Footage Emerges of Steven Spielberg’s Alien Road-Trip Video Game

"LMNO" was developed but never completed

Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg in 2017.
Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / May 27, 2020 7:30 am

While they are two very different mediums, there’s been plenty of crossover between movies and video games over the years. A number of acclaimed filmmakers have made forays into the gaming world: Steven Spielberg was involved with developing the puzzle game Boom Blox, and Guillermo del Toro plays a character in 2019’s Death Stranding. But for those wondering what might have been in the world of gaming, new footage has emerged from a highly-anticipated project that never saw the light of day.

That would be a game codenamed LMNO, which arose from the same period when Spielberg was working on Boom Blox. At Polygon, Charlie Hall has more details. Specifically, the footage that’s emerged now comes from a documentary on game developer Arkane Studios. And the information given about the game’s plot sounds decidedly Spielbergian:

… it charged players with taking an alien named Eve on a road trip all the way across the United States. It was essentially a game-long escort mission with a non-verbal superhero as your sidekick. Bullet points included photorealistic graphics (for the time), hand-to-hand combat in the vein of the Jason Bourne franchise, and first-person parkour.

One of Spielberg’s requirements for the game’s developers? No guns.

As Hall describes it, the game’s narrative possibilities sound particularly innovative. The game was based around interactions with an alien with whom you had no easy way of communicating to begin with. The game’s evolution was based on the player’s dynamic with Eve.

LMNO was canceled before a full game was developed, but reading about it now makes for a fascinating look at what might have been — and how Spielberg might have had an influence on the aesthetics of multiple mediums.

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