||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (July 2015)|
|Release date(s)||March 31, 1998|
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Notable features of Aliens Online included asymmetric teams, teams consisting of more players than found in most first-person shooters of its era, job/class specialization, and its RPG elements. Players could fight on either the side of the United States Colonial Marines or on the side of the Aliens. Scenarios were played in one of six different types of terrain sets, with upwards of twenty to thirty players per side during each instance.
- The Colonial Marine faction had the Medic, Scout, Soldier, and Heavy Weapons classes. More advanced weaponry and increased hit points became available as a character progressed in rank. Marines' equipment included the motion detector from the film Aliens, which was their sole method to locate Aliens, but would not locate Aliens which were not moving. In later versions of the game, the Marines could also drop proximity mines.
- The Hive Alien faction had the Face Hugger, Drone, Queen, and Empress classes. Their capabilities included stealth, leaping, and radar of the entire map, representing the aliens' greater awareness and hive-like mentality. They attacked only at close range using tail strikes and with claws. Each map allowed one alien player to fill the role as Queen or Empress, and that player could freely swap from drone to drone. Players gained points for killing Marines and lost them by dying, except when playing as a face hugger, which loses no points for dying. Players had to score 1000 points before they could play as Queen and 5000 before playing as Empress.
The software was free to download and was automatically updated. Joining GameStorm for $9.95 per month was required to play the game. Online play was shutdown in 2000 after the GameStorm network was sold to Electronic Arts.
Aliens Online was well received upon its release. Chris Gregson of GameSpot gave it a review score of 7.2/10, opining "With so much to gain and absolutely nothing to lose, any self-respecting Aliens fan should give Aliens Online a try." Brooks Peck and Craig E. Engler from Science Fiction Weekly gave the beta version the perfect A score. Noting the game's bugs, they nevertheless opined "it's clear that Kesmai has what it takes to satisfy both the Aliens fan and the hardcore gamer. This is one of those titles that cashes in on some of the Internet's promises of multiplayer action, and it's sure to be a hit with SF lovers."
According to a retrospective by Stephen Kleckner of GamesBeat, "Aliens Online, unfortunately, was riddled with balancing issues and bad level design. (...) Ancient ’90s computing technology and Internet infrastructure and these issues worse, resulting in incredibly laggy connectivity."
- "Aliens Merchandise". Jamescamerononline.com. Retrieved 2015-07-17.
- Gregson, Chris (1998-04-16). "Aliens Online Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2015-07-17.
- "From Atari to Isolation: A video and written history of Alien games". Polygon. Retrieved 2015-07-17.
- "Science Fiction Game Reviews: Aliens Online". Web.archive.org. 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2015-07-17.
- Stephen Kleckner (2014-10-06). "Games of the Alien franchise, Part 1: The bad, the canceled, and the weirdly cool | GamesBeat". Venturebeat.com. Retrieved 2015-07-17.