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Examiner exclusive: 'Alien Isolation' dev shares new details on upcoming game

'Alien Isolation' set to deliver chills, thrills, and tension in 2014
'Alien Isolation' set to deliver chills, thrills, and tension in 2014
'Alien Isolation' set to deliver chills, thrills, and tension in 2014 (photo via alienisolation.com)

Examiner had the privilege of getting some time with Jonathan Court, Senior Producer at Creative Assembly, and in this exclusive interview, he took the opportunity to reveal some terrifying new details on the upcoming horror game.

1. How important is it to the development team to make the gameplay slower paced? How does this allow players to experience the world and enemies in all of its beauty?

We wanted to capture the pace and atmosphere from the original Alien movie. It had such an impact on us, that when given the chance to make an Alien game we leapt at it and knew precisely the approach we wanted to take. We made a conscious decision at the start of making the game to focus on this as inspiration and as a style guide. We didn’t want the Alien to figure in the game as something you just shoot en masse, we wanted a proper meaningful scary Alien.

It has been great over the course of development when we have let people play the game. We have had some amazing moments where people literally jump out of their seats.

2. What type of a world can players expect from a detailed perspective? Does the world feel organic in relation to the alien's design or look?

The game takes place on Sevastopol which is a large space station in the process of being decommissioned. As such, the player’s journey will take them through many locations and situations. The station is in complete chaos, systems are failing, there’s an Alien loose and everyone is fighting to survive. This creates a rich environment with many obstacles for the player to overcome.

We loved Ridley Scott’s 70s vision of the future, with the chunky, clunky functional feel to everything. We obviously had to develop our game world beyond the confines of the movie sets, and decided our world would consist of stuff that could have been made on the original set. This became our mantra for the development of the environments, something we called lo-fi sci-fi. No holograms, no touch panels, instead CRT screens and toggle switches. We used a lot of 70s machinery and tools as reference points when building our sets.

3. How will exploration change as the player progresses through the story? Will exploration become a bigger risk the more players proceed through the story or will difficulty on that not change?

The player will need to search the environment for resources including ammunition; there’s also a wealth of crafting materials they can find and use to construct all manner of things to help with their survival.

4. How much does player choice weigh into Aliens: Isolation? If so, in what ways will this be influenced by enemies and circumstances?

Player choice was important to us. We were keen for the player to be able to choose their approach to any situation. The environment is built with a number of routes and paths, and the player is equipped to deal with encounters in numerous ways.

5. Without having to worry about multiplayer or co-op, how much more depth and attention do you think the team will be able to devote to the single player? Do you worry about not having a multiplayer mode?

No, we are very confident this is the correct decision. This is a new game, and it is very unique. We wanted to focus all of our attention on delivering a fantastic single player experience. We believe we have something really special here, but creating it is very hard. We needed to be able to concentrate all of our efforts on that.

6. Will we see microtransactions?

No.

7. How will the game's crafting system work? What sorts of options will players have and will everything in the environment be useful to a player's survival?

The crafting system will allow the player to make various things including weapons. We are looking forward to revealing more details later in the campaign.

8. What are some of the types of enemies players will face? Are there enemies other than the alien?

The game is very much about the player’s journey as they attempt to survive. The Sevastopol itself is a physically dangerous place, one which the player must navigate their way through. Of course, there’s the Alien, but the station is also populated with the remaining inhabitants, also struggling to survive. How they react to events and the player is sometimes positive, sometimes negative. This will give the player a massive variety of locations, obstacles and situations to overcome.

Alien Isolation, while yet to get a release date cemented, is confirmed to be coming to PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360 in the 2014 calendar year.

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