In an age where horror games are around every corner, one obstacle developers have to face is figuring out how, time and time again, to scare the gamer. Sega's team behind Alien: Isolation have constructed their version of a cure.
Taking heavy inspiration from the original Ridley Scott horror classic Alien, Alien: Isolation is a close reconstruction of the sterile, dark environment that Ripley had to muddle through. The corridors are tight, the lighting flickers, and you have the legendary tracker in your hand to spot what lurks around each corner. The creative lead on the project, Al Hope, states, "When audiences went to see Alien in theaters in 1979, they were introduced to a new creature who was terrifying, unstoppable, and totally unique. We wanted to create a game which recaptured that original experience. We wanted to make the Alien scary again."
To make this possible they created the Alien to react to player choice. Making its patterns unpredictable, and make it seem as real and as smart as possible: "Depending on how cautious players are, we've seen encounters in Alien: Isolation that last well over 30 minutes... this just can't be done through scripted behavior. As soon as the player predicts a pattern with the Alien it is no longer scary," says Gary Napper from Design.
The trailers and previews we've seen so far look promising. Please, oh please, Sega - do not drop the ball again. Alien: Isolation will release in late 2014 on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC.