeworld’s unique gameplay and graphical design have always been praised by critics and gamers alike, becoming the highest rated computer game of 1999. It is such a beloved title that in 2015 a remastered collection of the original game together with the sequel were released to the utter delight of fans.