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Alien: Isolation unveiled as survival horror with roots in 1979 film [update]


Sega officially unveiled The Creative Assembly's Alien game as Isolation, a first-person survival horror for PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, and PC that's due for release in the second half of 2014. The long-speculated game has been in development at the British studio for just over three years, and firmly traces its roots to the original 1979 film that began the Alien franchise.

As previously rumored, players take on the role of Ellen Ripley's daughter Amanda in a new story that stars the original Alien from the film. Alien: Isolation is set 15 years after the events in Alien, and takes place on a large trading station where a flight recording from the Nostromo has been recovered.

"The thing we're always focused on is that first film," Lead Game Designer Gary Napper told Joystiq at a recent press event. "It's making the game as much like that original experience of being focused on a single alien in a single environment, and not being prepared to shoot it. It's that really close-up, personal, and connected experience with the Alien. That's what we've always focused on and wanted to do."

We played a brief demo at the event that pitted us against the Alien, but Napper told us The Creative Assembly already has a build of Isolation that's "playable from start to finish," and the studio is now in the process of "polishing, iterating, and balancing" the game.

We've also confirmed Alien: Isolation is running on an in-house engine built by The Creative Assembly, and that it features "no multiplayer whatsoever" to use Napper's words. The studio is still exploring console-specific functionality, such as Kinect integration on Xbox One; in the PS4 demo we used the touchpad to bring up and manipulate a pause screen map, and the controller's sensor light flashed with the in-game motion tracker.

For the nittier-grit of our experience with the demo, including how we somehow managed to evade the Alien (at the second time of asking), check out our impressions here.

Update: While Alien: Isolation does involve first-person shooting, as we originally noted, we aren't sure to what extent at this stage. We've added a further quote from Gary Napper to provide more clarity on how The Creative Assembly is billing that side of things.

"We've got a crafting system where you can create things that help you evade the Alien or defend against it or cause distractions," Napper told us. "At the same time you will find the odd small firearm around the place. It's a large, city-sized space station so there's going to be that sort of thing around.

"At no point are we giving you these huge plasma rifles and M56 smart guns. It's all about that survival horror scrounging, and one of our taglines, like a core pillar of the game has always been 'improvise to survive,' so the stuff you find in the environment is the stuff you want. I think despite there being other threats on the station, you're always worried about what the Alien is doing and where the Alien is. So, a lot of the collecting and everything you do, you're just like, "I'm gonna save this for the Alien!"

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