Tag Archives: Alien

Alien Isolation the Collection stalks Xbox One

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This week Sega have pushed out the Alien Isolation Collection, and what a perfect time of year to do so, the collection comes to you as a digital only version which contains the game and seven packs of DLC that were released periodically since its original release.

Relive the horror you went through the first time and then some as you try to survive for longer than before with all of the additional content.

Alien Isolation – The Collection can be found on the Xbox One store for $39.99 and you can check out our review from the original Alien Isolation here.

Alien: Isolation Review

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In 1979 Ridley Scott introduced us to Ellen Ripley and the Alien saga. Now 35 years later in 2014 Alien: Isolation has come to next generation gaming consoles. Developed by The Creative Assembly and published by Sega, Alien Isolation was released on October 7th for Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Alien: Isolation is part of the Aliens series and fits in perfectly to the story fans already know and love. The game is set in 2137, fifteen years after the events of Alien. The game follows Amada Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley, who whilst working for Weyland-Yutani is investigating the disappearance of her mother. Character Christopher Samuels immediately approaches Amanda in the opening sequence to inform her that the flight recorder of the Nostromo was recently located by a ship named the Anesidora and is being held aboard Sevastopol Station, a remote free port space station owned by the Seegson Corporation. Christopher Samuels is quick to offer Amanda a place on the Weyland-Yutani team sent to retrieve it hoping that Amanda will finally find some closure. Ripley (Amanda) joins Christopher Samuels, and corporative executive Nina Taylor and heads off to Sevastopol on board a courier ship, the Torrens, owned by Captain Verlaine. Arriving at Sevastopol the group find the station damaged and its communications unreliable. Ripley, Samuels, and Taylor attempt to spacewalk over to the station to investigate, but during the walk their EVA line is severed by debris crashing through the station and (unsurprisingly – this is a survival horror title after all) Ripley is separated from them and forced to enter the station on her own. The players fight for survival begins now.

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Alien: Isolation isn’t the first attempt to bring to life the Alien saga in video games. Since the initial films release there have been a number of titles based upon the series. The majority of them, if we are being honest with one another, are downright shocking. What is extremely apparent from Alien: Isolation is we’ve been waiting for technology to catch up to enable our front rooms to bring to life the fear and horror of the Alien movies.

The development team behind Alien: Isolation are probably best known for their work in the award winning and critically acclaimed Total War series. The story goes that a six-person team created a small multiplayer demo in which one player assumed the role of a Xenomorph to play an Alien inspired version of “hide and seek”. Having pitched the idea to Sega executives the project was approved and The Creative Assembly team got to work.

The developers, wanting to capture the horror and feel of the first film, ensured that although Alien: Isolation is set in the future, the technology within the game is modelled after the first Alien film. Jon McKellan, Lead Art Designer for Alien: Isolation was quoted saying

We had this rule. If a prop couldn’t have been made in 1979 with the things that they had around, then we wouldn’t make it either.

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20th Century Fox provided The Creative Assembly with three terabytes of archived data related to the original Alien film, including notes on prop and set design, behind the scenes photos, videos, and the film’s original sound effect recordings, to help Creative Assembly authentically recreate the atmosphere of the film. The Alien because of this is incredibly well detailed and animated but that isn’t the only part of the game that stands up to scrutiny. The entire game pays homage to the films that inspired it. The level design, weapons and film grain effect seems right out of the movies and overall, this makes Alien: Isolation one of the more cinematic feeling games I’ve seen and played in years.

There are two Kinect specific features in Alien: Isolation which are both intended to add to the player’s feeling of immersion. Head-tracking does what it says on the tin and allows you to move left or right, forward and back while hiding, and at no point did this feel out of place. The second feature is one that caught me out on a couple of occasions; noise detection. With this enabled, your own environment and noise within it become a part of the game. A text message alert, cough or even the opening of a Pepsi Max bottle can be end of you. Be warned.

