Thursday, 12 December 2013

Strategy Informer: The Curse of the Alien Licence

Alien Isolation

The following is an excerpt from  a recently published editorial on Strategy Informer titled "The Curse of the Alien Licence". It looks at the history of games in the Alien franchise, Sega's recent blunders with Aliens vs. Predator and Aliens: Colonial Marines, and then speculates on the "Alien-ness" of Creative Assembly's upcoming Alien: Isolation.
Looking at key design choices throughout Aliens vs. Predator and Aliens: Colonial Marines development, it would seem as though the same push for homogeneity was adopted by Sega – players take control control of macho, white men wielding futuristic military hardware capable of wiping out all enemy life in their paths in single player, and of destroying their fellow man in muliplayer. It's a formula that aims to make players feel powerful – a formula that most certainly works for the likes of Call of Duty – but isn't befitting of an Alien game. 
To make matters worse, this homogeneous development mindset was combined with a writing team too cautious to make a substantial mark on the Alien series. The resultant story lines of both Aliens vs. Predator and Aliens: Colonial Marines were wafer thin adventures that boiled down to “I'm a Colonial Marines – Get me out of here!”. Aliens: Colonial Marines attempted to permanently alter the Alien canon through their bold revival of Corporal Hicks, but the narrative choices surrounding his resurrection lacked conviction – as if it were written by a group of nervous children poking a dead frog with a stick, only to run off once its legs moved. 
This being said, most discussions on the state of recent Alien games raise the same point: atmosphere, or a lack thereof.

Related Articles:

Nov 6, 2013 - Nosgoth - The End of an Era or a Legacy Reborn? [Strategy Informer]
Jul 24, 2013 - The History of Steampunk Video Games [Alienware Arena]
Jun 1, 2013 - Aliens: Colonial Marines - The Whole Stinking Story [Sega Addicts]


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