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Thread: Alien: Isolation - The First Alien Film Meets System Shock 2?

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: May 2004

    Alien: Isolation - The First Alien Film Meets System Shock 2?

    Two announcement trailers:

    http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/01/07/al...sci-fi-horror/

    Hands-on preview:

    http://www.pcgamer.com/previews/alie...sci-fi-horror/

    The key's in the name. Creative Assembly claim to have ignored every development in the franchise that followed Ridley Scott's movie. That means no pulse rifles, no jarheads, no queens, Praetorians, predaliens, and so on. It's an Alien game, and as such it's in competition pretty much exclusively with the (surprisingly excellent) Spectrum RPG from 1984.

    You play as Ellen Ripley's daughter, Amanda, fifteen years after her mother blew up the Nostromo and vanished. In Aliens, Ripley wakes up from cryosleep to find that eighty years have passed and Amanda has died of old age; Isolation posits that her daughter spent at least some of that time being chased around a space station by a xenomorph of her own. Creative Assembly have tapped veteran comic book writer Dan Abnett for the story, who you may know from the Warhammer 40,000 novels or his work for Marvel.

    Haunted by her mother's disappearance, Amanda Ripley joins Weyland-Yutani as an engineer, where she is approached by a company executive claiming to have located the Nostromo's black box recorder on a remote space station called Sevastopol. Amanda signs on with a mission to investigate, but becomes separated from her crew on arrival and finds the station itself in crisis, its surviving population panicked and fighting among itself. Also, there's an alien.
    The developer describes it as stealthy survival horror based on both the visual style and the horror style of the original Alien movie. You encounter only one alien, and the game involves a protracted game of hide and seek with that one alien.

    Both the trailers and the hands-on preview made me think System Shock 2 meets Alien. It also reminds me of the in-development indie sci-fi horror game Routine.

  2. #2
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    The gameplay trailer looks fantastic, however the plot sounds like fanfic-y tripe. Ripley's daughter, really now?

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Girl with the Patreon Tattoo
    It's more Amnesia in space than System Shock 2. Here's to hoping I am wrong and it doesn't end up a QTE fest.

    That said, the visual and sound design are marvellous.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2013
    Location: Czech Republic
    Definitely looks like Amnesia in space… which is getting little old by now.

    I certainly hope that there are going to tons of ways to interact with the environment (hacking, using blow torch in various ways, crafting stuff, multiple paths to the objectives etc - ie the things that were not in Amnesia and its clones) and hopefully some combat as well. The combat itself would probably be not too frequent and see you go up against the crazed crew of the station rather than the alien itself. Also it would be great if the combat did not rely on guns too much (kinda like Condemned or Riddick), but rather on improvised weapons and environment.

    In any case I don’t think the world needs another pure hide and seek game and I hope this will not turn out to be one.

    That aside I am huge fan of Dan Abnett’s work, so I guess the story will be good at the very least even though I don’t like the idea of Ripley’s daughter being the main protagonist too much either.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2002
    Location: London / London / London
    Oh god not Dan fucking Abnett, the Joss Whedon of Banbury. Dudes a hack. When will people hiring game writers fucking look beyond 'has written a book' when it comes to quality control? David Giler and Walter Hill are two of hollywoods finest scriptwriters. Dan Abnett writes WH40K tie-in novels.

    Amensia in space is getting old? Because of all this flood of first-person sci-fi horror games where you don't have any weapons and have to think? Yeah you're right, it would be much better if we got to stab or shoot stuff all the time instead. Much more unusual, much more interesting.

    This actually looks pretty good, I hope to god they stick to the brief they've given themselves and avoid the SHIT out of anything wankers might refers to as VISCERAL COMBAT!!! Also if you have to kill it by making it wander into some kind of rocket testing chamber I will be disapointed. I want this thing to be unstoppable, unpredictable, horrifying. I want to feel like I'd rather crawl into a locker and cry myself to death than risk going out into the corridor, just because I heard a slight creak. I want to feel a genuine emotional response. A horrible one.

    Basically no guns and no BOO! QTE moments please.
    Last edited by Vivian; 7th Jan 2014 at 16:45.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Briareos H View Post
    It's more Amnesia in space than System Shock 2.
    I guess the weapons, minimal combat, computer hacking minigame, role of a corrupt corporation, and the sound design -- with the creaking and groaning of the spaceship -- all made me think System Shock more than Amnesia. But maybe it's more of a mix of the two than it is like just one or the other.

    While the look and feel made me think System Shock 2, the gameplay may be more like the original System Shock.

    In the RPS preview, the developers refer to Thief and Condemned as influences.

    Quote Originally Posted by EvaUnit02
    The gameplay trailer looks fantastic, however the plot sounds like fanfic-y tripe. Ripley's daughter, really now?
    Maybe so. I think it allows the developer to refer to the player protagonist as the iconic Ripley (even if Amanda Ripley rather than Ellen Ripley) while also fitting the game's plot into the original fiction, slipping it between the first and second movies. I guess for me, it's too early to tell anything about the quality of the writing or fiction.

