The scary one. Not the instantly killable one.
While The Creative Assembly’s Alien: Isolation is already being hailed as one of the most promising Alien games of all time (this year, at least), the team didn’t exactly look to James Cameron’s Aliens for inspiration. Rather, according to creative lead Alistair Hope when speaking to MCV, the team wanted to make an Alien game that they felt like playing.
“Games in the past have looked at Jim Cameron’s second film, which was a Vietnam-in-space sort of thing. But we were massive fans of the first film. Then, with Sega having the Alien licence, we saw this as our opportunity.
“So a couple of us put together a tech demo in the space of about six weeks. It was mainly for us to work out what we are trying to do. But it became a mood piece, in which the climax was this enormous Alien coming down before the player. It was the wow moment we wanted to achieve, something truly unique. And thankfully everyone we showed it to agreed and got very excited.”
The idea behind Alien: Isolation is to bring back that feeling of foreboding and horror that comes from a crazed Xenomorph hunting you down. “[The Alien] is using its senses to look for you and listen for you, and responds accordingly. It’s different every time. One of the scariest things for us is when we build a new world and then put the Alien in it, because we don’t know what it is going to do.
“We wanted to deliver on that Ridley Scott Alien, that enormous, incredible creature that I was adamant would look down on the player and you couldn’t just sprint past – a monster that didn’t have to be a bullet sponge at the end of the barrel of your gun.
“Horror does not have to fit in some statistical, genre box. Your first night in Minecraft, when you have built yourself a rudimentary shelter, it’s really dark and then suddenly there’s someone banging on your door. That’s pretty terrifying. Minecraft is arguably the most successful survival horror game of the last generation.”
Will Alien: Isolation recreate that level of mainstream success? And will it wipe the horrible memory of Aliens: Colonial Marines from our minds? We’ll find out when it releases for PS4, Xbox One and PC.