Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Alien: Isolation - The difference an S can make.

Remember how terrible Aliens: Colonial Marines turned out to be? From its retconning narrative that conflicted with the films, despite its position as the official sequel, to its stilted animations and unspectacular gameplay, it unquestionably set a low-point for the Aliens franchise in video games.

Back in October of last year, Sega copyrighted the name of the next Aliens game, Alien: Isolation. The reveal trailer for it released today and it might be the Aliens game we’ve always wanted.

Alien: Isolation takes places 15 years after the events of Alien, where you play as Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Ellen Ripley. As a Weyland-Yutani engineer, Amanda takes a mission to recover the black box of the Nostromo, the last ship her mother served on. When Amanda arrives at Sevastopol space station where the black box is located, things start to go bad.

One of the main things that makes Alien: Isolation stand out from past Aliens games is that it has more to do with Alien than Aliens. It’s a survival horror game, not a first-person shooter. You don’t have a gun or any other way to defend yourself other than hiding in lockers or other compartments similar to Amnesia: The Dark Descent. There’s no HUD with a motion tracker, though you can hold one up to see if anything is nearby similar to the flashlight in Doom 3. And there’s only one alien on the space station, stalking you the entire time similar to Nemesis in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.

Creative Assembly looks to be finding a way to capture the vibe of great horror games and combine them into Alien: Isolation. I never would have thought the developer behind the Total War series would make something so intriguing. Take a look at PC Gamer’s preview, which covers the built-from-scratch engine Creative Assembly is using and how the alien is completely AI driven, which makes sense given their Total War background. Alien: Isolation is scheduled for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC sometime late 2014.

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