Let’s All Get Cautiously Optimistic About Alien: Isolation

Let’s All Get Cautiously Optimistic About Alien: Isolation
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, features and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Kotaku Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a news fix.

Okay, Aliens: Colonial Marines was a bad video game. I think most of us can agree on that point. With that said, I think it’s only fair that — no matter how awesome it looks in the above reveal — we keep a healthy layer of cynicism about Alien: Isolation. The right things are being said, the right things appear to be being shown, but with Aliens: Colonial Marines so fresh in our collective memories, it’s difficult to completely abandon reason and ‘get hype’.

But I’m already enjoying the direction here. Less silly first person shooting, more suspense, more drama. Even before Aliens: Colonial Marines was released I worried about Gearbox’s ability to create a real sense of horror in a game that was clearly about player empowerment and shooting things a lot, but Alien: Isolation seems to be a bit smarter with that balance. Less shooty-shooty, more exploring, more tension. That’s super positive.

It also looks really great.

I still have some concerns. The issue for me is the language being used to sell the idea of this game — this is the Aliens game we’ve always wanted to play, we want it to be authentic, etc. The same words were being used in the lead up to Aliens: Colonial Marines so it’s extremely difficult for those words to have any real meaning.

And it’s being developed by a studio with a rich history in RTS games — a completely different genre. Don’t get me wrong, The Creative Assembly has a history of making good RTS games, but they do feel like a strange choice to work on a first person survival horror based on a popular movie license. If I was being really cynical I would say that SEGA is trying its level best to leverage a license it paid money for and is throwing it at random walls in the hope that it sticks.

But I won’t be that cynical. The game looks good so far. I think I can get cautiously optimistic about this. I just need to see more. The developer diary, also posted above, seems very convincing.



  • It will be crap.
    We should all have learnt by now and all be expecting that all Alien games will be shit.
    “This one sounds promising. This one might be good.”
    No. It will be shit. Like every other one.
    Prove us wrong.

    • AvP2 was awesome thought (that’s the old PC one). The new AvP I thought was pretty average and the latest Alien game was meh. I didn’t mind it as much as others (and I’m a huge Alien fan) but the problem with all of these games is that they’re too heavily focused on being a shooter and not a survival horror game.

      • I really liked the first two AVP games too, the remake wasn’t bad, never finished it though.
        (Huge fan: I had my DVD’s autographed by H.R. Giger, the creator of Aliens)
        Colonial marines was just… a purchase to get the Powerlifter action figure.

      • I’m heading off for a week long LAN tomorrow. AvP2 is a must. The new AvP, for a bit.

        Colonial Marines? I refuse.

  • A license with a rocky history being tackled by a studio unfamiliar with the genre and shooting for the moon?

    It’s either going to be brilliant or terrible and we’re not talking a 50/50 split here. Until people get heir hands on the final version of the game, there’s really no point even contemplating hype.

      • Agreed I was really excited for this when the gameplay video came out but after a few hours I tried to dial down the excitement….Would rather not get burned again =/

    • A license with a rocky history being tackled by a studio unfamiliar with the genre and shooting for the moon?Kind of sounds like the rep for Batman before Arkham Asylum came out, you never know your luck…

      • I’m not saying it won’t be good or that it can’t be. I’m just saying that having high expectations based on the very little we’ve seen so far isn’t a good idea.

        • Oh yeah, I was astonished when Arkham Asylum was anything other than shit and I’ll be surprised if it ever happens again. Having grown up in the C64 era, movie/comic/tv licences will in my mind always be somewhere between total shit, soulless cashin or ‘bless em at least they tried’. The only exception is when they’re somehow magic like AA was.

  • It sounds a bit more like the early Resident Evil games… which is good. But yeah with Sega making another one… no faith, no faith at all. I really hope they’ve learnt from the failure of CM.

  • And yet how much does someone want to bet that there’s going to be a healthy amount of either a) pre-orders or b) first day sales, that might result in another glorious sea of flames.

  • Give me an action RPG Aliens prequel starring Hicks, Hudson, Vasquez and the rest of the grunts. It begins in boot camp and follows them up until just before their final ill-fated mission. I’d play that.

  • I’ll just say this: everyone doubted Relic when they first announced SpaceMarine. They were a studio known for great RTS games, but they had no experience in 3rd person action, and the history of WarHammer action games before it wasn’t very promising.
    The final product though, kicked absolute ass.

  • You can be optimistic all you want about ANY game under development, no matter how shit the previous one was… The trick that people need to learn… DON’T FREAKING PRE-ORDER!

    Wait 2 weeks after release and you’ll know if a game was worth buying.

  • The genre of game that a studio made in the past doesn’t mean they can’t be good at making a different type of game in the future. Blizzard was mainly known for making RTS games before they made World of Warcraft, for example.

  • I’m more concerned about SEGA than Gearbox. With recent games they’ve puahed release dates on developers resultibg in subpar games, Colonial Marines and Rome 2 to name the two that I’ve experienced

  • Did they send over some bucks so someone would write this, to help try and rebuild this shattered video game brand? Because that’s what it seems like.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!