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Amongst the most popular movie franchise over the last 40 years is the Alien movie series. From Ridley Scott's chest-bursting horror in space classic, through the "Vietnam in Space" that was Aliens from James Cameron, with less memorable outings in Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection, the iconic alien monster still sends chills down my spine whenever I watch any of those films. Less memorable however are the gaming efforts that have taken place over the years. Most recently, Aliens Colonial Marines put you firmly in James Cameron's vision, however for all the fun of firing your pulse rifle and setting up the sentry turrets, this was a flawed effort which tried hard and didn't quite hit the mark.
So it's with some trepidation that I heard that Creative Assembly were announcing they would deliver a new survival horror experience with Alien Isolation (published by SEGA who also gave us Aliens Colonial Marines), a game set between the first two movies and featuring a character we had yet to really meet? Step forward Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen, who is sought out by the company, the thoroughly evil Weyland Yutani, to go recover the flight recorder of the long lost Nostromo.
This game is set around 20 years after the first film and so Creative Assembly have decreed that this is the game that they wanted to make, featuring the clunky technology and the iconic set designs of Scott's classic, they wanted to get back to the feeling of trying to survive with only your wits to save you. In the brief videos we've seen so far, there is a very 1979 future look to the game, with the beeping of the motion tracker pulsing against a pounding heart and ragged breathing it seems to evoke the key look and feel that they're aiming for.
Will they succeed, or is this another case of a game promising much but ultimately failing the taste test? On early showings I think there is much to be enthused about, and with Alien Isolation hitting shelves late in 2014 for both 360 and Xbox One, I think I know what just popped on to my Xmas list.
All I need to do now is be good...for 11 months or so...I can do that...I think...
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