Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Alien: Isolation

Alien: Isolation is nothing like Colonial Marines

10:01 AM on 01.07.2014 // Brett Makedonski

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!

Brett Makedonski, Associate Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Donski3 Tips
While you laughing, we're passing, passing away. So y'all go rest y'all souls, 'Cause I know I'ma meet you up at the crossroads. Y'all know y'all forever got love from them Bone Thugs baby... ... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Alien: Isolation

  Jun 07

Sega promoting Alien: Isolation with scary eels

Would you eat this to maybe win a copy?

  Mar 04

Creative Assembly reveals inital pitch video for Alien: Isolation

See the never before shown video that started development

  Mar 04

Never seen Alien: Isolation third-person footage shown at GDC

Gameplay showing abandoned alternate camera set-up shown during panel

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Solar Pony Django's Review on: Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival

Indivisible exposes why forced diversity and its proponents keep failing

Steam Controller Review

RAE - Back in Town

Thankful it's ov

Half - Life 3 FINALLY 100% confirmed...maybe.

Surprisingly... I'm *really* enjoying Fallout 4!!

Where the Hell is Breath of Fire?

Comments of the Week - バーガーベスト, ですよね?

My Month in Games - November 2015

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Triple brown, triple brown, triple brown meow. Triple brown, triple brown, triple brown meow.
Alfie avatarAlfie
Was on the front page and was greeted by a new post, which I clicked to find "You cannot see the future". Then refreshed and it was gone. I saw Chris's post on Eight Days' cancellation as it was brought, new and unready, into the world! Rare and wonderful
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Have you ever purchased a game only to regret it later and then sell it/give it away, only to even later regret selling it and wind up purchasing it again?
gajknight avatargajknight
A decadent staircase adorned in gold rises into infinite darkness. Writhing beings beyond comprehension lurk in the shadows, their mere presence encroaching on the edges of human understanding. A blood moon glows . I am losing my mind. I need more eyes...
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
We need to be implanted with microchips because I'd really like to know how much time I've spent playing different video games my entire life.
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Today's agenda: job-hunting and startup of a second playthrough of either Phantom Dust or Front Mission 4. I can't decide. I'm on a sixth-gen kick.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
If there are rainbows in Xenoblade Chronicles X, Reyn must be in it as well. You can't have a rainbow without Reyn, baby!
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
I really hope Xenoblade become it's own franchise, it has way too much potential to simply being reduced to 2 games.
Sotanaht avatarSotanaht
Touchable Holograms? When this eventually matures and hits market, almost all our regulars will vanish for weeks.
Serethyn avatarSerethyn
Xenoblade Chronicles Wii for €10? Sure, Nintendo, don't mind if I do!
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Super Smash Bros. 4 has too much content. So much so I almost don't want a sequel. I honestly hope that NX gets a "Super Smash Bros. For NX" port rather than a new installment. It could be a GOTY edition and come with all of the DLC.
Batthink avatarBatthink
Flegma avatarFlegma
Bought my first full-priced physical 3DS game ever - New Style Boutique 2: Fashion Forward. I'll try to write a post on the previous game at some point before doing the same with NSB2.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
How do you guys manage to buy all these games at day 1 with such huge backlogs?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Guys if I were to do a thing, how many of you would watch my thing because I was thinking of doing a thing but I dunno if people really like that kinda thing so I just wanted to know if you liked that thing because I'm thinking of doing a thing, you know?
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
Bayonetta 2 is 40% off in the EU Nintendo eShop today. If you have a WiiU and don't have this game you are a horrible person and I want nothing to do with you. You can amend your errors by buying it. Xenoblade Wii is also 50% off as well.
El Dango avatarEl Dango
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Protag shipping is best shipping. [img][/img]
El Dango avatarEl Dango
My dreams are really weird and scary, so I hope it's okay if I let them be dreams.
Fenriff avatarFenriff
Finally played the last two Shantae games. Risky's Revenge wasn't bad, but Pirate's Curse was damn good.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -