Whenever I talk to someone about Alien: Isolation, there’s two possible tones of voice. First: gushing, praise-tier relief that either it’s apparently good or that, having just played it themselves, they can confirm it’s good. Or: dark, grim worry that it will live up to the series more recent exploits and be, in a word, trash. There’s a sort of desperate hope surrounding the survival space station explorer, a need for just this once, please, let it be fun. In their latest missive below, Creative Assembly explore their plans for sound design and how the movements of the player will effect what they hear.
They’ve certainly got the right ideas when it comes to using the latest technology to instill terror, previously showing off how the AI will similarly effect immersion. Atmosphere and beliveability are the crux of horror games and either can be utterly crushed by one of these being off-base. The sign of some of the best I’ve played is how much I wanted to turn the sound off but knew it was providing vital information, brown trousers time or no. Equally, being out-thought is a quick way to forget I’m playing a video game and most disturbing when unexpected.
Hayden’s thoughts from GDC echo’d some of Brendan’s concerns, though the former seemed less impressed with the scares. Nobody wants a repeat of last time, or even the time before that and a cautious attitude is a healthy one. Every time I get excited about another report of greatness, there’s the niggles – what about this crafting system? How can they keep it going for 10+ hours? Most worrying of all, if it’s that damn good, how the hell am I going to be able to force myself to play it?