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Creative Assembly unleashes Alien: Isolation

by: Sean Colleli -
More On: Alien: Isolation

Now THAT'S more like it. Creative Assembly has just revealed the Alien franchise game they've been working on and it's truly a formidable beast to behold. Alien: Isolation isn't a tired, rote shooter like some recent Aliens games we don't need to mention. Rather, it's a first person horror game, in the tradition of Outlast, Amnesia and indeed, the Ridley Scott movie that started it all. In the CGV interviews below, it's clear that this is an Alien game, not an Aliens game.

This means no pulse rifles, no drop ships or one-liners. Isolation is a haunted house, focusing on Ellen Ripley's daughter Amanda. 15 years after the end of the first movie and the destruction of the Nostromo, Ripley is still missing, and Amanda, now an employee of Weyland Yutani, goes to search a derelict space station for the Nostromo's flight recorder.

The plot may seem uncomfortably similar to the abysmal Aliens: Colonial Marines--the quest for answers after the end of the movie by different characters--but the gameplay couldn't be more different. There's only one xenomorph in the whole game and it can't be killed, so the sole gameplay focus is exploring the station, finding out what happened to Ripley and avoiding the alien at all costs. I think this has been the point of the movies the whole time--the unstoppable nature of the alien--and how so many games have gotten it wrong just by being pure shooters. Even James Cameron's Aliens was essentially about that concept; the arrogant space marines show up armed to the teeth, and they're still woefully outmatched against this literal force of nature.

I could ramble on about Alien all day, but suffice it to say that Creative Assembly seems to get the movie in big and important ways. Alien at its core is a horror experience, something the recent games and even movies have forgotten. After being sorely disappointed by both Colonial Marines and Prometheus, I'm pretty optimistic about Alien: Isolation. Creative Assembly seems to remember that in space, no one can hear you scream. And that's exactly how it should be.