    I'm not comic book savvy, so I'm curious to know what comic book-savvy people here think about hiring Dan Abnett as the writer for this game.

    Edit: Didn't see Vivian's post. It appears the first response to Mr. Abnett taking the job isn't very positive. Anyone else?

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2007
    Location: Finger paintings of the insane
    Agree ^^^


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Jun 1999
    Location: Procrastination, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Vivian View Post
    Amensia in space is getting old? Because of all this flood of first-person sci-fi horror games where you don't have any weapons and have to think?
    Please, it is the 2010s now. We get tired of trends before they even start.

    I'm sick of you getting with the times shortly after I tell you to!

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2013
    Location: Czech Republic
    Amensia in space is getting old? Because of all this flood of first-person sci-fi horror games where you don't have any weapons and have to think? Yeah you're right, it would be much better if we got to stab or shoot stuff all the time instead. Much more unusual, much more interesting.
    Why you mad though…?

    So you say that Amnesia-like games require you to think? That was true in Penumbra series to some extend, but Amnesia itself had only extremely simplistic puzzles and IIRC the only “puzzles” in Outlast came down to “get in the room and press a button.” If the puzzles in this game will be as advertised in the preview (turn on generators, hack computer, run) it will definitely make you think at least as hard I am sure.

    This whole “you are totally harmless and need to hide from everything” thing that Penumbra/Amnesia started was certainly a fresh idea back in the day (and I like all Penumbra and the first Amnesia game), but I do feel it is getting overused lately. On the other hand a first person sci-fi game featuring horror, stealth and occasional close combat indeed is something “unusual” and “much more interesting” that needs to happen more often.

    Dan Abnett writes WH40K tie-in novels.
    And this is supposed to be a bad thing? Abnett´s 40k novels from Eisenhorn and Ravenor trilogies are extremely well written pieces of detective/space horror fiction. If you actually did read any of the above novels (which I highly doubt considering what you posted) and didn’t like them then fair enough, but if you just say “naaaaah its 40k so it sux and hence he sux tooo” then you need to punch yourself in the face. Repeatedly.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2004
    I wonder how much they'll be able to avoid anything Aliens outside of the first film. The xeno in the first film was a very different creature then Cameron's version, and everything after pretty much based their xenos on Aliens, not Alien.

    I mean, in the original the alien was actually pretty slow most of the time. The closest it ever gets to actually chasing anybody is whipping around to take out Parker when it got him and Lambert loading the oxygen. There's a jump scare when Dallas bites it, but it doesn't actually move much in that scene, and by and large the thing is fucking leisurely. I don't seem to remember the full grown xeno actually running in that movie ever.

    It's pretty much invincible in the original. Ash call it a perfect organism, and it's essentially indestructible. At the end Ripley shoots it with a fucking grappling hook, and it shrugs that off and climbs into the engine. And after she turns on the engine, it's still intact, and really pissed, but fortunately floating off into space.

    As I recall, the grown xeno wasn't established as having the facehugger's acid blood until the second movie as well. The grown alien never actually bleeds in the first.

    Wonder if they'll incorporate the original lifecycle, with the egg-morphing and all.

    Looks interesting, but I'm not going to get excited. A game in this universe made with loving detail by fans of the movies, with stunning pre-release screenshots? Yeah, heard that one before not too long ago.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2002
    Location: London / London / London
    Lolion, I used to have a signed copy of lords of misrule, I've read pretty much all of abnetts 2000AD stuff (well, not the latest I admit, but I've not heard any reason to suspect its much better). Im from banbury. I know the dudes ex wife. I've got some idea of what his stuff is like, yes. Its bad whedon, for the most part. And I hate whedon anyway. So the wh40k stuff is excellent? Compared to what, exactly? What other books have you read that you consider well written?

    Like I said, this looks really promising, but with abnett in charge just expect ripley-ette to display unconvincing sass in lieu of actual strength.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2008
    I've been waiting for this game since before Amnesia, before Penumbra, before every iteration of colonial marines exploring Hadley's Hope. It always needed to happen, and so much the better that it eventually took a high budget critical flop to change direction.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Jun 1999
    Location: Procrastination, Australia
    The trailer gave me less of an Amnesia vibe and more of scripting and mechanical heaviness like Outlast.
    Which can be ok I guess, but can wear out its welcome if overdone.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2008
    A bit of footage:


  15. #15
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Why not just remake Alien? You, 5 randomly generated AI, one of whom is an android (randomised every time) working together to fix the ship/escape before it gets you all. Like an Alien for the Spectrum update.

    Don't forget the cat.
    Telepathy is not mind reading. It is the direct linking... ...of nervous systems... ...separated by space.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Jun 1999
    Location: Procrastination, Australia
    Something like an Alien based "betrayal" card game principle would be pretty cool. That sort of free wheeling concept was always a hard sell though. People don't want to rewrite canon, they just want to live the fanfic, or so the theory goes I guess.

