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Published on June 23rd, 2014 | by Corey Milne

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Excited for Alien: Isolation… And I Shouldn’t Be

You know, we Alien fans are almost as bad as Sonic fans. We get burned time and time again with games featuring everyone’s favourite xenomorphs, but no matter how many times we’re blown out of an airlock we think to ourselves, “next time will be better.” We refuse to report our abusive partner to the authorities, in a vain hope that they will one day change. It loved me once, that has to count for something, right?

So yes, I am quite excited for Alien Isolation. Even though Colonial Marines put me in traction (maybe the game just burst through your chest- editor).

I have dampened my enthusiasm with cautiousness, and reports about the game have so far been split. Some have described it as a nail biting trip into bowel tightening terror, while others aren’t convinced it can maintain the scare factor. It’s a valid criticism to assume death by the Alien may devolve into a frustrating obstacle that needs to be overcome. Here’s hoping the audio, design and AI are up to the task of ensuring we end up jumping at our own shadows.

The game may have one ace up its sleeve that could give it the edge which past titles have lacked: Oculus Rift.

I think it’s worth remembering that Alien was unlike anything that had come before it when the film hit screens in 1979. We might laugh at the stories of people throwing up in cinemas when they witnessed the chest burster scene for the first time, but the importance of Alien cannot be understated. I’m willing to bet that for a lot of people of my generation, Alien was one of those movies you saw before you were old enough, and it left a permanent mark.

Alien Isolation 2

Those marks have healed over the years. Thanks to disasters like Resurrection or Colonial Marines, the once menacing xenomorph has been relegated to a state of ridicule and cliche. Aliens: Colonial Marines was perhaps the blackest mark delivered to the franchise. The Aliens were neutered, any reverence for the licence was shown to be thoroughly shat upon, and it tried to assure us that human enemies were really fun to fight with stilted controls.

Yet the Rift could offer us a window of opportunity to be be transported back to a time when the xeno was frightening. It could reawaken the fear of things scrabbling in the dark. Of the single, unimaginable foe which you have no hope of defeating. You can only run. You can only hide. The neighbours will probably hear you scream. The pulse rifles, space marines and paper thin characters replaced by just you and it. That’s an exciting premise right?

Then again human enemies will also make an appearance, so what do I know? I’m probably just pissing in the wind.

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About the Author

Corey Milne has been into video games ever since he went on an adventure with a bandicoot. Other interests include history, science fiction and Judge Dredd. An Irishman living in Scotland, he is attempting to make a living from writing to justify his masters degree. He can be found cradling a Guinness on Twitter @Corey_Milne



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