Alien: Isolation - Preview

The Creative Assembly channels the original Alien film in this tense survival horror adventure

Release Date: 16/01/2014

Alien Isolation preview for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC at GAME

In James Cameron's Aliens: Director's Cut, we learn that franchise hero Ellen Ripley had a daughter named Amanda who passed away at the age of 66, two years before her mother was picked up following the Nostromo disaster. For almost 30 years, fans were left to wonder how Amanda coped with Ellen's disappearance. That changes later this year, when Amanda Ripley steps into the starring role of SEGA and The Creative Assembly's Alien: Isolation.

The 8th Passenger

Instead of creating an action game filled with pulse rifles, testosterone-fuelled marines and hundreds of aliens, the developers chose to focus on Ridley Scott's 1979 masterpiece, Alien, where a seven-person crew encounters a terrifying creature in deep space. That said, players can expect a more survival horror type experience as they attempt to outwit a single alien hell bent on their destruction.

Playing as Amanda, gamers go in search of the Nostromo and wind up locating the commercial towing starship's black box recorder; the corrupt Weyland-Yutani Corporation is involved in some way. This inevitably takes her to Sevastopol, a decommissioned trading station in the far reaches of space. Armed with a motion tracker, Amanda sets off to unravel the mystery.

Naturally, things take a turn for the worse, and players wind up fighting just to stay alive, not with bullets, but their minds. The primary goal is to escape the alien's clutches by crafting items and creating distractions to slow it down; unfortunately, The Creative Assembly have yet to detail the intricacies of the crafting system. There will also be different threats they'll deal with, though at this point, these potential enemies remain under wraps.

Alien Isolation preview for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC at GAME

Its Structural Perfection Is Matched Only By Its Hostility

For now, survival involves hiding behind objects and in lockers while paying close attention to the environment, particularly when it comes to shadows, strange noises and the occasional blip of the aforementioned motion tracker. The Alien can literally be anywhere, and given its superior speed and strength, avoiding it is the smart idea, since going toe-to-toe with the beast appears to result in a guaranteed game over.

With this in mind, there's much trial and error involved. In one instance, we watched as Amanda made a run for it, only to get dragged underneath the floor grates and unceremoniously killed, while in another, she safely reached an airlock and managed to shut the door right before the Alien barged into the room.

From what we've seen, the developers nailed the atmosphere with both graphics and audio. This is in large part to Fox Studios granting access to Alien set designs, costumes and unseen concept art to help build this isolated world. The result is a game that looks exactly like the iconic film, from the same style of pneumatic doors to the long dark hallways, crude-looking computers and the various knick-knacks littering tables and desks. Thus far, the game has this 1970's vision of the future that immediately brings us back to the movie.

Alien Isolation preview for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC at GAME

No-One Can Hear You Scream

The same can also be said of the music. With Jerry Goldsmith's Alien score in their possession, The Creative Assembly worked alongside the famous London Philharmonic Orchestra to create a 120-minute soundtrack for the game, highlighted by familiar tracks long-time fans will immediately recognize.

Regarding sound effects, the alien will produce different noise depending on whether it's on the hunt, has lost the scent or is particularly annoyed. Of course, the developers plan to mess with the player early and often, so expect to hear things that'll have you looking over your shoulder and scared to push forward. Similar to the scariest games available, there's a time for inching ahead and running like a crazy person. With a drooling monster on your tail and the airlock over one hundred feet away, we suggest doing the latter.

Naturally, there are a plethora of questions about Alien: Isolation. It remains to be seen whether The Creative Assembly can maintain this high level of tension for several hours. Not only that, but will Amanda run into different characters throughout the game? She makes reference of someone named Ricardo in recently released footage, but we don't know how much of a role he has. For now, however, it's great to see a title that pays homage to one of the greatest horror films of all time, and we look forward to surviving Alien: Isolation when it debuts on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC in late 2014.

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Pegi Rating:

Suitable for people aged and over.



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