So RPS have played through some of this and it sounds very promising indeed. I totally just jinxed it didn't I?
Amanda is an engineer, not a soldier. To reinforce that, not one of my brief 20 minutes spent tip-toeing through a jeopardised space station featured guns, bazookas, turrets, grenades OR superweapons capable of unimaginable, unknowable destruction. The only thing I had was a motion detector.
This clunky old reminder of what made the cinema space horror so intense was pretty much the star of the show for me. The Alien itself has been modelled and animated very well, complete with horrible Nosferatu creep-walk and saliva waterfall. However, not only is the analogue 1970s motion detector faithfully reproduced, it also appears to be the keystone of the entire game’s design.
You potter about trying to get from corridor to computer to control levers to airlock, all the while keeping watch for the double-mouthed monster. Early on in the demo I heard a beep to my left and spun around only to discover nothing – but soon afterwards there came a beeping spot ahead of me. It came on but I saw nothing ahead. It neared and neared along with the sound of the tracker (bleep… bleep bleep… bleep bleep bleep…BLEEPBLEEPBLEEPBLEEPBLEEP). Was the thing in the ceiling? The floor? The walls?? There was nothing I could do but leg it back down a steely corridor and lie still behind some boxes. Eventually the beeps disappeared and I worked up the courage to carry on. The game had succeeded in reproducing an iconic scene from the movies – and I had not even seen the beast yet.
The design is noticeably – and understandably – similar to Amnesia. Although CA have also been inspired by Thief, Condemned and “the first night in Minecraft,” says Al Hope, creative lead of the team. “There is not a sense that you are going to get a big locker and find a big gun that’s going to be the solution to all your problems.”