    They talk about the need for a heavy character dynamic in that clip and it's very true. There was that RPGish thing that was being developed either concurrently with Colonial Marines, or got canned in favour of Colonial Marines (because it was the obvious winner. lolerskates). It looked a bit shoddy but seemed like it got the human part of the concept at least.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Vivian View Post
    Oh god not Dan fucking Abnett, the Joss Whedon of Banbury. Dudes a hack. When will people hiring game writers fucking look beyond 'has written a book' when it comes to quality control? David Giler and Walter Hill are two of hollywoods finest scriptwriters. Dan Abnett writes WH40K tie-in novels.
    I used to read those shitty tie-in novels, and the Eisenhorn/Ravenor books Abnett wrote were probably the only ones that I'd say were decent pieces of fiction. Maybe he just hit it lucky with that series, I don't know, but I can think of far worse choices to pen the script for a game that looks to be dead-set on aping the movie. Besides, I don't think the writing is what's going to make or break this game.

    I wish the guys in that video could shut up for two seconds so I could get a feel for the atmosphere, though the visuals seem dead-on. But I think what it's going to come down to is how well the alien is handled. In the videogame adaptation of The Thing, the problem (okay, the biggest problem) was that the way it handled trust and infection was really poor and arbitrary. Characters would be scripted to turn at specific points even if you'd already confirmed them clean, and then when people turned into Things they basically just sprouted teeth from their hands and started running in circles. There was no tension or fear, just an annoying and exploitable game mechanic. They took a scary monster and ruined it with poor game design.

    So in this game, if they can make the alien behave intelligently, and with some degree of randomness, and take advantage of the visual design, this could be pretty awesome. If the alien is predictable, attacks in scripted sequences or at purely scripted times, runs around like the imbeciles in Colonial Marines, or devolves into an occasional PRESS X TO NOT DIE minigame every once in a while, it's going to suck. It's a pretty fine line there.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Some of the stuff sounds awesome like:

    The alien hunts you using complicated AI routines, looking and listening for you - and learning from your behaviour - as you attempt to evade it. I spent a lot of time hiding in lockers, but after a while it started to figure out what I was doing. On multiple occasions I had to hold down a button to hold my breath as it attempted to figure out which locker I was in;
    BUT it's hard to say how "organic" it will really be. Will it just follow Amnesia's pre-defined corridor with deliberately placed lockers / tools / weapons you're supposed to use in a given spot, or recreate a full ship you can roam around freely as the alien arbitrarily tries to hunt you down, kind of like what NuEffect said:

    Quote Originally Posted by NuEffect View Post
    Why not just remake Alien? You, 5 randomly generated AI, one of whom is an android (randomised every time) working together to fix the ship/escape before it gets you all. Like an Alien for the Spectrum update.

    Don't forget the cat.
    While I'd personally love it, I can see a more arbitrary/free roaming horror quickly messing up and turning more frustrating than engaging, or the really cool factors end up being missed by the player (or worse yet, percieved as bugs).

    It's a serious concern and a sad, but understandable (imho) reason why so many game devs opt for more scripted or handoldy designs.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2007
    Location: Sevastapol Station
    Not too worried about any flaws that will come, I've never played a perfect video game. Day one buy. Just watching the sequences in that hands-on preview had my heart pounding even with those two guys jabbering.

    I'll tear it apart afterwards, I always do when it comes to Alien, and nitpick everything. But I'm going to buy this thing, play it in the dark in my basement at night with my studio reference monitors and live with the heart palpitations.

  20. #20
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    What do you think of the Alien growth rate in the first film VA?
    Telepathy is not mind reading. It is the direct linking... ...of nervous systems... ...separated by space.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Volitions Advocate View Post
    Not too worried about any flaws that will come, I've never played a perfect video game. Day one buy.
    Y'know, that's what I said about Colonial Marines, and one $40 pre-order later I've learned my lesson.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    They definitely seem to be doing a number of things right - and I'm more excited about this than I ever was about Colonial Marines, seeing how I like Aliens but love Alien.

    I hope they're reasonably honest about what the game is and isn't, rather than pulling a bait-and-switch and going all out on action and guns later in the game.

  23. #23
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by Phatose View Post
    Wonder if they'll incorporate the original lifecycle, with the egg-morphing and all.
    It isn't canon in the slightest, just the Aliens lifecycle involving the Queen.
    The Dallas cocoon scene was a deleted scene and the supposed 2003 "Director's Cut" which restores it isn't endorsed by Ridley Scott.

  24. #24
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: someplace better than this
    That scene alone is the big #1 reason why I don't like the Director's Cut.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Iacon
    I only know Abnett from his Horus Heresy (40k) stuff. Yeh he's churning out pulp to a large extent, but pretty exciting pulp with engaging worlds and characters. He's IMO a cut above the usual tie-in\Expand Universe quality of writing anyway.

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