It was a rallying cry heard nearly every time an Aliens video game sent squads of space marines up against Xenomorph bullet-sponges: “when will somebody make a game based on the original Alien?” That question is set to be answered in the form of Alien: Isolation: a game so relentless in its emphasis on vulnerability and ever-present danger, it seems to be promoting the likelihood of players being killed time and again, not trying to hide it.
But as the old saying goes, even the most masochistic gamers should be careful what they wish for. Stepping into the role of Amanda Ripley (daughter of Ellen Ripley), players will be forced to rely on their wits, their will, and their stealth to survive – not their accuracy with a firearm. While a single Xenomorph stalking you through a space station may not sound like a sizable threat, a new series of trailers from Creative Assembly show that death is, quite literally, waiting around every corner.
We got the opportunity to find out firsthand just how many roads lead to ruin – playing the truly brutal Survivor Mode at E3 2014 – so it’s nice to see that the studio is intent on sharing with fans the kind of terror they can prepare themselves for. The first trailer in the game’s ‘#HowWillYouSurvive’ video series promised there would be ‘no escape,’ and these new trailers explain why.
Instead of emphasizing gunplay and explosives, Amanda Ripley will need to rely on cunning and evasion. Since the game can be completed without killing a soul, the latest ‘Hear You Scream’ trailer shows a handy tool at the player’s disposal: an explosive distraction:
Fans of the film know that the vents and ducts of a spaceship can prove to be both helpful in hiding from a Xenomorph, or helping it trap you in. And as ‘In The Vents’ shows, the cunning alien has clearly learned a thing or two in the years since the first film’s release:
If you’re still thinking that firing weapons might be a solid strategy as opposed to sneaking and hiding, the next video shows why even being near someone following that line of thinking can prove fatal:
If you’re getting the sense from these videos that players may end up regretting the chance to find out what it would actually be like to suddenly drop into an Alien movie – only to be killed moments later – you’re not wrong.
In fact, the overwhelming threat of death remains one of our concerns for the game (in truth, one of the only concerns). Punishing players in the name of immersion is one thing, but finding a balance between challenge and frustration is the real trick.
Alien: Isolation is set to launch on October 7, 2014, and will be available on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
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