High hopes mean a long way to fall

Posted: January 11, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,
The best thing about Aliens: Colonial Marines.

The best thing about Aliens: Colonial Marines.

I love Alien. I mean I really love Alien.

I remember walking past our local Odeon cinema back in 1979 (I was 10) and seeing that greenish looking egg on a black back ground and reading the immortal tag line “In space, no one can hear you scream” and being mesmerised. As soon as I possibly could I watched Ridley Scott’s imagining of a haunted house in space and loved it.

7 years passed until James Cameron returned us to the world of Ellen Ripley vs the Xenomorphs with an action twist. Another fantastic movie and, for many, the peak of the franchise which cast Ripley in the role of unwilling advisor to a bunch of gung-ho, over confident marines.

However, from that point on, with two lacklustre sequels (and an eventual cash-cowing of the franchise by melding it with Predator for two more lacklustre outings) and the inevitable games, all I have wanted to do is scream.

2013 arrived and I was full of hope. Ridley Scott was back at the helm and a (sort of but not quite) Alien prequel was slated for release. Not only this but Gearbox Software, creators of the amazingly good Borderlands franchise, were bringing us, what was billed as, a true sequel to James Cameron’s Aliens. It was to feature locations from the film along with the vocal talents of some of the original cast. I couldn’t have been happier. all my Christmasses come at once. The ten year old, gazing longingly at that poster, could never have been more excited than I was at the start of that year.

Oh dear. Whilst I was one of the few that didn’t hate Prometheus, it certainly didn’t live up to the hopes I had. The long, drawn out saga of Aliens: Colonial Marines is documented else where. Developers quickly passing the buck like the proverbial hot potato. It was, and after numerous patches still is, a turd. Not even a well polished one at that. The A.I. is laughable, the graphics wouldn’t trouble a PS2 never mind a top end P.C. I have seen Xenos dancing a jig, walking through walls, even dying and floating in mid air. This, by no stretch of the imagination, is not a good game.

So, here we are. a whole new year ahead of us. The first trade show of the year was the chance for Sega to introduce us to the next stage in the Alien franchise that so many, myself included, thought was now deader than a marine exploded by an exiting chest burster. Alien: Isolation by Creative Assembly, The team behind the R.T.S. Total War series, will see us in the space boots of Amanda, Ellen Ripley’s daughter as she goes in search of her missing parent. Promising to return us to the classic survival horror of the first movie, the team are focused on a single Alien Nemesis. This, they say, will show the intelligence that the previous games xenomorphs have been lacking. There will be no weapons, except those you craft yourself, and the Alien will be all but indestructible. Interesting if they can actually pull it off. Stealthing around a nine foot tall ball of death and destruction could be amazing for a few hours but can it carry a whole game?

After last year’s disappointments, I swore I was done. no more would I be laying down my hard earned cash just because there was a new Alien something. My first reaction when the news broke was please just let it float off in to space much the way Ripley did at the finale to Alien. Just like a misguided Scully though, I want to believe! Will this finally be the game they promise? will it give me the sense of terror that must have ran through Ripley’s very soul?

I will let you know because, you guessed it, just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in and I will be first in the queue.

Will I never learn?

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