Alien: Isolation

A bold approach to the licensed game pays off in this inventive slice of deep space terror.


Key events

FeatureAn ode to video game doors

Walking you through the doors of Doom, Dark Souls and more.

It's easy to underestimate the humble door. You open it, you go through. Sometimes, you must find the key first, and for many games, that's the whole extent of the player's interactions with doors. They're something to get past, something that cordons off one bit from the next bit. A simple structural element, of special interest to level designers, but not the ones who turn the knobs.

FeatureThe untold origin story of Creative Assembly

"I decided this kettle had to die."

A school gym in England, mid-'90s, and two local rugby players await orders. One is small and wide and called Adrian, and one is tall and weighs about 20 stone. He's Big Dave. Adrian has been getting flattened by Big Dave all day but he keeps getting back up. It's the rugby training in him: you bloody well get back up if you're knocked down. But this instinct is starting to annoy the people he's in the school gym for, the people making the sports game. They're trying to motion-capture for a rugby game and would rather Adrian lay still. They should be careful what they wish for.

Alien: Isolation modder adds VR support

Finishing the work The Creative Assembly started.

Sega's excellent first-person horror game Alien: Isolation was demoed by developer The Creative Assembly in VR, though the game never actually received any VR support at, or after, launch. The developer later explained that this was simply a proof of concept, and the game sadly didn't sell well enough to receive post-launch VR support or a sequel.

Alien: Isolation sales reach 2.1m, FM15 810K

Sega's annual financial results are out and they show a lifetime 2.11m sales for the accomplished Alien: Isolation, and 810,000 for Football Manger 2015.

That's not a disaster for Alien but nor will it be seen - for a costly triple-A production - as a barnstorming success. GamesIndustry International pointed out that many of those sales could have been done at a discounted price.

Nevertheless, Alien: Isolation developer Creative Assembly is already hiring for "another multiplatform AAA blockbuster", although it's not necessarily an Alien game.

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Alien: Isolation passes 1m sales mark after three months

Creative Assembly's excellent survival horror Alien: Isolation has finally sold 1m copies.

The developer revealed the sales milestone today via Twitter, a little over three months since the game's 7th October launch.

But, perhaps surprisingly, Isolations sales have come slower than Gearbox's critically-panned first-person shooter Aliens: Colonial Marines.

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Games of 2014: Alien: Isolation

You're Newt going to believe this.

It's been a long time since I played a horror game where I needed someone else present in the room just to give me a little bit of reassurance. I couldn't play Silent Hill 2 on my own, couldn't play the early Resident Evils, and certainly couldn't play Slender: The Eight Pages without another unfortunate soul beside me, sharing my misery.

FeatureReader's top 50 games of 2014

What do you mean it's another 8?

Happy New Year to you! Having had a little time to recover, I hope your head's all fine and dandy - we're still druuuuuuuuuuuuunk, but that's pretty standard for a Friday morning.

Alien: Isolation's latest update adds new difficulty modes

First-person Ridley Scott film simulator, Alien: Isolation, just received an all new free update that adds two new difficulty modes to the mix: Nightmare and Novice.

The former mode is probably the most requested draw as it turns the odds of survival against you even further. In Nightmare, you'll have a damaged motion tracker with a messed up display that sometimes gives you unreliable information. Resources are limited even further and map systems won't be available to download from terminals, so you'll have to chart your course one cautious step at a time. Non-alien combatants will also deal more damage and be more aggressive.

And what of the Alien itself, you ask? Unsurprisingly, the titular creature has also been taught a few new tricks. "In this heightened, terrifying atmosphere, our Alien will be hunting you like never before," developer The Creative Assembly stated on its official site. "With an upgraded AI that has amplified its fatal hostility, every step you take may be your last. Our monster is more adaptive, learning from your tactics with chilling speed and with intensified senses that will give you no second chances."

