‘Alien Isolation’ Devs Reflect on ‘Colonial Marines’ Failure, Share Their Approach

By | 3 years ago 

Sega and Gearbox Software‘s Aliens: Colonial Marines was a failure for many reasons. Its mechanics were clunky, its A.I. was laughable, and the story barely connected with the larger Alien universe. But most importantly Colonial Marines failed because it was a $60 waste of tremendous potential.

However, unbeknownst to the gaming public, a second Alien project was brewing, one that seemingly delivered the experience they had hoped Colonial Marines would be. That project, as we now know, is Alien: Isolation, a survival horror shooter developed by Creative Assembly.

While Creative Assembly could have easily seen the Colonial Marines backlash as a negative – a potential detriment to Alien: Isolation‘s success – the developer actually looks at the reception as proof of two things. First, the negative reaction proved that there is a diehard Alien fan base out there — a group of gamers who pine for an interactive version of Ridley Scott or James Cameron’s film. Not a lesser copy, mind you, but a true spiritual successor.

Second, and most importantly, the fan backlash reaffirmed that Creative Assembly was on the right track with their approach to the xenomorph threat. That is, take a single xenomorph and make her an ever present and truly terrifying force, not mindless canon fodder.

“It did completely reaffirm to us that there was a massive Alien fanbase out there and they’re all after something very specific, and everyone has their own idea of what the alien should be. But just to see such a vocal reaction to the game, everything that they’ve said they want is something that we’re building and we’re very excited about that.”

If Creative Assembly succeeds, they will have delivered exactly what the fans want: a genuine, pulse-pounding experience that favors survival over combat. Thus far, reception to the game has been overwhelmingly positive, even in the face of Colonial Marines‘ epic failure – further proof that the fans are dying to see the property done right. At the same time, fans have been burned once before by misleading Alien marketing so they will likely be much more wary of Isolation should any red flags appear.

Either way, the game doesn’t hit until some time in late 2014, which leaves plenty of time for Creative Assembly to further explain their vision for the game, but also means fans have an excruciating wait ahead of them.

What are your hopes for Alien: Isolation? How do you feel about the direction Creative Assembly has chosen for their game? Will the negative press surrounding Colonial Marines impact Isolation’s sales?

Alien: Isolation releases in late 2014 for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

Source: Games Industry