Hadley's Hope lost contact with Weyland-Yutani, so the Colonial Marine troops of the USS Sulaco decided to send their team to investigate. Players take the role of either Lieutenant Ellen Ripley or Corporal Dwayne Hicks as they fight their way through Xenomorphs before killing their Queen, which is a stowaway in the Sulaco. Three of the levels also featured Newt, where the players must rescue her from the Aliens.
The game is a shoot 'em up where the players made use of the M56 Smartgun as the players' default weapon. Players can also pick up rocket launchers, flamethrowers, and laser-improved weapons. They can either crouch or stand while shooting. Players can also throw bombs by pressing both buttons simultaneously. The game has six levels, with some of them being based in the film. In some levels players can use a Power Loader, which is strong enough to kill an Alien in one hit.
Aside from Drones, Queens, Facehuggers, and Chestbursters, Konami decided to make their own type of Aliens. They are unique, but also weird looking. Some of them can fly, others can shoot lasers and static electric rays, or even will grow when shot repeatedly and later explode. Some of them also resemble spiders. There are also infectoids, which reappeared in the AVP arcade game. One Alien type also had tentacles, and was encased in resin. Another could throw some harmful bubbles, which apparently contained Facehuggers. There's also a "spinner", which can spin and shoot bubbles of acidic spores.
The game's Japanese version beared a series of differences, such as darker and more movie accurate enemy colors, a lack of APC levels, as well as the name for each level showing up before they started.
The character of Newt was also removed completely from the game and some modified enemies were placed in locations different from the American version.
- The game, alongside the Capcom AVP arcade game have become famous because its characters and stages have been converted and used for the fighting game maker program M.U.G.E.N.
- Ellen Ripley, who had dark brown (almost brunette) hair in the films, is portrayed with short blond hair in the game for unknown reasons. American promotional images and arcade game flyers show a different actress (not Sigourney Weaver) with long blond hair who also looks very different from the original character.