Nearly every sci-fi action game borrows at least one element from James Cameron’s iconic sequel, Aliens, be it gung-ho marines, pulse-rifle inspired weapons and even creature designs. Few games, if any, channel elements from Ridley Scott’s terrifying Alien, the original film that kickstarted one of Hollywood’s biggest franchises. One monster? Little to no weapons of any kind? Where’s the fun in that?
Here’s the thing: Sega and The Creative Assembly appear to be onto something with Alien: Isolation, a gripping survival horror adventure that appears to live up to its title, with players attempting to outwit a single alien using their minds, not bullets. It’s a concept we don’t often see in video games (the original Alien for Atari 2600, Enemy Zero on Saturn and Clock Tower on PSOne come to mind). That said, if you’re a hardcore Alien fan like we are, there are plenty of reasons to get excited, starting with…
You Play as Amanda Ripley, Ellen Ripley’s Daughter
Here’s everything we know about Amanda Ripley from the director’s cut of Aliens. Ellen promised that she’d return home for her daughter’s 11th birthday (we all know that never happened due to the Nostromo disaster), and she died at the age of 66, two years before Ellen Ripley gets woken up from her 57-year nap (“Jonesy. Come here.”).
That’s literally it. Amanda’s life is a mystery the developers will attempt to unravel with this video game, and that’s an exciting prospect for longtime Alien fans interested in learning more about the Ripley clan, specifically Amanda’s involvement with Weyland-Yutani and the events that result in encountering the alien.
The Creative Assembly Expanded Upon the Alien Soundtrack
Most movie-inspired games don’t pull music from a film’s soundtrack. Instead, we’re left with a score inspired by its source material. Although we’ve yet to hear Alien: Isolation’s entire soundtrack, we’re already impressed. The Creative Assembly not only borrowed familiar tracks from Jerry Goldsmith’s hauntingly beautiful score, it also partnered with the London Philharmonic Orchestra to extend it. The result is 120 minutes of (we hope) Alien goodness that further lends authenticity to the experience.
The Game Looks Horrifying…and Awesome
PC gamers have enjoyed a handful of scary games for the past year now, thanks to offerings like Amnesia and Outlast. Not since the original Dead Space have we seen a game like this on consoles. Everyone who’s played it readily admits to sweaty palms and shaking hands. Credit the developers for building a world largely bathed in shadows that often play nasty tricks on a person’s mind. With so many dark corners and hallways, the alien is literally anywhere, guaranteeing plenty of jitters during the first play through.
A lot of credit goes to The Creative Assembly for nailing the look and feel of Alien. Armed with costume designs and concept art from the movie, they managed to construct an environment that bears a remarkable likeness to the Nostromo’s ghostly interior. The same pneumatic doors, tables and video equipment make up the decommissioned trading station. There’s a wonderful 1970s vision of the future that immediately transports us into the world. Even the motion tracker looks appropriately crude in comparison to its more high-tech counterpart from Aliens. We love it.
Expect more info on Alien: Isolation throughout the year, leading up to its late 2014 release.