Alien: Isolation is an incredibly ambitious title. With a promise to break the mould of the mediocrity of SEGA’s Alien games and a brand new focus on the terror aspect from the Alien film franchise, Alien: Isolation could be the shot in the arm both horror enthusiasts and Alien fans have been craving. That’s why it is one of Only SP’s Most Anticpated games of 2014.
Creative Assembly began work on Alien: Isolation after completing Viking: Battle For Asgard in 2008. Initially a 6 person multiplayer “hide and seek” styled Alien game, the project gained huge amounts of interest from SEGA but the team felt “frustrated” that they couldn’t discuss it as much as they would have liked, thanks to Aliens: Colonial Marines’ awful release.
However, the project continued and Creative Assembly decided to lose the idea of using “guns” in the game. The reason behind this was that the developers felt that games like Dead Space 2 “marginalised” horror games with their constant action and shooting. Creative Assembly have been given a lot of resources from 20th Century Fox, including notes on prop design, access to sound effects and behind-the-scenes photos. The reason behind this is that 20th C Fox want to help Creative Assembly create an experience that is as close to the Alien film’s atmosphere as possible. One of the major focuses on the game is to recreate the retro-futurism of Alien, so expect to see a lot of 70’s sci-fi computers and space suits.
As of January 2014, the game has been confirmed playable from start to finish with Creative Assembly spending a lot of time testing and improving on the experience. The developers are hoping for a game that is almost a peer to the Dead Space series. After a trademark for the game was uncovered online, the game was officially confirmed with a trailer on January 7th, and is now set for a later 2014 release date on PC, Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360 and PS3.
One of the key focuses on Alien: Isolation is that there is a distinct lack of weapons and an emphasis on stealth and survival. You play as Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda, investigating a space-station that is infested with an Alien Xenomorph. The Xenomorph actively “hunts” down the player throughout the game, with an advanced AI that reacts to the player’s patterns instead of pre-programmed ones. That means that every interaction will be different every time you play. Creative Assembly have claimed that the Xenomorph is almost “sentient” and reacts to a situation with incredibly life-like realism.
The game has next to no weapons to actually defeat the Alien but only some to distract it as you sneak by. This is a massive break-away from tradition games with the Xenomorph as they would feature a lot of high-tech weaponry for you to mow down multiple Aliens with. Alien: Isolation wants to be the return to big-budget horror that other series such as Resident Evil or Dead Space have begun to drift away from.
The aim of the game is to progress and survive. That means skulking in the shadows and playing a several hour long game of hide-and-seek with a 9 foot Alien and praying you don’t get caught. What happens when the Alien does spot you hasn’t been thoroughly established but it looks like you’re better not finding out what happens.
The game is set in 2137, 15 years after the events of Alien and 42 years before the events of Aliens. The story stars Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda who is investigating her mother’s disappearance and is ordered to go to the space station Sevastopol to recover data that could help locate her mother. Unbeknownst to Amanda, an Alien has infested the station and is on rampage to find Amanda as she journeys to discover what happened to her mother.
Will Amanda make it out alive? Will she solve the mystery of her mother’s disappearance? How the story will play out is anyone’s guess but there is a massive emphasis to make this game as authentic to the Alien series as possible.
Alien Isolation could be the game-changer that SEGA and the Alien series has been waiting for. Initially orchestrated by Creative Assembly because “no one has made the Alien game” they’ve always wanted, Alien: Isolation looks set to terrify and is definitely a horror game that single players should keep a keen eye on. It releases Q4 2014 for PS3,Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One and PC