Gamers woke up to the announcement of the next game installment of the Alien franchise: Isolation. Looking over comments on different threads of several sites, reactions were mixed. Many gamers and fans of the film franchise are trying their best to be excited but can’t help but to proceed with caution, and for good reason. However with a developer that doesn’t have their hands tied with Borderlands 2 DLC, there’s a tiny glimmer of hope for this game. Isolation developer Creative Assembly is mostly well-known for their work on the strategy franchise Total War that, which to me, is almost a bizarre thing. Colonial Marines had its fair share of developers until falling under the hands of Gearbox Software, a developer known for making first-person titles. The fact that publisher Sega picked a studio known for strategy titles is a bold move.
When I woke up to the news of Alien: Isolation’s announcement, I wasn’t surprised. The game’s seemingly accidental listing on the Xbox store yesterday was a dead giveaway that an official announcement would happen soon. What did catch me off guard was the first gameplay preview featured on the outsidexbox’s YouTube channel.
The thing that struck me most was the familiar atmosphere prevalent in the original Alien film. What already sets the Isolation preview footage apart from that of Colonial Marines is the authenticity of the 70’s vision. I mean, come on, the analog distortion on the motion sensor is really cool. I’m aware that Colonial Marines had an awesome demo from E3 past that was completely different from the final version of the game. I’m also aware that people have actually played Isolation with good impressions. The focus on atmosphere and survival horror is a welcome aspect, especially for a game set in this universe. I always thought that being with one alien without any supplies was more terrifying than being equipped with a pulse rifle against a number of aliens.
Still, it’s hard to tell how the game will hold up as a full-length title. While a short demo of a first-person survival horror game can be an easy thing to appreciate, a full-length horror game is much more difficult to execute. Alien was a horror film that ran around two hours, while Isolation would be a game that will probably run three times that length. Perhaps the crafting system and set-pieces on the game will keep greasing up the wheels for the players, but we won’t know until the game actually comes out.
My main issue is the decision to use Amanda Ripley. Obviously I won’t say a lot about her, but choosing a character that some fans of the series are familiar with is a bit of an odd choice. Why not introduce an unfamiliar or new character? Of course this is sort of a rhetorical question and the answer is brand abuse, which deserves an article of its own. I’m still interested with the story of the game and I can still see the potential.
Overall, as a huge fan of the Alien franchise, I can’t help but to show my excitement for this game. There are still a lot of gamers that are still cautious of having high hopes for this game, but maybe this sort of vigilance and mid-level anticipation will bode well for the game. There are still lots of speculation and waiting to be had until the game releases. Until then, the closest you could probably get to this experience is by playing Alien versus Predator.
For more information about Alien: Isolation, keep your eyes peeled and your motion trackers by your side.