Developer Obsidian has revealed that its canned Aliens RPG was very nearly finished.
"Oh, if you had come in and played any of the last builds we were working on, you would have said it was a finished game," boss Feargus Urquhart told Joystiq.
"That's how close we were. It looked and felt like it was ready to ship."
Urquhart explained how the Aliens RPG was played from the perspective of a Colonial Marine, whose ranks were broken into varying playable classes. Combat was turn-based and the mood was tense and jumpy. There was also apparently lots of gear to collect and tinker with.
Obsidian confirmed that work had halted on the Aliens RPG last summer. SEGA, the publisher, backed this, explaining that a step back was taken to "carefully consider the type of [Aliens] game we want to release".
The Aliens RPG was announced by SEGA in 2006, alongside an Aliens FPS - Aliens: Colonial Marines - to be developed by Borderlands maker Gearbox.
SEGA insists the latter is going ahead, but said nothing would appear until roughly six-to-12 months after Aliens vs. Predator was released (February 2010).
Obsidian, meanwhile, is busy putting the finishing touches on spy RPG Alpha Protocol. It's the first original IP the studio has handled, having previously worked on BioWare-created IP Knights of the Old Republic and Neverwinter Nights. Obsidian is also developing Fallout: New Vegas for Bethesda.
Alpha Protocol will be released on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 on 28th May.