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Alien: Isolation's second piece of Survivor Mode DLC, Trauma released this week. It stars Dr Lingard, Sevastopol's chief medical officer, attempting to escape the carnage wrought by a pesky wayward xenomorph shortly before the events of the main game. It features three new maps, each with their own online leaderboards and optional additional objectives.

Alien: Isolation's Trauma DLC pack out today

You play chief medical officer Dr. Lingard.

The second DLC pack for survival horror game Alien: Isolation launches today for Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. European PlayStation owners get it tomorrow, Wednesday, 3rd December.

A game jam in his honour

Total War/Alien dev Creative Assembly remembers dearly departed friend.

Behind the games we play there are people, and sometimes sad things happen to those people.

Alien: Isolation dev probes PS4 patch problems

Alien: Isolation dev probes PS4 patch problems

UPDATE: Sega removes patch, explains how to uninstall it.

UPDATE 13/11/2014 5.04pm: Sega has confirmed that it's working with Sony on a fix for the Alien: Isolation PS4 bugs that snuck in with its latest patch, not unlike a certain face hugger once did with John Hurt.

In the meantime, Sega has removed the patch on PS4 and explained how to uninstall it for those who have already downloaded it. Here's the company's statement in full:

“We've discovered an issue with the latest patch (v1.02) for Alien: Isolation on PS4, where some users are having difficulties with playing Mission 5. We're currently working with Sony on a fix and will have that available as soon as possible.

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Alien Isolation: Corporate Lockdown DLC release date revealed

Alien Isolation: Corporate Lockdown DLC release date revealed

Features three new challenge maps and a fresh playable character.

Sega has announced a 28th October release date for Alien Isolation's Corporate Lockdown DLC, which adds three new Survivor Mode maps.

Priced at 5.59, the download will be available simultaneously on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Corporate Lockdown stars Seegson executive Ransome and features three new challenge maps to escape through: Severance, Scorched Earth and Loose Ends.

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Face-Off: Alien: Isolation

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Alien: Isolation

PS4 and Xbox One take on PC, 360 and PS3 in a five-way battle.

First impressions of Alien: Isolation suggested parity between the PS4 and Xbox One versions, with both sporting native 1080p visuals while sharing an extensive range of assets and graphical effects. Performance is an issue though, with PS4 commanding a distinct advantage thanks to a more consistent frame-rate and a complete lack of screen tear.

On the basis of those results, it seems like a clear win for Sony's system, but with the game available across no less than five different systems we were also interested to see how Creative Assembly's game translated onto the ageing Xbox 360 and PS3, and of course what benefits the PC version brings. On top of that, there was also those stuttering cut-scenes: what was causing that judder?

To kick things off, let's start by taking a close look at Alien: Isolation on PC. Early impressions suggest a game that is extremely easy to run at high frame-rates while requiring only modest hardware set-ups, but exactly what kind of experience are we getting compared to PS4 and Xbox One? We start by selecting a 1080p resolution to match the console versions and opt for SMAA T2x, the highest available anti-aliasing preset in the game.

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Alien: Isolation gets Oculus Rift support via fan hack

In space, no one can hear you cream.

Back at E3 Alien: Isolation developer The Creative Assembly showed off a demo for its first-person horror game using the Oculus Rift. Those who played it said it was cool. Those who didn't were sad. Then the developer confirmed that this was just a tech demo and wouldn't be included in the final game. It was a sad day for Alien fans.

The force is strong with this one! Alien: Isolation is out today, and it's apparently a bit of a treat, a neat slice of horror that is surprisingly leftfield for a mainstream game, evoking the spirit of Slender and Amnesiac and layering on some sensational set design inspired by the movies.

Performance Analysis: Alien: Isolation

Right now we're still working on delivering a full-face off of Alien: Isolation - including coverage of the PC game - but an initial hands-on with the first few hours of the game on PS4 and Xbox One turns out to be quite revealing. Graphical quality is generally excellent on both console platforms as we explore the terrorised Sevastopol space station, but it's clear that performance is the clear differentiating factor.

