Alien: Isolation Dated for October
Creative Assembly’s “lo-fi sci-fi” love letter to Ridley Scott’s deep space horror masterpiece has received a release date: October 7th, 2014.
Alien: Isolation looks to holster the series’ pulse rifles and send its colonial marines on shore leave. You won’t mow down an army of xenomorphs; you’ll have to outsmart just one. The effect is an elongated game of cat and mouse… if the cat were a double-jawed, acid-blooded hate creature bred to be perfect killing machine straight out of the womb (the womb in question being your exploded chest cavity).
For a sci-fi horror franchise that practically invented sci-fi horror, it’s astounding Alien has yet to dip into the survival horror genre, but better a few decades late than never. Especially after 2013’s Travesty That Shall Not Be Named.
Mark your calendars and remember, while no one in space can hear you scream, your neighbors can certainly hear the high-pitched, glass cracking fright coming out of your apartment playing Isolation. Maybe give ‘em a heads up so they don’t call the cops and have them laugh at you.
Sega’s Next Alien Game to Star Ripley’s Daughter?
We’ve been aware of an Alien project being kicked around Creative Assembly’s offices for a decent while now.
The Sega owned studio is most renown for its long-standing RTS franchise Total War, but they have, on occasion, stepped outside their genre comfort zone on certain titles. If Kotaku’s report checks out, they’re leaping way outside of that zone. Enter the very recently trademarked Alien: Isolation, a first-person horror title for both current and next-gen that’s massively informed by games the likes of Bioshock and Dishonored.
Creative Assembly’s take on the mythos draws inspiration from Ridley Scott’s original Alien, placing a greater emphasis on stealth over direct combat. In fact, one studio insider says, besides a multitude of “clones and soldiers” to tackle, the majority of the game has you tangling with a single xenomorph.
Isolation is said to isolate your ass aboard a space station and, interestingly, has you assume the role of Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Ellen Ripley — the heroine at the forefront of every Alien film that doesn’t include a Predator or a Fassbender. Before you call shenanigans, yes, Amanda is a canonical character; though she’s only briefly mentioned in a scene found in the extended version of Aliens (the company file didn’t list off run-in’s with galactic space monsters, however)… Okay, fine, I’ll nerd out all over you: That means Isolation is set in the fifty-seven years between the events of Alien and Aliens, with Ellen Ripley still drifting through space in cryo-sleep.
Apparently, Isolation was intended for a public unveiling at E3, but Sega wished to give the team an extension for quality assurance. As in, they want to be assured the quality of the game is nowhere as cavernously low as Aliens: Colonial Marines (aka The Most Disappointed I’ve Ever Been in My Adult Life).
Aliens is my favorite film of all time. Video games is my favorite hobby. Why the two can’t get along is anyone’s guess. I’m loving CA’s direction for the game. Sprinkle on all the atmosphere you want, but mowing down a hundred aliens doesn’t quite land near “horror.” Yet… Colonial Marines left acid burns on my expectations. I want to love you, Isolation. I do. For now, let’s just keep it all business.
THE 'MYTHIC SCI-FI' WORLD OF DESTINY [1/?]
This Week in Science Fiction
Summer is upon us, friends — the air is dense, the sun is scorching, and the reasons to remain inside are stacking up higher each and every day. However, if you’re the type to enjoy ‘weather’ and ‘sunshine’, you might’ve been away from your computer just long enough to miss these bits of news that were floating around the web this past week.
- Warner Bros. has wisely sought the help of Bioshock writer Ken Levine to pen the remake of Logan’s Run. Insisting that he won’t be diverting his attention from his home at Irrational Games, the Logan’s Run remake is said to be a “passion project” for Levine, and I for one am absolutely thrilled to see such a talented writer revitalizing this compelling and thrilling dystopian tale.
- The newest season of everyone’s favorite sci-fi sitcom, Futurama, premiered last night on Comedy Central with an hour long episode and a new one set to air each Wednesday at 10pm EST. Strap in for some rollicking good times with your favorite interstellar delivery crew, folks. Who knows how much longer they’ll be around?
- News of the latest Star Wars films has been scarce, and fans are grasping at any news regarding the franchise that comes their way. Enter: the casting call. An agency in the UK has begun scouting for actors to star in the upcoming Episode VII. The character descriptions are as follows:
- A young man aged between 20 and 25, witty and smart, fit but not classically handsome.
- Man in late twenties, also fit, but this one is handsome and confident.
- Late teenage girl, independent, good sense of humour, also… physically fit.
- Second young female, also late teens, tough, smart and physically fit.
- Man in his forties, obviously physically fit, this one is a military type.
