5 Things I Want From ‘Alien: Isolation’

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We’ve seen a lot of video games based on the Aliens film franchise, starting with the original Alien that came to the Atari 2600 back in ’82. While I would like to say they have been a mixed bag, I fear that would be far too kind. For the most part, the games have been awful. Like, not even worth a rental, even if you’re a fan of the fiction, like me. Recently, the series has seen a resurgence, yet, somehow, the developers making them have managed to take impressive steps backwards with their recent efforts, which includes the ridiculously unbalanced Alien vs. Predator and the embarrassment that was Aliens: Colonial Marines.

It looks like the next game — and potential disappointment — will follow Ellen Ripley’s daughter. It’s called Alien: Isolation and from what little we’ve seen of it so far, it looks promising. Of course, Colonial Marines looked promising too, and we all know how that turned out.

I’m a glass half full kind of guy, so I’ve decided to embrace — and possibly rekindle — the dying flame of hope I still have in this series by coming up with some ideas that I think could help make this game successful. Check out my list of 5 things I’d like to see from Alien: Isolation after the break!

Make It Scary

Duh.

You would think this would be a no-brainer, but despite being based on a series of terrifying films, the video games have been largely void of any real scares. On top of that, the films ooze atmosphere while the games have been more focused on herding us into one lazily crafted gunfight after another. Whether Isolation is aiming for a haunted house feel in the same vein as the original movie or the action/horror approach we saw in its sequel, this game needs to be scary.

If Isolation is to be successful in this endeavor, the first thing they’ll need to tackle is making the alien scary again. I killed so many of them in the last few games that they’re about as scary as a zombie is in Dead Rising. Make them formidable foes again, deadly (and intelligent) hunters that need to be feared. They’re like Velociraptors, only cooler.

Less Soldier-On-Soldier Action

This is essentially an extension of the last point. In Colonial Marines, you spent a large majority of your time mowing down soldiers, popping from one waist high object to another as you picked off the embarrassingly poor AI until the game felt you had endured enough tedium to progress to the next level. It was boring and uninspired and it made the game feel like a generic military shooter, only with less (i.e. none) of the polish and refined mechanics that many games in that genre tend to possess.

I’m not saying human enemies should be removed entirely, but they also should not be a focus here. I want to solve puzzles, explore unfamiliar worlds and environments and completely lose my shit when a Xenomorph crawls out of a vent, much like a Necromorph, to sneak up behind me so it can do whatever aliens do to unsuspecting soldiers.

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  • divisionbell

    I definitely agree with this list. The game should be atmospheric and scary as all hell. The aliens need solid AI and they don’t need to be around every corner. I want to jump at noises that might be an alien but you never know. Also, a fight with an alien needs to be intense. One alien killed an entire crew in the original movie and that’s the level we need in a game.

    I agree with getting rid of competitive multiplayer, but I’m all for co-op on this one. It would be great for moments when you see your friend get ripped into an air shaft in front of you. Or realizing you have to split up and be alone to accomplish a task. It would leave you wondering if the blip on yor radar is just your friend or something else.

  • http://spiderduck.net/zedd-radio/ suedepup

    Agreed!

  • ChildoftheKoRn

    the one thing I want to see in Alien: Isolation. Is have Ripleys kid as the main character. ITS NOT RIGHT, DAMNIT! I’m sure it’ll be cool, but the idea of the main character being someone who did not encounter the xenomorphs puts a bad taste in my mouth. Should be an Alien 5 instead.

    • Kainrich

      Having Weaver come and do the voice for Ripley, and using her as the main character, would make this a must get for me. Ghostbusters the game was something special…even if some complained that the voice acting felt flat (Bill Murray)

  • VictorCrowley

    The only Alien game I found to be good and somewhat addicting (aside from the arcade Aliens which I chalk up to childhood attachment) was AVP2 for the PC. I really enjoyed most aspects of that game. Thought it was really well done for that time period.

    I had looked forward to Colonial Marines for years and was stunned when I found out how horrible that game was. Luckily, I found this out before wasting any $$$ on it. I remember Alien 3 and AVP for SNES. Just silly attempts at creating the kind of atmosphere and experience we come to expect from the movies.

    I’ll give this new one a look. But, like the OP, I’m not getting my hopes up.

  • tpr007

    I just signed up to say, “I agree with all of this!”

  • Kainrich

    I’d prefer if they did away with all human, or android, enemies. Have a slenderman feel to it.

  • DrawNQuarter

    100% agreement. Especially the multi-player issue. I am tired of seeing how perfectly good game universes get screwed over because the creators obviously have the multi-player version in mind during development. Some games can only be done well if crafted specifically for single-player from the ground up.

  • Komitsu

    Good list, I concur!