Can Alien: Isolation redeem 2014?

Can Alien: Isolation redeem 2014?

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Due for release on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC in late 2014 Alien: Isolation puts players into the shoes of Ellen Ripley’s daughter Amanda, searching the Nostromo 15 years after the event of the first Alien movie.

According to the small amounts of information that have been given in the press releases, Isolation will be a more survival-horror based game, set around one Xenomorph stalking the player, rather than the FPS that Colonial Marines was.

Now while this may have people desperate to give their money over to Sega, we’ve got to keep in the backs of our minds the cesspit that Colonial Marines created when it was released – using video footage rather than in-game footage, the terrible AI of the Xenomorphs that makes them look more like can-can dancers than anything that could be at all threating to someone holding the barrel of a gun to their double-mouths, and the concept of a demo being better than the full game in order to get player’s money before any content is released.

The two lines of text before the trailer fill me with dread as a prospective buyer. While survival horror is the new golden boy in the video game world, with Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs and Outlast being contenders for various “Game Of The Year” awards, there are too many times when that gets pushed to one side in favour of making money. See Dead Space 3.

“The trailer footage shown uses the in-game engine, and represents a work in progress”, says the trailer. Well, that’s a nice get-out clause, says I. Does that mean that the trailer footage is someone demonstrating the engine, or making a film using the engine? And what do you mean by a work in progress? Is this some sort of loophole you can point at in case it all goes wrong and say “We told you so?”

Hopefully, my fears will go unrewarded. The change from Gearbox to Creative Assembly making the game might herald a change in tone (and from the PR responses to other interviews given, they are being incredibly conscious of that fact, and definitely trying to publicise it). Isolation has been under development for three years, so we will all wait with baited breath to see if it turns out to be a world apart – preferably a planet apart – from the reanimated corpse that was Colonial Marines. 

 

 

Adam Smith (@webnym)

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