The first few hours in Alien: Isolation are slow-burning, featuring little interaction with the titular xenomorph, but the game works beautifully in generating a foreboding atmosphere, with an escalating sense of horror as things quickly start to fall apart. The use of ambient sound, dynamic lighting and layers of post-processing including depth of field, motion blur, chromatic aberration and film grain, all help to replicate the gritty aesthetic of the first Alien movie, generating an air of uneasiness when exploring new locations.

This heady combination also provides some great scares, too: the rumble of falling objects in the distance, screams of people suffering a horrifying death, and the brief flashes of shadows cast by emergency lighting are distinctly unnerving when the threat of the Alien is never far away.

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A recent Eurogamer editorial meeting segued naturally into a Eurogamer editorial pizza, a Eurogamer editorial karaoke session (you've got to hear Tom Phillips' a capella rendition of the Mario Bros theme, never mind John Bedford Sings The Wurzels) and a sequence of Eurogamer editorial nightcaps that ended, in one of Brighton's least atmospheric hotel bars during the wee small hours, with Martin Robinson claiming loudly that Alien and Blade Runner were kind of rubbish and that Prometheus was an underrated sci-fi classic. Somehow, he still has our friendship and respect. You have to forgive Martin his little mood swings.

Alien: Isolation review

RecommendedAlien: Isolation review

I think we're alone now.

I was nine years old when I first saw Ridley Scott's Alien. A schoolfriend had taped it off the telly, and one summer holiday afternoon we all gathered in his living room to watch this forbidden fruit, brought to us by the magic of a Memorex E-180.

It was the first proper horror movie I'd seen, outside of cheap black-and-white 1950s monster movies, and quite frankly it scared the piss out of me. Almost literally. I never even made it to the end. Around the time the creature's pneumatic jaw slammed into the skull of Yaphet Kotto's Parker and you totally saw bits of his brain, I caved in, faked a need to be somewhere else and fled into the suburban sunshine to walk off my jitters.

I've been chasing that initial high ever since - and from the moment it opens with a distorted, crackling rendition of the 20th Century Fox fanfare that looks like it could have come from the very same VHS tape, Creative Assembly's Alien: Isolation is the closest I've come to recapturing that same mix of cloying dread and intense vulnerability.

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FeatureSometimes I wish more games were just a vertical slice

Always leave them wanting more, not less.

Sega is cutting cheques for consumers who felt Aliens: Colonial Marines was wildly different to the marketing videos used to promote it, but while that particular battle is over, the war of words between the publisher and Gearbox Software, which developed the game, certainly isn't. This week brings fresh squabbling to light. The respective parties presumably wish they could just dust off and nuke the whole sorry episode from orbit.

FeatureLiving with the Alien: What it's like to spend a day with Alien: Isolation

It's impressed at press events, but is Alien: Isolation's long-game just as spectacular?

Alien: Isolation has impressed every time we've seen it since its reveal, but this time it's different. This isn't some staged demo, or bustling press event. This is me, one my own, with a build of Alien: Isolation. The lights are off. The headphones are on. I'm entirely alone. And, yes, I'm bricking it.

Alien Isolation Oculus Rift prototype is just that

"Does not represent a game currently in development."

An Oculus Rift version of first-person survival horror game Alien Isolation was shown off at E3 last month, sparking excitement that the game will launch with full virtual reality headset support.

FeatureWeapons are never the solution in Alien Isolation

"It's absolutely not a shooter..."

In Alien Isolation, the first-person survival horror game from Creative Assembly, you end up carrying a revolver - at one point you can even pick up a flamethrower - and as you're exploring the giant, decommissioned trading space station Sevastopol, slowly, as silently as possible, you bump into other humans. That's what happens to me when I play the game's newest playable level, lifted from a section set further into the game than those previously shown. As I skulk around the ruined corridors of the spaceship, all of a sudden I find myself face to face with a man.

