Sitrep: Will Aliens: Isolation Be Another Isolated Incident?

Alien: Isolation

By on January 8, 2014 at 3:07 pm

There are certain combinations of things that fill the hearts of men with a nameless dread: The end of the month and bills. Testicles and fences. Sega and Aliens games. Because that worked out so well last year, they’re at it again. Inexplicably, most might think. This time they’ve given Creative Assembly the keys to the ransacked city. Good boys, but dare I say that while the concept at the guts of Aliens: Isolation seems promising, so too did the signed, sealed and under-delivered fanboygasm that gripped Colonial Marines’ FUBAR.

Like said fustercluck, Isolation extrapolates a curiousity from a passing detail and makes it into something big: Remember how Ripley had a daughter she’d outlived via the chronological whackiness inherent in extended hypersleep? Sure you do, they show you her picture as an old lady early in the Aliens piece. Name’s Amanda, and it is not entirely unreasonable that she might’ve woken up one morning and thought, “Hey, haven’t seen mum in a longer while than usual.” That’s where this one’s going: Ripley jnr. gets a small crew of four including self together and heads out to find the Nostromo’s black box on a remote station. Which she does.

Tell you what’s immediately cool before that even happens: In this quartet of soon-to-be-deads, three of them are women and there is instead a token guy by the name of Samuels. Being that this is a kickback to the estrogen triumph of Ridley’s original and not Cameron’s “get some!” man-fest, that seems an apt subtlety that implicates a potential non-turkey cooked by defter and more dedicated hands than Colonial Marines.

Could this one finally be the one? I think I wonder that every time I see a new Aliens game getting put together, and every time the answer is always “lol nope.” While the Amanda idea is interesting, it’s also one of those dreadful sort of retroactive devices that’s hamstrung by its lack of mystery. We know Amanda survives, reaches old age, and dies peacefully in an intergalactic rest home. We know that whatever she finds out aboard the Nostromo is of little consequence. It’s not as if she found mum out there, or had much if any impact whatsoever on Weyland-Yutani’s corporate xenomorph designs. They’re all still just confused as ever when Ripley snr. finally floats into that boardroom in Aliens.

The solution, Creative Assembly seems to think, is to not to conveniently forget all that but circumvent it with an event: This is not an FPS or even an actiony game at all per se. It is – gasp – survival horror. There will not be many aliens, only one – and it cannot be killed. It will hunt you down mercilessly throughout the Nostromo (and beyond?), and all you have is the steady ping of a motion tracker for company. It’s a game of senses. The alien can see you, it can hear you. It probably can’t smell you but don’t cut any space brie just to be sure. What this means is that Amanda and whoever else you come to play as will spend an inordinate amount of time walking, not running. Hiding, not fighting. It’s a recipe for an unreplayable slow-burner and is a gigantic-ass risk, much like Alien itself was.

Speaking of risk, Creative Assembly are also doing that thing where they add independently to the lore, which is not something that has historically gone down very well even when Ridley himself did it with Prometheus. Amanda’s venture in some way involves Seegson, a synthetics manufacturer whose interest in things is likely closer to Weyland-Yutani’s than Amanda’s herself. Hey, where would we be without a surprise artificial person on board?

62 comments (Leave your own)
 

I’m willing to give them another chance, even though I didn’t think Colonial Marines was THAT bad.

Hey, everyone gave Square Enix another chance with A Realm Reborn and that turned out well, so why not with Sega…

 
kinistoniscool

so bad, got lured in so i preordered colonial marines and bought the season pass from gmg, so pissed when i found out how bad it really was! Will not preorder, i will wait for the definite review to see if it is worth buying another aliens game

 

“Ripley jnr. gets a small crew of four including self together and heads out to find the Nostromo’s space hulk. Which she does.”

Didn’t Ripley blow up the Nostromo?

 

I finished Colonial Marines the other week and to be honest it wasn’t bad and quite challenging on the hardest setting. Although I never experienced the game as a broken unfinished mess when it was first released but what I played was far better than Duke Nukem Forever.

So anyway even if this gets bad reviews I will still want to give it a change and play it with Oculus Rift.

 

If Gearbox had stepped up and proclaimed they were developing the game I’d understand the comparisons to a certain alien game released last year. However it’s Creative Assembly here. I’m sure it’ll be…

*looks at state most Total War games are initially released in*

Ummm I’m hopeful they’ll do a good job?

felixinside:

Didn’t Ripley blow up the Nostromo?