- A man of around thirty or so, this one is an intellectual type.
- Finally, a guy aged around seventy, strong opinions and tough.
George Lucas did make mention that we’d be seeing some of the old gang this go ‘round, but it seems anything other than that is pure speculation at this point, stay tuned for any further developments.
Will Titanfall Always Be an Xbox Exclusive?
Hindsight sometimes has a funny way of skewing the way we remember things. Though Microsoft’s E3 presser seems to be squashed in most people’s eyes after Sony’s megaton bomb of a conference, you really can’t deny — whether the Xbox One entices or repulses you — that the Big M at least brought some really bitchin’ games with them.
One such title became one of the more memorable original IP’s danced out onto stage: Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall. From the minds that both created and were fired from Call of Duty (which, frankly, sounded like a powerplay between artist and publisher), the mech-centric multiplayer shooter is finding its home on the PC, the Xbox 360, and the new Xbox One.
Respawn’s lead artist, Joel Emslie, cites a “fantastic relationship with Microsoft” as the reason why Titanfall’s console presence is exclusive to Xbox systems…but rumors strongly suggest that exclusivity only runs the duration of a year. Does that mean Titanfall might make it to other platforms, namely the Xbox One’s direct competitor, the PS4?
“We of course would want to go further in the future with stuff, but we’re just starting out,” says Emslie. “It’s pretty frustrating! We want to be everywhere. We want to put Titanfall everywhere, but that’s where we’re at. We’re starting there.”
When Eurogamer pressed the question harder, Emslie would only relent, “It’s definitely not out of the question,” adding that they’d love to follow their fans wherever they go, with whatever console they support. That leaves PlayStation fans without intense, robot firefights for now, but take solace in the fact that “exclusivity” just doesn’t hold the same water it used to (I’m flashing back to the days when “Only on Nintendo” was a solemn promise).
John Carpenter Interested in a Dead Space Film?
With a sixty-five year resume spanning the likes of The Thing, Escape From New York, Christine, and the original Halloween, I don’t have to explain to you why director John Carpenter is a silver screen legend.
Carpenter has some crazy range when reviewing his career — films like They Live and Big Trouble in Little China prove just how far out there the filmmaker’s mind goes — but his cinema doctorate is undoubtedly in horror. So as a former twelve-year-old entranced, excited, and terrified by this man’s many instant classics (Prince of Darkness will alter your moral fiber), an internal geek-bomb goes off when I hear John Carpenter is interested in making a Dead Space movie.
A longtime supporter of video games and their unbound potential for storytelling, Carpenter likens the appeal of Visceral Games’ survival horror title to 1979’s Alien (a hit-you-in-the-eye-it’s-so-apparent influence on the games). “The first game was more - I guess it was like Alien - but not quite. It was a little different than that,” says Carpenter.
“I maintain that Dead Space would just make a great movie because you have these people coming onto an abandoned, shut-down space ship and they have to start it up and something’s on board. It’s just great stuff.”
Way back when the first Dead Space game was making waves, a feature film was being optioned with director D.J. Caruso attached. Formerly, Caruso worked on the Shia LaBeouf vehicles, Disturbia and Eagle Eye. That deal eventually lapsed and fans’ dreams of seeing Shia step into Isaac Clarke’s rig — I can’t even finish that sentence; nobody fucking wanted that.
Dead Space has found its gore laden way into just about every avenue of media — comics, novels, animated films, toys — but hasn’t carved a path through Hollywood yet, and Dead Space 3’s less than stellar sales do little to endorse an adaptation. That hasn’t deterred Carpenter, though. “I would love to make Dead Space, I’ll tell you that right now,” he says. “That one is ready-made.”
Destiny Unveiled: Details On Bungie’s “Shared World Shooter”
Bungie has returned from their three-year video game hiatus to show us a project so utterly ambitious, its success could mean changing the console shooter as we know it from here on out.
So, what is Destiny? Bungie likes to think of it as “mythic science fiction” in a massive, always-online world. But we’re not allowed to call it an MMOFPS, despite how fitting it sounds. The ingredients may all be there — gigantic open-world, instantaneous co-op, in-game currency to unlock better gear, the ability to embark on raids…But, no, MMO doesn’t fit the bill according to Bungie. Despite the need for persistent online-access, publisher Activision promises there’s no subscription fees, and Bungie claims the amount of players you’ll encounter has a controlled cap, shirking MMO standards.Bungie prefers to call it a “shared world shooter” (think Borderlands on a larger scale).
