More On Alien: ‘Action’ Title, New Studio

By Alec Meer on May 12th, 2011 at 12:43 pm.

Alien vs no-Predators

So, a few more details on that Alien game now there’s a moment to breathe. I was visiting Creative Assembly when they made the announcement, which ended up getting revealed earlier by UK government culture secretary Ed Vaizey before us hacks could get there.

CA aren’t talking much about the game yet, not even a planned year of release or which platforms it will or won’t be on – if you’ve read anywhere else claiming it’s console only, they’ve got their facts wrong, as CA are resolutely refusing to ‘fess up anything, other than that it will be on some manner of console. A PC version in addition has been neither confirmed or denied or even hinted at in either direction. So let’s remain optimistic, given CA have in general been a PC dev and SEGA’s last Xenomorph-related game, Aliens versus Predator, definitely did see a Windows version.

What we do know that it’s described only as an ‘action’ game and will be tackled primarily by the team who made Viking: Battle for Asgard on the console toys. However, CA are staffing up hugely to tackle this game. They’re increasing their UK headcount to 200, and picking up a new 10,000 sq ft studio for the purposes of this. If you’re a UK dev looking for work, you might want to take a peek at their job listings.

I’m told they’re adamant they’ll take their time over it, having felt that Viking perhaps didn’t get all the resources it needed, and that they’ve been playing with the concept to varying degrees for around three years already, since Viking launched.

So, that’s that for now – it may be some time until we hear much more about the game, apparently. But we can take two things from the table today: a) it’s Alien, not Aliens, and apparently won’t be just another space mariney shooter b) it’s really bloody good news for the UK game development scene. 200 people is a big studio, and to hear SEGA are investing in an era where you’ve got Activision closing fellow UK outfit Bizarre and other local devs like Black Rock are laying people off makes for a patch of sun during dark days.

Oh, and Vaizey said that “The graphics are amazing, the concept is amazing.” Then again, he is by his own admission not a particularly avid gamer even though he supports the industry, so he may just be guessing.

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42 Comments »

  1. GraveyardJimmy says:

    http://www.creative-assembly.co.uk/

    This says:
    New Team
    New Console Project.

    The job listings are for “total war team” and “console team”

    Not sure what this means for PC prospects.

    • Delusibeta says:

      Given that Spartan: Total Warrior (or whatever CA’s hack and slash game was called) didn’t get a PC release, I wouldn’t rule out this game not a getting a PC release either.

  2. Moni says:

    Wasn’t Viking developed by the Australian branch? I might be thinking of another game.

  3. Malibu Stacey says:

    “The graphics are amazing, the concept is amazing.”

    Welcome to the new gaming world, where gameplay comes last.

    • vodka and cookies says:

      A large faction of PC gamers are exactly of that mindset, probably more so than any other platform because of those with a hardware upgrade fetish that use gaming as means to justify it.

    • aldo_14 says:

      It’s a quote by a politician – do you really think he’d focus on content?

  4. Mike says:

    Ed Vaizey is the new source for cutting edge game news, huh.

    Sorry guys, cancelling my sub.

    • Hallgrim says:

      “a) it’s Alien, not Aliens, and apparently won’t be just another space mariney shooter b) it’s really bloody good news for the UK game development scene. ”

      Yeah, who cares about this crap?

      /sarcasm

  5. subedii says:

    I’m afraid that just confuses me. I genuinely don’t see how it can focus being “Alien, not Aliens”, and at the same time be an action game.

  6. Metonymy says:

    This movie made me scared of the dark until I was in college. Yep, sissy boy.

    If the adversary of the game really is a single alien, this means survival horror? AkA Amnesia, but scarier. Very exciting.

    • Hallgrim says:

      When I was about 8 I nagged my drunk crazy father to let me watch Aliens. After I got scared and started crying, he made me watch the whole thing so I could “be a man”. Good times!

  7. Rii says:

    Take *that* ‘Eden Games Go On Strike’!

  8. sonofsanta says:

    I actually really enjoyed the Viking game on my sexbox. Combat was a bit mushy and what have you, but the setting and core concept were very enjoyable.

    Then again, I have a very strange addiction to uncovering maps, and as a game chiefly based around reclaiming areas of an island, and thus slowly converting the map to your colour… well, how could I resist.

    Also, Alien is amazing, so I’m happily optimistic. Hopefully this position doesn’t get me kicked off the internet.

    • Felixader says:

      Hm, i actually see Vikings Battle System as one of the better ones.
      You didn’t have combos that ended in your character doing stuff without you having any influence on it, even the Quick time events did feel as if you had control.
      The “physicallity” of the game just felt rigth, if it was you ramming an enemy your sword into it’s stomach, hacking it’s head away or making a quick and lethal “Stealth” Kill.
      Even walking gave you the feeling that “yes, i control a hulking mountain of brutal muscles ramming his feet into the ground, pushing his body into the mass of the enemy lines”.
      Add to this the great potential for exploration.
      The only real Problem i had with this game was that when the enemys were in big groups, those in the back would just jump trough their brethren to give you a kick or smack, while your beats ended on the next guy blocking you.
      Aside from that it’s a game that i have played nearly as often as Super Mario 64 or Zelda Ocarina of Time or as often as i attempted to play trough Half Life till i finally managed to have the machine and time to completely do so or as many time i attempted to play trough Warcraft 3′s after some time really boring Campaign Gameplay.
      (Still couldn’t get trough the whole of Starcraft so i had to decide that it’s just not for me.)

