When is a game straying destructively from it roots... and when is it simply adapting to the desires of its audience? Take the Resident Evil series. Some would say Resi 5 was when it really broke from the formula by adding co-op, while others would argue the fourth game, with its over-the-shoulder view, was the true mould-breaker. Is there space (or money) in AAA survival horror for a more "classic" experience?
Alien: Isolation creative director Alistair Hope believes so, going by a recent interview with Edge. Isolation, in development by Creative Assembly, will hark back to horror gaming's days of "hiding in the cupboard":
"I think this team really got a lot out of Dead Space 1 and Resident Evil ... 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."
Edge also chatted with lead designer Gary Napper, who admits indies have "embraced" the genre more faithfully, but feels it's not something "you [often] get to do ... in the triple-A space". The article goes on to mention that CA is "digging back into the archives for inspiration", name-dropping titles such as Limbo, Thief and Condemned.
Personally, I enjoyed both Resi 5 and Dead Space 3's co-op modes, but I think Resi 6 took things too far. Hopefully Isolation can serve as a reminder to the likes of Capcom and Visceral that there's still life left in survival horror's roots.