Ripley's Daughter To Star
The long-rumoured Alien: Isolation is very real and currently in development at The Creative Assembly. A far cry from their traditional strategy fare, the veteran SEGA-backed studio seems to be focusing on a survival horror experience starring Ellen Ripley's daughter (who as we all know, was long-dead at the start of Aliens).
Can The Creative Assembly wash away the colonic taste of Colonial Marines? Details and screenshots below.
UPDATE: SEGA has officially announced the project for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4. Have some trailers!
The blurb and accompanying video diary set the tone nicely:
"Discover the true meaning of fear in Alien: Isolation, a survival horror set in an atmosphere of constant dread and mortal danger. Fifteen years after the events of Alien™, Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda enters a desperate battle for survival, on a mission to unravel the truth behind her mother's disappearance.
As Amanda, you will navigate through an increasingly volatile world as you find yourself confronted on all sides by a panicked, desperate population and an unpredictable, ruthless Alien. Underpowered and underprepared, you must scavenge resources, improvise solutions and use your wits, not just to succeed in your mission, but to simply stay alive."
Sounds promising. Alien: Isolation will focus on... well... Isolation in order to hit players square in the fear glands, with supplies and weaponry at a premium. We'll be hunted and hounded rather than gunning through hordes of idiotic dancing puppets. Hopefully. The emphasis, of course, will be on Alien as opposed to Aliens - both in terms of the number of Xenos and difference in tone between the two films.
There's some confusion as to whether Alien: Isolation will feature co-op. The original listing explicitly announced four-player co-op, but was since yanked and returned without any mention of cooperative play. We hope, perhaps beyond hope, that Isolation may have taken plenty of inspiration from Left 4 Dead in order to create a replayable four-player experience.
It's also interesting to note that, at the time of writing, Isolation is confirmed for Xbox 360. We expect that it will probably be a trans-generation release. UPDATE: it's slated for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Stay tuned for more details, but personally I still feel that Aliens could work very well indeed as a tense small-squad strategy game - perhaps a turn-based experience along the lines of XCOM: Enemy Unknown or Space Hulk. Since Marines relay live video feed from their battle dress cameras, it would seem to be a perfect fit for a strategy title casting the player as a Lieutenant watching the action from the relative safety of an APC or Dropship. Perhaps. We can iterate on this.
The Creative Assembly certainly seem to be out of their comfort zone with this one. Hopefully players will be too.
Either way, what do you want from a new Aliens game - and specifically from Isolation? Bearing some resemblance to the screenshots might be a good start... as would actually working at launch without requiring dozens of feedback-driven patches.