  9. Shazbut says:

    I look forward to this highly atmospheric, intelligent, first-person adventure game with a focus on the lead-up to and discovery of a single enemy which must then be avoided or killed in a highly imaginative way.

    • Rii says:

      Also for the climactic scene the player character must be in their underwear.

    • Ertard says:

      If that’s what the game is (highly doubt that, they’re going for a console blockbuster), then I am extremely excited. If I ever buy myself a console that is, or if the game comes out on PC.

    • Felixader says:

      What#s this suppossed to mean?
      I am foremost an consolero and i highly would welcome everything that would try to go the old resident Evil Route of “avoid to survive and only stay still to shoot when you have to” ….. without the horrible idiocy of car controls.

  10. Grinnbarr says:

    Since it’s Alien, not Aliens, is it not possible that you play as the Alien for at least a portion of the game, in order to balance out the possible tedium arising from only having one enemy? I mean, if they do the ‘only one enemy’ thing well, then I’m all in favour of that, but I can’t honestly see how that would work.

  11. AbyssUK says:

    I hope it’s Alien but you play as the cat Jonesy, it details how the cat is actually who ultimately saves Ripley.

  12. Spliter says:

    If it’s says “Alien” on the box and you don’t control Alien itself I’ll be seriously dissapointed.
    If “Alien” and not “Aliens” actually has a meaning . it’s either One enemy or you play as one. I’ll definitely go for the second choice.

    • Springy says:

      You just made me think of something. I always assumed that the title of Alien was the word as an adjective, as in, “this is something unknown to us,” rather than a noun like, “hey it’s an alien”.

      Which is it? Because I reckon the former is better than the latter.

  13. Inigo says:

    Vaizey said that “The graphics are amazing, the concept is amazing.”

    He was then later heard to ask “What is a ‘graphic’?”

  14. Hunam says:

    What the hell is going on with the Gearbox one then if SEGA are making another Alien actioner?

  15. jonfitt says:

    What’s all this with CA making an Alien game and Relic make Space Marine?

    I see this as the equivalent of the blockbuster ingénue going and doing a season in the West End because they want to prove themselves that they can do it.
    Only backwards because strategy games are the West End, and action games are the summer blockbuster.

    I hope we still have two dependable strategy studios left when they’ve gotten this out of their systems.

  16. jonfitt says:

    Oh and I wish them well, but I would be very wary about joining a studio that is ramping up hard to try and produce a game out of their wheelhouse where the only thing they have in their favour is a somewhat played out IP.

    Just make sure you have a safety net for the very likely situation of the game not selling “as expected” and all the new staff being let go.

    But then if you are a developer for a mainstream games company nowadays you probably always work under that expectation.

  17. TheChillburger says:

    What ever happened to the Gearbox-developed Colonial Space Marines? Is that still in development? I’d imagine it’s on the backburner, with Duke Nukem Forever on the way.

  18. Hensler says:

    “a) it’s Alien, not Aliens, and apparently won’t be just another space mariney shooter”

    Why would an Aliens game be a bad thing? No “space mariney shooter” has captured the awesomeness of Aliens yet. A great Aliens game that really puts you into shoes of the squad from the movie would out-do Halo and every other “space mariney shooter” out there. I suppose this might be what Gearbox is focusing on with their Aliens game but if that’s the case, Creative Assembly’s game is going to seem a lot like the early levels of Dead Space.

    B) Creative Assembly’s non-Total War games have not exactly impressed to date. Spartan was mediocre, Viking was bad, and Stormrise was truly awful. A lot of the problems with Viking and Stormrise were because of interference from Sega, but since Sega still owns them, it’s hard to get my hopes up about this. And I’m one the biggest fans of the Alien franchise in the world – watching the Colonial Marines kick ass (and then get slaughtered) at an impressionable age is probably the reason I ended up in the United States Marines.

    • Felixader says:

      Oh yeah, Stormrise.
      I reall wanted to love this game.
      But what could have been a really amazing and intelligent cover and multiple squads based game became a snore and “wait till you ammassed endless amounts of guys” fest.
      God the controls where so irritationg cause they kept you from seeing whyt any retard would have been able to see and you lost most men cause they weren’t placing themselves as you showed them to and…
      I stop now, my point is, Great potential Total’y Botched.

  19. BobsLawnService says:

    May I remind RPS’s younger audience about this : http://eggnchips.com/retro-game-lookback-alien-for-c64-and-zx-spectrum/

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