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‘Alien: Isolation’ Developer Is Unhappy With AAA Horror

If the continuous stream of complaints from fans regarding the state of Resident Evil over the past few years hasn’t been enough to motivate Capcom to take a serious look at their flagship franchise, I doubt the steadily growing number of negative comments they’ve been receiving lately from fellow developers will do the trick. Even still, I get a kick out stuff like this.

Alistair Hope, creative director at Alien: Isolation developer Creative Assembly, had plenty to say about the steadily deteriorating state of AAA horror, and specifically Resident Evil and Dead Space, which have each had turns leading the genre’s direction. The former has seen quite a bit of criticism lately from fans, critics, and developers. Even Shinji Mikami — the guy who created the series back in 1998 — said its gradual migration away from horror inspired him to make The Evil Within.

Now we can add another disappointed developer to the list.

“I think this team really got a lot out of Dead Space 1 and Resident Evil,” Hope told Edge. “But those franchises moved in a direction that isn’t… Well, I think that fans of those originals have been marginalised and sometimes it feels like these days they’re just a couple of degrees away from being Gears Of War.” That comment’s spot-on and a little ironic, seeing as Resident Evil 4 served as inspiration for Gears of War.

“Cinematic set-pieces and loads of guns isn’t quite the ‘hiding in the cupboard’ experience I got in the old days of horror gaming,” lead designer Gary Napper added. “But that stuff has been embraced by the indie community who are producing these high fidelity games that are tense and atmospheric. It’s not often you get to do that in the triple-A space.” This is one of the many reasons why indie horror is where it’s at right now. All of the creativity, innovation, and willingness to push the envelope that we once got from established developers is almost entirely gone from the AAA space.

This is why indie horror games make up the majority of my list of 2014’s most anticipated horror games, because if you’ve had a recent urge to see unrestricted creativity then indie horror is the best source for it.

I have faith that the team at Creative Assembly is at least eager to deliver the Alien game we’ve wanted for so long.

For the full interview, head on over to Edge.

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