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During Alien: Isolation it isn’t just the Xenomorph, as menacing as it is, that is your only concern. You’ll need to be prepared to face not just menacing humans but also Androids who have turned deadly, a corporation who cares little for the stations remaining inhabitants and dangerous environments which will test you and threaten your survival. The further you progress through the station and unravel what is happening the Xenomorph will become more of a threat. Watch. Every. Step. The Creative Assembly designed the Alien so that it cannot be killed and instead of following a predetermined path, the artificial intelligence of the Alien has been programmed to actively hunt for you by sight, sound and smell.

Aside from the Campaign in Alien: Isolation there is a secondary game type called Survivor Mode. This mode tasks players with completing a number of objectives within a certain area of the station and within a specified time limit. Not as easy as you’d think.

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As a fan of the Alien series, having watched all the movies countless times, even read books (including fan fiction), I feel in love with Alien: Isolation even if my nerves didn’t. The games graphics and intelligent (and unpredictable) AI keeps the game moving along at a pace which doesn’t let up.

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The Art of Alien Isolation Hardback Review

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To coincide with Creative Assembly’s terrifying take on the Alien franchise, Titan Books have released The Art of Alien Isolation, that features extensive behind the scenes commentary from both the artists and creators as well as never-before-seen concept art and 3D renders. If you are already familiar with Titan Books who publish a spectacular range of hardback books to accompany popular game launches, The Art of Alien Isolation is in a familiar style with a Special Edition available signed by artist, Bradley Wright. Compiled by its author, Andy McVittie – this stunning collection of art will be sure to impress fans of the Alien Isolation game that is available in stores right now!

The Art of Alien Isolation will take readers on a journey into the art production of the game itself that focuses on the events fifteen years after the original plot of the classic Alien movie. Containing a stunning display of concept art with detailed creator commentary through-out you will have a comprehensive insight into the Alien world and the Sevastopol Space Station, now a deserted unit home to the chilling Xenomorph’s. Chapters of the book are broken down into Character’s, Weapons, the Space Station, the Xenomorphs and the Storyboarding process that pieced the game into what is fully playable today from SEGA. We do have a full review of the game in process which you should look out for in the coming days ahead.

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The book offers an in-depth look at the design and construction of the Sevastopol Space Station, noting how if something could not have been built on the original movie set in 1979 then it has no place in the game. Covering its vast infrastructure and signature three towers, the artists detail the challenges faced on initial concepts and how the games character, Amanda Ripley follows in the footsteps of her mother through the eerie corridors and abandoned vents before a spine chilling face-off with the Xenomorph – the unpredictable, terrifying creature that is the Alien!

The Art of Alien Isolation, really covers a lot of inspiration that was taken from the movie and gives reference to dramatic illustrations from the artists who helped set the tone of the fear factor in the game itself. Referring back to the Sevastopol Space Station, it is meticulously complex in its structure with the ability to house 3000 residents. Now at just a population of just 500, law and order is on the verge of collapse with the art book allowing you to visually see the main three towers in more detail covering the accommodation, the Technical tower and the Science Tower that is home to hospital labs and research facilities. Although for movie buff’s or complete die-hard fans of Alien, you will know that there was four towers in the original space station, and the book gives a great account into how artists and designers broke down each environment, area and concluded that for the game, three main towers were needed for the habitation, science and technology areas with engineering in lower decks.

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There is just an incredible story of inter-weaved design processes that you do not get any information about generally with a lack of awareness to the efforts and lengths that skilled artists resort to, to give gamers everything they need to enjoy a game. This book is an eye opener in terms of the complexity and processes applied to delivering the art direction. Not only is the art book beautiful to look at, page after page, but when you learn more about the development process of Alien Isolation, you really begin to appreciate the hard work into creating digital fictional worlds where we take for granted the problematical and challenging situations designers face in the concept process. Without art books like this and many others that Titan Books publish, we may never get the opportunity to see the work previously that went into the development from an artistic perspective. Not only is it a great read if you’ve never even played the game (because the game is not being reviewed by myself personally) but I found the Art of Alien Isolation additionally a great way to compare movie-to-game transitions.

The Art of Alien Isolation is a stunning collection of the art featured in the hit SEGA game and is well presented, documented and a fantastic insight into how everything shapes together to become the dark, horror setting that you will play in the videogame. The book would make an ideal gift for any Alien gaming fan or a superb purchase if you’re looking to expand your collection of gaming memorabilia.

