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The Phallic Headed Alien Wants You Dead: Alien Isolation

Will Creative Assembly’s Alien Isolation be a classic a’la Alien VS Predator or a doosey like Aliens: Colonial Marines? We take a look at the most standout elements of Alien Isolation for PS4 and XBOX ONE.

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ALIEN ISOLATION: Truly Isolated

Probably the best part of what we’ve seen of Alien Isolation is the fact that Creative Assembly are focussing on, of course, isolation. The sense of isolation brought the pant wetting fear of the first and best Alien movie. If Creative Assembly can match the atmosphere of that flick, we’re sure to see a classic.  But that’s a big IF.

 

CAN ALIEN ISOLATION REIGNITE SURVIVAL HORROR?

Unlike most Alien games, Alien Isolation is not an action game. It’s a survival horror full of suspense. Everything you do, from making sound with your boots to turning the wrong corridor, can alert an Alien to your presence and see your brains getting poked out in the way only the best phallic-headed aliens can achieve.

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IT’S ALL ABOUT THE ALIEN, OBVIOUSLY

The success or failure of Alien games has often comes down to their ability to capture the terror of the Xenomorph. Alien Isolation’s Xenomorph looks pretty darned terrifying, and if the AI is done right, it could be giving us all nightmares, which is a great thing, unless you’re bed sheets. Lead bideo game designer Clive Lindop says, “The alien is trying to work out the most efficient way of getting to you without being seen. Predators survive by avoiding damage.  They would rather hit you from the side.” Expect that Alien to be lurking around every corner.

ALIEN ISOLATION’s RIPLEY AVOID THE SEXIST STEREOTYPE

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We’re given a pretty interesting character for Alien Isolation: Ellem Ripley’s daughter Amanda. We’ve got to give Creative Assembly a “thumbs-up” here. They haven’t made her a sex object, but a strong woman in the vein of her mother. This suggests maturity to the game design, which can only be a good thing.

MORE INTELLIGENT THAN YOUR AVERAGE ALIEN

Creative Assembly have stated that AI is one of the most important elements of the game. They’re promising that the Alien will have AI that far outshines the average video game enemy. “In the majority of shooters you would have an AI that [lasts for only around twenty seconds but with Alien Isolation the alien is in your world for twenty, even thirty minutes,” says Lindop. What sort of behaviour can we expect from the alien? “Unpredictable, dangerous, an unknown quantity.  Because he’s unpredictable, we wanted you to work on instinct.”

 

ALIEN ISOLATION’s STORY

You play as Amanda Ripley, daughter of the famed Ellen Ripley. She’s not been in contact with her mother for fifteen years. Then she hears that the flightrecorder from Ellen Ripley’s ship has been found. Her curiosity leads her to the isolated trading station known as Sevastopol.  It’s bleak, with no power, and it holds a mystery: it was abandoned in a hurry. It’s unconfirmed, but we imagine the secret of this trade station, and of the beautiful world outside, becomes clear through the game.

ALIEN ISOLATION’s INVENTIVE GAMEPLAY

Creative Assembly really are pushing the boundaries with Alien Isolation’s gameplay. Whereas in all other Alien games you’ve had your pulse rifle to dispatch the Xenomorph, in Alien Isolation you’re relying on your senses and your intelligence. The idea isn’t to kill the alien, but to plot safe routes to an exit. It’s your intelligence VS the Xenomorph’s. Can you safely traverse the environment without being detected? It makes for an interesting angle, and it could go either way. If done right it’ll be a unique and hugely rewarding experience. Otherwise it will be boring as hell.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Let us know your opinion on Alien Isolation in a comment below.

Thanks for reading.

Paul M Harrison

Professional esports commentator and freelance games journalist. Basically, gaming is my life. And I love it.

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