Players don the role of a Guardian, warriors tasked with protecting the last of human civilization. Drawing their power from the moon-shaped “Traveler” floating above Earth’s last city, Guardians can evoke class-specific skills to thin the alien onslaught attempting to bloody humanity. Three such classes were revealed: the Titan, a brute with a focus for guns, big ones; the Hunter, a lithe infiltrator with a knack for sneaking and a sure-shot sniper; and the Warlock, a mage imbued with the Traveler’s decidedly supernatural power.
When touching on the sheer scope of the game, Bungie revealed players will have to think big. Not only can you traverse amongst the ruins of Earth’s once-great cities — locations like the swamp infested Old Chicago and the “European Dead Zone” — but your exploits encompass the whole of our solar system with customizable spaceships bouncing you from planet to planet (while Bungie hinted at space combat, it was mum on whether or not we’d take control of our vessels).
Each locale offers you the chance to create your own “Legend,” a set of missions that compose a story molded by your actions. These Legends can be tackled by your lonesome or you can better your chances with Guardians you meet, randomly generated in your session seamlessly and unobtrusively (think Journey with a spot of the ol’ ultra violence). Bungie made it a point that Destiny’s story isn’t told, but found; players having to actively seek, or even shape, the narrative and lore through discovery and completed Legends. How that works is anyone’s guess since Bungie was far from clear on the subject.
And that same obscuring, self-perpetuated fog hides the rest of Bungie’s grand effort. We know to expect Destiny on both current and next-gen technology (PS3, Xbox 360, and whatever’s around the corner) but Bungie is dodgy about when, though they’re sure cross-platform online play is being ruled out. We get the general premise, and a bunch of conceptual art to boot, but the public hasn’t seen minute one of gameplay footage. This may only be the first reveal, but it seems the meatiest of details are purposely being withheld. Though, mission success if it was Bungie’s intention to make me crave more.
The general assumption was that we’d see Destiny release before the year’s out, but with critical information lacking and two of the four consoles it’s intended for still not public knowledge, it appears we’ll be waiting quite awhile yet before we experience this shared world shooter. From what we’ve seen and heard today, though, it looks worth the wait.
Star Trek (PC/PS3/X360 - April 23rd, 2013)
As you can see, the Namco Bandai published bro-op shooter based around J.J. Abram’s updated revival of the Star Trek universe has received an official date. Whew. It took almost everything I fucking had not to write “is phasing into stores this Spring.” Literally everything.
Usually, a game adapted from a movie license would earn a hearty shrug from me (especially when its box art is this grotesquely hard on the eyes), but I can’t deny I’m interested to see what developer Digital Extremes manages to do with the property. Their work on The Darkness II, which released all the way back in February, resonated strongly enough to slip into the number ten slot on my Top Picks of 2012 list.
If Digital Extremes can muster up as much devotion and creativity as they put forth into adapting The Darkness comics, then Star Trek is going to turn some heads when it drops next year, abysmal box art and all (look at this two-toned Photoshop nightmare again; if Kirk isn’t channeling Zoolander here than I’m changing my prescription).
Microsoft Patents Holodeck Technology
We heard tell a few months back that Kinect sensors were being used to replicate holograms for medical professionals and the like, but now it seems that Microsoft has deemed us mortals worthy enough for their state-of-the-art laser technology, having filed a patent on a device which could simulate a virtual environment right in your own living room.
Rumors have been circulating that the latest Kinect hardware will come in the form of 3D glasses, tentatively titled Fortaleza, which would be able to recognize and give impressions of three-dimensional objects in your environment. The glasses are purportedly intuitive enough to tell which way you’re looking and generate simulation based on the wearer’s movements. In conjunction with a 3D depth camera mounted on your television, the senors use infrared light patterns to turn your living room into an entirely alien environment.
To quote the patent:
"Interactive media experiences, such as video games, are commonly delivered by a high quality, high resolution display. Such displays are typically the only source of visual content, so that the media experience is bounded by the bezel of the display. … Even when focused on the display, the user may perceive architectural and decorative features of the room the display is in via the user’s peripheral vision. Such features are typically out of context with respect to the displayed image, muting the entertainment potential of the media experience. … Further, because some entertainment experiences engage the user’s situational awareness (e.g., in experiences like the video game scenario described above), the ability to perceive motion and identify objects in the peripheral environment (i.e., in a region outside of the high resolution display) may intensify the entertainment experience.
In short, this patent is aiming to make your game play much more immersive, to the point of simulated reality. If this is any indication regarding the specs on the latest edition of the Xbox 720, Microsoft fanboys had best hold on to their hats. These advancements coming with the latest wave of next-gen consoles almost seems too far-fetched to be real, but I’ll believe it when I playing it.