You can search to buy this book online or visit Titan Books website, and look out for our Alien Isolation game review soon!

Alien: Isolation Features Voices and Likenesses of 1979 Original Cast

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Before you go getting way over excited about the news that the original cast of the 1979 box office hit Alien, has their voices in the game – this is set to feature on two downloadable bonus levels as revealed by a press release today from SEGA and Twentieth Century Fox.

Alien: Isolation, features the vocal talent and likenesses of key cast members of the 1979 Ridley Scott masterpiece, Alien. Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winner Sigourney Weaver (Ellen Ripley) , Tom Skerritt (Dallas) , Veronica Cartwright (Lambert) , Harry Dean Stanton (Brett) , Yaphet Kotto (Parker) and Ian Holm (Ash, likeness and sound-alike) are set to feature in two downloadable bonus missions, which allow you to relive two classic scenes from the movie.

Anyone in the UK who pre-orders the game will get a free upgrade to the Nostromo Edition, which includes the bonus content “Crew Expendable”. Players can choose to play as one of three surviving crewmembers, only moments after Brett’s death at the jaws of the creature. As Ellen Ripley, Dallas or Parker, players can explore the Nostromo from habitation deck down through engineering, coordinating their efforts with Lambert and Ash to lure the Alien into the ship’s airlock.

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In addition, consumers who pre-order at select retailers will also receive “Last Survivor” in which players pick up the story as Ripley tries to escape on the Narcissus. On hearing the screams of Lambert and Parker, players must navigate their way back down through the Nostromo in order to activate the self-destruct sequence, before retracing their steps back to the Narcissus shuttle and their escape.

Alien: Isolation is a first-person survival horror game capturing the fear and tension evoked by Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic film. Players find themselves in an atmosphere of constant dread and mortal danger as an unpredictable, ruthless Xenomorph is stalking and killing deep in the shadows. Underpowered and underprepared, you must scavenge resources, improvise solutions and use your wits, not just to succeed in your mission, but to simply stay alive.

Alien: Isolation will be available from October 7th, 2014, for Xbox One, Xbox 360 and other platforms.

Alien: Isolation Available from October 7

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SEGA has announced that Alien: Isolation, will be available from October 7th, 2014. Developed by Creative Assembly, the game will be available on Xbox One and Xbox 360 as well as other platforms. Earlier this year the game title slipped out on the Xbox LIVE game store with a host of images.

“We couldn’t be happier to finally announce a date for Alien: Isolation,” said Alistair Hope, Creative Lead at Creative Assembly. “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.”

Alien: Isolation is a first-person survival horror game capturing the fear and tension evoked by Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic film. Players find themselves in an atmosphere of constant dread and mortal danger as an unpredictable, ruthless Xenomorph is stalking and killing deep in the shadows. Underpowered and underprepared, you must scavenge resources, improvise solutions and use your wits, not just to succeed in your mission, but to simply stay alive.

Alien: Isolation will be available from October 7th, 2014, for Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3 and Windows PC.

Alien: Isolation Developer Diary – Creating The Alien

Delve into Creative Assembly’s vision for the ultimate hunter, with talks from studio leads and key studio developers who have been dedicated to the development of the Alien.

Discover the true meaning of fear in Alien: Isolation, a survival horror set in an atmosphere of constant dread and mortal danger. Fifteen years after the events of Alien, Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda enters a desperate battle for survival, on a mission to unravel the truth behind her mother’s disappearance.

As Amanda, you will navigate through an increasingly volatile world as you find yourself confronted on all sides by a panicked, desperate population and an unpredictable, ruthless Alien.

Underpowered and under-prepared, you must scavenge resources, improvise solutions and use your wits, not just to succeed in your mission, but to simply stay alive.

FarCry 3: Blood Dragon Review

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You’d be hard pressed to find someone that didn’t enjoy Far Cry 3. It’s totally understandable; the game was a non-stop thrill ride that could keep you entertained for the longest time. So when Ubisoft announced Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, it was perceived as a bit of a joke. It didn’t help that the game’s announcement came on April 1st either. But we soon found out that Blood Dragon was indeed very real. We also saw that it was a satirical retro take on Far Cry 3 and 80’s action flicks. It could’ve proven to be risky, but did it work out in the end? Read on and we’ll see.

