This Year’s Worst Game Is Somehow Getting Another Sequel
Aliens: Colonial Marines is one of the worst games I’ve ever played and reviewed. It stands as a monument to really bad game design, with a marketing department that seemed to have engulfed itself in its own lore and completely disregarded what was actually happening in the game. It was enough to convince everyone that Alien games were done and dusted. Everyone, that is, except Fox themselves.
According to Kotaku, Fox has ordered the development of a new Alien game. In fact, development of this game had already begun earlier in the year, after the disaster that was Colonial Marines. Apparently some guys in suits sat around a table and asked themselves what went wrong. The result was an idea for a new Alien title, which will apparently star the daughter of the Alien film protagonist, Ellen Ripley. And according to a trademark filed yesterday, this new title will be called Alien: Isolation. Ominous, isn’t it?
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Now here’s where things get interesting. Fox have ordered Creative Assembly to create this new Alien title, and they are far from unknown developers. That is, in the real-time strategy realm, where they are famous for the Total War series. Isolation, however, will seek to be a blend of ideas from games like Dishonored and BioShock, albeit with a few Xenomorphs thrown into the mix. Well, I’m lying actually, because this same report suggests that players will be stuck on a space station that only has one Alien lurking around, with players instead mowing down clones and soldiers while looking out for a peculiar tail hanging from the ceiling.
I can certainly see where an idea like this could work, given the correct tension and atmosphere, but if players are just gunning down hordes of soldiers as Ripley’s daughter, then I find it hard to tell Colonial Marines and this apart. Of course, these reports come from a source that revealed this months ago, and considering Isolation was meant to be announced at this year’s E3, things might have changed since then. All we really know for sure is that Fox is serious about this game, hence the trademark filing yesterday.
But after the disaster that was Colonial Marines, I’d almost say Fox is fighting a lost battle here. It’s going to take something truly spectacular to change people’s minds about this franchise, and even then it will be harder still to get people to buy this day one. Good luck Fox, you’re going to need every bit of it.