There’s this video game, Planet Coaster. Maybe you've heard of it. Released in 2016 by Frontier Developments (Elite: Dangerous, the Rollercoaster Tycoon series), it’s a vast theme-park simulator in which players create original rides seemingly limited only by imagination and computer resources. There’s been a plethora of absolutely insane creations made in the game, which you can readily find on YouTube, but "Aliens: The Ride" has to be one of the most impressive.
Created by YouTube user Hin Nya, the Planet Coaster build contains a slew of custom models, animations, and textures, and recreates nearly the entirety of Aliens in roller-coaster form. It’s a smart adaptation, too: rather than putting the rider through literal recreations of the film’s setpieces, it re-interprets the action sequences as high-speed rollercoaster segments, and moments of quiet tension as slow-moving anticipation. The dropship sequence is a particularly impressive bit of sleight-of-hand, while sequences inside Hadley’s Hope use lighting, projections, and environmental design to great effect. Watch the whole thing in action here:
Though this would be impossibly enormous to build in real life, it’s a fine demonstration of what fans tend to look for in licensed rides: a mixture of kinetic excitement, atmospheric immersion, and recognisable situations. We so rarely get all three of those at once in rides - a unique form of entertainment with weird creative crossovers into theatre, cinema, and game design. It’s also a testament to the flexibility of Planet Coaster. The fact that Frontier Developments is currently at work on Jurassic World: Evolution should be very exciting indeed.