Now you mention it, I’m pretty sure she did. <_<

 

If this is a flop I’m going to laugh at all the morons that pre-ordered. How many times must it be said.. stop pre-ordering games.

If its risky for them to make. Its even riskier for you to buy little alone pre-order.

 

gammad:

People preorder because sometimes you get some nice toys/statues or bonus items with a pre-order, and even discounts on the price.

 

gammad,

Pretty sure nobody has mentioned wanting to preorder it yet. In any of the Aliens:Isolation threads. I personally haven’t made a preorder of a game in over a year now.

 

Didn’t Ripley blow up the Nostromo?

Yes, there was a big boom as the Nostromo and all cargo is obliterated when the engines overload and explode, Riply spends a good portion of her life towards the end of the movie setting that whole thing up, this is also referred to in ALIENS .

“Look at it from our perspective.
You freely admit to detonating the
engines of, and thereby destroying,
an M-Class star-freighter. A
rather expensive piece of hardware…

INSURANCE INVESTIGATOR
(dryly)
Forty-two million in adjusted dollars.
That’s minus payload, of course.”

I’m guessing they’re just doing a bit of revisionist history (much like ACM did) in order to make the game in a familiar setting.

Important to note that the one and only ALIEN in the ALIEN movie hitched a ride with Ripley in the escape pod, so there would be no ALIENs on board the Nostromo anyway (there are deleted scenes showing cocooned crew members which could explain this, I suppose, if you overlook the whole thermonuclear destruction thing).

 
Toby McCasker

MY BAD.

Apparently Amanda winds up on a remote station looking to recover the flight recorder of the Nostromo (15 years after it goes blam). That’s where things are set, not *on* the Nostromo. Which I thought was totally weird, but going off the trailer, it looks like they’ve faithfully remodelled its interior with some amount of care in one part so I thought, “Uh OK, sure, maybe?”

Tim please amend this hideous mistake before anyone notices and discusses it.

 

Got to agree with the others here in that I didn’t think A:CM was that bad.
Don’t see what all the fuss is about.

Although to be fair;
I’m not even an Aliens fan,
I didn’t see any of the early demo footage nor see the game initially at launch,
I bought it for $1.99 during Amazon’s Xmas Sale. ;P
I dunno, I find it somewhat entertaining. Meh.

Huge fan of anything Survial horror, this new one sounds pretty interesting despite being unfamiliar with the lore or movies.

 

Toby McCasker:
MY BAD.

Apparently Amanda winds up on a remote station looking to recover the flight recorder of the Nostromo (15 years after it goes blam). That’s where things are set, not *on* the Nostromo. Which I thought was totally weird, but going off the trailer, it looks like they’ve faithfully remodelled its interior with some amount of care in one part so I thought, “Uh OK, sure, maybe?”

Tim please amend this hideous mistake before anyone notices and discusses it.

LOL…. I was going crazy with theories about how “part” of the Nostromo survived.

 

Toby McCasker: Tim please amend this hideous mistake before anyone notices and discusses it.

You sicken me

 

Tim Colwill: You sicken me

PUNISHMENT RECOMMENDED: 20 minutes in a closed room with a Xenomorph.

 
Toby McCasker

felixinside: PUNISHMENT RECOMMENDED: 20 minutes in a closed room with a Xenomorph.

Hey man I already own Colonial Marines, I’ve done my time

 

felixinside,

That’s not nice. Think of the poor xenomorph!

 

Toby McCasker: Hey man I already own Colonial Marines, I’ve done my time

vcatkiller:
felixinside,

That’s not nice.Think of the poor xenomorph!

Ok ok, he’s off the leash…. for now.

“Xeno dear, back to your room for now… eat those carrots I gave you…. no no, don’t give me the evil eye, you don’t have eyes remember….”

 

TOTALLY OFF-TOPIC:

Is there a central page somewhere where I can check if there are new posts on an article I posted in?

I have to have links for each article and check them manually.

 
Nasty Wet Smear

“We know Amanda survives, reaches old age, and dies peacefully in an intergalactic rest home.”

Well… We know that Burke and WY-Corp TELL Ripley that she died peacefully in a rest home. Maybe they would have said anything to stop her from asking more questions and kicking up more stink about this whole “OMG Aliens!” thing…

… I dare say that telling her: “Your daughter was killed some years ago in a freak incident where something gooey shoved it’s wang down her throat and pumped her full of eggs which then burst through her chest and ate the rest of her crew” wouldn’t have helped Ripley come to terms with a quiet, new life working off the debt for blowing up a spaceship at the first sign of a monster with acid for blood.

 
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