You have to understand something from the get-go. Blood Dragon is something of a joke. That’s not to say it’s bad. It’s just the least obvious follow up to the intensely serious Far Cry 3. The blend of the mass hysteria that was 80s machismo and the neon glow that has been added to the easily playable Far Cry engine seems genius for the most part and works extremely well.

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In a desolate future, the year 2007 (hilarity in itself) finds the planet being a hollow shell of itself due to the outbreak of nuclear war. An entirely new kind of super soldier known as the Cyber Commandos have been born. They are genetically altered bionic humans who are sent out to do the missions that no ordinary man can do. The Cyber Commando that you take control of is known as Sergeant Rex ‘Power’ Colt.  He descends onto an island filled with cyber soldiers that are controlled by yet another cyborg. Rex Colt will have to do everything within his power to overcome great odds and come out alive.

Blood Dragon is constantly coming at you with reminders that it is an homage to every bad action film that you had seen in the 80s and early 90s. Every piece of dialogue in the game is penned to perfection. Every line coming with a barrage of dated clichés that will slap you in the face with a fist full of nostalgia. They even secured the extremely appropriate voice acting talents of Michael Biehn, who played Corporal Dwayne Hicks in Alien and Kyle Reese in The Terminator. Every line delivered by Biehn feels like an open apology for the bland and frankly upsetting nature of Aliens: Colonial Marines.

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So we’ve set the retro tone that the game displays, let’s talk about how it handles. Precisely like Far Cry 3. Not a thing changed, each button is assigned exactly where it was with its predecessor. It feels just as smooth and easy to play as Far Cry 3 as well. Therefore, you know that this arcade game already has a head start on several others. It’s strange to say as it is essentially just a re-skin of Far Cry 3, but Blood Dragon just might be the most well-made game on the Xbox LIVE Arcade. Like Far Cry 3, there are many ways to ‘skin a cat’. You can take it stealthily, cutting alarms so that your foes cannot call reinforcements to stop you. Or you can charge in all guns blazing, taking names and kicking ass. You don’t take any damage from big drops due to your bionic legs, and you can completely breathe underwater now. But you will still need a hint of strategy to succeed in this game. Taking out alarms, marking enemies, and silently killing them is the best way to advance here.

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We’ve come all this way and we’ve not even mentioned the Blood Dragons. They are huge mechanical beasts shoot lasers from their eyes and mercilessly hunt you down. You can use them to take out your enemies though, if you’re smart enough. You can lure them to certain areas by throwing cyber hearts that you pilfer from dead enemies in your desired direction. The AI on the dragons is pretty bad, and they look a bit more like mutated T-Rex’s than dragons. But it is fun watching them tear apart and dine on enemy infantry.

The game map isn’t as big as Far Cry 3. That’s almost a given, but it is still large enough for you to have plenty of endeavours all around. There are still towers to liberate around the island. Liberating these towers will unlock extra side missions for you to waste time on.

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The sound in the game is top-notch. As I’ve already mentioned, the acting talents of Michael Biehn are ever present and pretty damn funny. The soundtrack itself is amazing, showing off plenty of guitar riffs, power ballads, synth, with a hint of hard rock and metal. The voice acting and the score and soundtrack almost transforms you into the realm of these cheesy action flicks. Hell, the phaser guns even fire with that much heard ‘pew-pew’ noise that we’ve all heard in sci-fi films.

The game will only take you around 5 hours if you power through the story missions. Although there is quite a lot to do on the side. There are strongholds and towers for you to liberate, as well as side missions to be done.

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In short, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is a hilarious game that is damn fun to play. It has succeeded where Aliens: Colonial Marines and Duke Nukem Forever had failed. They were successful in recapturing an era and personifying it. It’s well worth playing this if you’ve never played Far Cry 3 and are just wondering what the gameplay is like. It’s a barrel of laughs and a it’ll open up a can of retro on your ass. Basically, if you like Far Cry 3 and you like to laugh, buy this game.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is currently available on the Xbox LIVE Arcade for 1200 Microsoft Points.

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