VideoVideo: Creative Assembly on creating a faithful Alien game

"We needed to create new stuff that felt completely true to the original."

It's not out for exactly six months, but anyone who played it at EGX Rezzed at the end of March, where we named it our Game of the Show, could be forgiven for assuming Alien: Isolation was already finished, such was the level of polish on display. Judging by the section we've played, Creative Assembly's survival horror game is the unmistakeable love-child of the original 1979 film and a studio that knows what made it tick.

Alien Isolation release date announced

Alien Isolation release date announced

All other priorities are rescinded.

Alien Isolation will be released on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One from 7th October 2014, developer Creative Assembly has revealed.

The announcement was made today live on stage during the Alien Isolation panel at EGX Rezzed 2014, where the game's playable demo has enjoyed some of the biggest interest of anything on the show floor.

"We couldn't be happier to finally announce a date for Alien: Isolation,” Creative Assembly's Alistair Hope said. "The reaction we have seen so far has been simply incredible, from the screams and shrieks to the cold sweats and racing hearts. It's the Alien game that we've always wanted to play and we can't wait to let everyone get their hands on it this fall."

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FeatureAlien Isolation: "I didn't expect smiling and laughing"

Creative Assembly's Al Hope on what Rezzed visitors can expect when they face the xenomorph.

Peel away the snapping jaws and acid blood of the Alien franchise, and you'll find that what really drives this enduring saga is something far more primal. The ticking clock of pregnancy, the knowledge of something growing, incubating, preparing to burst into the world, is what gives the xenomorph its true power. It's a feeling that Al Hope, console lead at Creative Assembly, is all too familiar with.

Creative Assembly to announce Alien: Isolation date at EGX Rezzed

With EGX Rezzed now just days away, Creative Assembly has revealed that it plans to announce the release date for Alien: Isolation during its developer session at the show.

EGX Rezzed is organised by Gamer Network, which publishes, and takes place over three days from this Friday at the NEC in Birmingham. The show features a huge variety of upcoming games to play, developer presentations, tournaments and loads more.

Creative director Al Hope will be on stage from 3pm GMT on the Saturday to share progress on Alien: Isolation with attendees and will reveal the date during the session. The game is already known to be due in late 2014 on PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

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EGXAlien: Isolation playable at EGX Rezzed in March

World's first hands-on on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Creative Assembly's ambitious survival horror title Alien: Isolation will be playable for the first time in the world at EGX Rezzed, organisers announced today. (Full disclosure: we are the organisers. Hello!)

There's something lurking in the corner of the room; something big, ugly and grotesque. It's stalking the shadows, sizing up its prey, and everybody's in fear of the havoc it's wreaked - yet no-one's willing to look it in the eye. Instead, during the first chance to play Alien: Isolation, The Creative Assembly's not-so-secret horror spin on the licence that Sega picked up in 2006 and has been fumbling with ever since, the focus is on the single xenomorph that stalks the game's corridors. And understandably so - it's quite the creation.

Alien: Isolation details appear on Xbox Games Store

Alien: Isolation details appear on Xbox Games Store

UPDATE: Listing back online, Alien spotted, co-op references removed.

UPDATE: The leaks continue. Not only is Alien: Isolation's listing now back online, but it has provided a clear view of the game's Alien design.

The listing has been edited, however, to remove references to multiplayer and co-op play that were spotted last night. Were these details a mistake? Or is Sega just not ready to announce the modes?

See the Alien and all his teeth below.

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Creative Assembly's Alien FPS stars Ripley's daughter Amanda

For current and next-gen consoles in 2014, says report.

Creative Assembly's secret Alien game will be called Alien: Isolation and revolve around Amanda Ripley, daughter of the Ellen Ripley character made famous by actress Sigourney Weaver, an anonymous source-based report has revealed.