Alien: Isolation injects a healthy dose of horror back into the franchise.
My initial reaction to hearing that another Alien game would be coming down the pipe was dread. After having dealt with last year’s “Aliens: Colonial Marines” I had essentially washed my hands of the franchise. The game industries obsession with Aliens and it’s militaristic approach to the story washes away all of the allure and horror of the series. After spending countless games mowing down wave after wave of aliens with mini-guns, rockets launchers and flamethrowers I can officially say that I’m bored. I don’t care that your once peaceful planet is being overrun by xenomorphs or the fact that my elite team of marines are the only one outfitted well enough, close enough or are determined enough to save you. Not interested. Game over, man!
However, when I heard that Creative Assembly (known best for their Total War series) was leaving the space marines at home and introducing a considerably more human story to the game I was beyond intrigued.
Creative Assembly is keeping with canon and picking up the Alien story fifteen years after the crew of the Nostromo, and the ship itself, have gone missing. Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda Ripley, has been approached by the Weyland Corporation with the revelation that they’ve found new information regarding the disappearance of her mother. Official synopsis below.
“Discover the true meaning of fear in Alien: Isolation, a survival horror set in an atmosphere of constant dread and mortal danger. Fifteen years after the events of Alien™, Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda enters a desperate battle for survival, on a mission to unravel the truth behind her mother’s disappearance.
As Amanda, you will navigate through an increasingly volatile world as you find yourself confronted on all sides by a panicked, desperate population and an unpredictable, ruthless Alien.
Underpowered and under prepared, you must scavenge resources, improvise solutions and use your wits, not just to succeed in your mission, but to simply stay alive. “
When Ridley Scott’s 1979 film Alien was released it terrified audiences in a way that very few Sci-fi/Horror films had been able to previously. When you start the film you are already set in the very limiting and constrained environment of space. As the story progresses the crew are continue to finding their options limited further with each turn all while attempting to evade an elusive alien predator aboard their ship. This paired with the amazing use ambient sound and a restrained score the film gives you a palpable sense of terror that very few movies have the patience, or mastery, to achieve. My hope is that Creative Assembly has paid very close attention to film and attempts to reproduce the feel of the movie in game as opposed to just repackaging the film’s iconography. That being said, everything shown up to this point screams that they’re on the right path to deliver a game that Alien fans have been clamoring for years now.
Alien: Isolation launches late 2014 on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC.
Bonus content for those interested: