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Alien: Isolation is nothing like Colonial Marines - Destructoid




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Alien: Isolation  




Alien: Isolation is nothing like Colonial Marines photo
Alien: Isolation is nothing like Colonial Marines

10:01 AM on 01.07.2014

So, that's good news


There we were. The same notion on everyone’s mind, whether they liked it or not. Members of the press conflicted in their reluctant eagerness to address, key developers dreading the topic altogether. It clouded the air, enough to make everyone slightly uncomfortable with its inevitability. It was the Xenomorph-impregnated elephant in the room.

How did the reaction to Aliens: Colonial Marines affect your work on Alien: Isolation?”

I’ll be the first to admit – the question is wholly unfair. Creative Assembly has been working on Isolation for more than three years now. It had a very distinct vision for its game long before anyone knew how Colonial Marines would turn out. Still, it needed to be asked. Fair or not, Isolation will be directly compared to Colonial Marines by both critics and fans alike.

To their credit, they danced around the question beautifully, as I’m sure PR had them quite well-rehearsed on the topic. “To be honest, we didn’t let ourselves get distracted by anything exterior,” creative lead Alistair Hope told me. UI lead John McKellan chimed in “but at the same time, we’re so completely immersed in everything pertaining to Alien, we couldn’t help but keep up. Commenters would say that they want an Alien game in line with Ridley Scott’s movie, and it was so hard not to post ‘that’s what we’re doing!’”

The entire situation creates an interesting juxtaposition between fan confidence in Alien videogames being at an all-time low, and Creative Assembly being presented a phenomenal opportunity to restore that faith. After all, it’s not like there’s much to live up to.

But again, that last phrase “live up to” is strikingly unfair, because Isolation and Colonial Marines could not be less similar games -- the namesake being the only thing that truly ties them together.

Personally, the greatest issue I took with Colonial Marines had nothing to do with the long list of problems that everyone raked it over the coals for. I took issue with what I saw as a fundamental flaw in the logic of the game -- the fact that it reduced Xenomorphs to nothing more than common foot soldiers. Part of what makes Xenomorphs such a frightening enemy is that they’re always more than just cannon fodder, even when it seems like they are. At all times, humans are on the losing side when it comes to interactions with aliens. Once these interactions are common and no longer special, Xenomorphs might as well be replaced by any variety of enemy. It doesn’t matter anymore.

Creative Assembly appears to agree with my personal philosophy. Alien: Isolation seems as if it’ll feature only one nine-foot tall alien -- a hulking monstrosity that’s genuinely a terrifying presence. It’s immediately obvious that it won’t be taken down by conventional means -- that’s how imposing of a figure it is. In fact, McKellan mentioned that at one point, as a one-off litmus test of sorts, they added a gun to the build that testers were playing. “Not a single person tried firing at the alien,” he said.

The studio also seems to understand that moderation is important. “Survival horror is about small victories -- tension and release,” Hope said. This statement could not be more spot-on. Rather than adrenaline fueling the entirety of the experience, the special moments are made all the more grand by a balance in the action. This means that Isolation won't be a continuous cat and mouse game with the Xenomorph. Instead, there will be emphasis on exploration, some interaction with other space station denizens, and environmental hazards. As Hope bluntly stated "it's a dangerous place."

Unfortunately, "dangerous place" can also be used to describe the Aliens franchise in the videogame space. However, it's favorable that there's no indication that Creative Assembly ever had any intention of taking its game in the direction Colonial Marines. It's glaringly obvious that it had its vision from the outset and is sticking to it. Hope concluded his response with “we’re just making the Alien game that we want to make.” “Good,” I replied. “Because this is the Alien game that I want to play.”

Check out our hands-on preview of Alien: Isolation!





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Very Quick Tips: Alien: Isolation
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I got chills from the music in this Alien: Isolation launch trailer photo


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Playing Alien: Isolation on a convention floor isn't the best idea photo


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Alien: Isolation Updates, Screenshots, & Videos







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timeline following:
Alien: Isolation



3:30 PM on 12.15.2014
Creative Assembly sees opportunity in an Alien: Isolation sequel

[Update: As expected, Sega's official comment to Destructoid is "Creative Assembly is focused on their post-launch content for Alien: Isolation, and have no comment on plans for a sequel.] Without doubt, Alien: Isolation...more



1:45 PM on 12.09.2014
Attention all masochists: Alien: Isolation has a Nightmare difficulty now

Anyone that's tried tackling Alien: Isolation on the toughest difficulty knows that it's a painstakingly hard endeavor. There's little room for error, as the alien is quite adept at adapting to your strategies. As if it ...more



11:00 AM on 10.07.2014
Very Quick Tips: Alien: Isolation

That Xenomorph can be one tricky asshole in Alien: Isolation. One time it walked out of a room, waited a second, then turned back around to find me awkwardly climbing out of the cabinet I had been hiding in. What a dick. Here's how to avoid that situation and more.more



1:45 PM on 10.06.2014
I got chills from the music in this Alien: Isolation launch trailer

Man, there sure have been a lot of Alien: Isolation videos lately. I guess that's the rote cycle of triple-A games marketing. Here's one more. But, this launch trailer may be better than all the other ones that have rel...more



6:30 PM on 10.03.2014
Yeah, that flamethrower won't do much to help you survive in Alien: Isolation

In the days leading up to Sega's release of Alien: Isolation, it mocks us with the semi-question "#HowWillYouSurvive," because Twitter-speak is what appeals to the cool local teens. This video firmly suggests that a flamethr...more



8:00 AM on 10.03.2014
Review: Alien: Isolation

From the old school "20th Century Fox" opening to the first few seconds, Alien: Isolation wants you to know that it takes after the first film from the series it was based on. One alien, one spaceship, one chance at survival. This is the game we should have gotten from Gearbox.more



7:00 PM on 09.29.2014
Playing Alien: Isolation on a convention floor isn't the best idea

Demoing a game like Alien: Isolation at a convention such as EGX or PAX has always been problematic since horror works best when there's time for quieter moments between the scares. There has to be a period of tension buildin...more



8:00 PM on 09.26.2014
Something's stalking us in Alien: Isolation's television ad

The latest piece of media for Creative Assembly's impending Alien: Isolation prods "How will you survive?" It's a fair question. With that hulking Xenomorph nimbly crawling out of the airshaft, stalking its prey before terrifyingly ending its life, it'll certainly be a tough task. When the game releases on October 7, the most likely answer will probably be "There's a good chance we won't."more



1:00 PM on 09.17.2014
Most of Alien: Isolation's Survivor Mode will be DLC

Survivor Mode in Alien: Isolation, as described here in this video and further detailed in Steven's hands-on coverage, sounds cool. You'll have to complete certain objectives on a timer while being hunted, and factors like w...more



12:30 PM on 09.09.2014
How not to survive in Alien: Isolation

From everything I've heard of Alien: Isolation, it's best not to run around when you think the coast is clear much less when the Xenomorph is right there in the same room. See: the trailer above. Creative Assembly plans to put out more of these videos throughout the month, and I have to imagine most will end with the demise of Amanda Ripley. It's just like playing the game, then.more




Survival Horror

3:30 PM on 12.15.2014
Creative Assembly sees opportunity in an Alien: Isolation sequel

[Update: As expected, Sega's official comment to Destructoid is "Creative Assembly is focused on their post-launch content for Alien: Isolation, and have no comment on plans for a sequel.] Without doubt, Alien: Isolation...more



2:30 PM on 12.11.2014
The Evil Within's first DLC has the answers we're looking for

Oh, right -- there's a Season Pass for The Evil Within. The thought of paying $19.99 for three DLC packs when the game itself was just on sale for nearly that price is unappealing, but that's the situation. Part one, The Assi...more



1:45 PM on 12.09.2014
Attention all masochists: Alien: Isolation has a Nightmare difficulty now

Anyone that's tried tackling Alien: Isolation on the toughest difficulty knows that it's a painstakingly hard endeavor. There's little room for error, as the alien is quite adept at adapting to your strategies. As if it ...more



View all Survival Horror






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