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Alien Isolation will be accommodating to pacifists: you don’t need to kill a thing

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Alien Isolation will be accommodating to pacifists: you don’t need to kill a thing

Everyone got a little touchy when it was revealed that there would be guns in Alien Isolation. This is, afterall, based on Ridley Scott’s horror masterpiece and not James Cameron’s more explosive action flick, and so caution should be at the heart of the action. Thankfully our Steve reported that the guns don’t spoil the game at all, but if you’re still worried listen up: you can get through Isolation without harming a soul, synthetic or otherwise. 

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Alien: Isolation's cast-reuniting pre-order DLC will be available after launch too

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Alien: Isolation's cast-reuniting pre-order DLC will be available after launch too

Creative Assembly set the standard for pre-order DLC last week with the announcement of two Alien: Isolation missions: sourced directly from 1979 Alien’s third act and featuring the determined tenor of Sigourney Weaver for the first time ever in a vidyagame.

But some were understandably peeved that the missions necessitated a pre-review purchase or deals with retailers they’d never normally cross the front page of. Thankfully, Creative Assembly have admitted that both missions will be available elsewhere after the game’s release.

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Alien: Isolation pre-order trailer alludes to a Ripley-roaring good time

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Alien: Isolation pre-order trailer alludes to a Ripley-roaring good time

Oh, this is nice. We haven’t had pretend VHS visual artifacts in trailers since Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. But here’s a trailer for Alien: Isolation, replete with the late-‘70s version of the 21st Century Fox searchlight intro.

They might have stopped there, after the splash screens. But there’s even a couple of seconds of footage from Alien: Isolation’s Weaver-voiced pre-order DLC in there.

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Sigourney Weaver was "very touched" by Alien: Isolation's premise

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Sigourney Weaver was "very touched" by Alien: Isolation's premise

Sigourney Weaver might star in Alien: Isolation’s pre-order DLC, which makes hyper-tense levels of two classic scenes from Alien. But for the main, terrifying bulk of the game she is the mother Amanda Ripley is hoping to hunt down before she’s hunted to bits first.

As it turns out, she liked Creative Assembly's idea just as much as Sega did. Isolation marks the first time Weaver has played Ripley in a videogame.

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Alien: Isolation sets the standard for pre-order DLC with Weaver-voiced missions

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Alien: Isolation sets the standard for pre-order DLC with Weaver-voiced missions

Benjamin Button wasn’t the first film star we saw age backwards. Jeff Bridges lost more than a beard in Tron: Legacy, and the wrinkles have evaporated from Patrick Stewart’s face in more than one X-Men movie. But there’s something about seeing Sigourney Weaver and crew as they were in ‘79 that tickles the nostalgia glands just so. Check out the picture below.

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Alien: Isolation's Oculus Rift demo: "it's just a prototype"

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Alien: Isolation's Oculus Rift demo: "it's just a prototype"

Alien: Isolation on the Oculus Rift is a horrifying but exciting prospect. And with it being shown off at E3 last month, it didn’t seem like there was any question of the game dipping into VR, even if it wouldn’t be until after launch. 

Hopes have now been dashed, as Creative Assembly and Sega have clarified that a version of the game that supports the Oculus Rift is not in development. 

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Alien: Isolation was on fire at E3

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Alien: Isolation was on fire at E3

Aliens, specifically xenomorphs, don’t like fire. So it’s probably convenient that you’ll be able to grab a flamethrowers and whisky-based molotovs and drown the dark corridors of Alien: Isolation in fire so you can make your mistake when faced with the late H.R. Giger’s slimy baby - amid sobs, of course. 

Steel yourself and take a look at the screenshots from Alien: Isolation’s E3 outing. 

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Alien: Isolation’s challenge mode shown off at E3

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Alien: Isolation’s challenge mode shown off at E3

Sure, you’re trapped aboard a space station with an alien that can gut you with every one of its extremities (+ tongue) but that’s no reason to avoid taking part in a good old fashioned foot race. Creative Assembly have revealed Alien: Isolation’s challenge mode.

Just how quickly can you make it to the exit without being cut in two.

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Alien: Isolation gets Oculus Rift support; it's like having a facehugger on you while you play

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Alien: Isolation gets Oculus Rift support; it's like having a facehugger on you while you play

Scary androids are almost as scary as scary xenomorphs. This is what the Alien: Isolation E3 trailer has taught me. The lifeless eyes and not-quite-human, expressionless face. Awful stuff. 

Creative Assembly’s put together a few clips of Amanda Ripley freaking out, breathing heavily and exploring the station she’s stuck on with the xenomorph, androids and men with guns. 

I’m sure that the recently revealed Oculus Rift support is going to make it a relaxing adventure. 

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Hands-on with Alien: Isolation — it's got guns and human enemies now

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Hands-on with Alien: Isolation — it's got guns and human enemies now

What is a scare? You may as well ask what a fright is. Scientists have been puzzling over what a fright is for hundreds of years, but the best answer we have is that we simply don't know. The dozens of scare glands scattered throughout our terrorised bodies remain an elusive mystery to us. What are they for? Why do they startle us so?

And what exactly is it about aliens in dark and abandoned space stations that triggers these glands to spunk out their juicy fear-enzymes? Science may never understand, but Alien: Isolation is a thorough and provably effective exploration of the theme of arrghh. 

In my latest playthrough of Sega's first person survival horror game — and following the earlier reveal of the single, independent, AI-driven xenomorph terror — I got to see some more enemies and shoot a few guns. 

But can human enemies be as frightening as the alien? After all, if you stop and think about it, humans are just alien aliens, right?

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Alien: Isolation has one claw firmly stuck in 1979

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Alien: Isolation has one claw firmly stuck in 1979

There sure have been a lot of these Alien: Isolation dev diaries. Undoubtedly a good thing though, creating transparency that Colonial Marines utterly lacked. This new one continues the theme of authenticity that’s obviously key to the approach Creative Assembly have taken - making the sci-fi elements feel like they were designed in the ‘70s. 

“This isn’t a world of holograms and touchscreens; there’s no sense here that technology is going to save you," said creative lead Alistair Hope. It certainly looks a lot like Ridley Scott’s original vision. Big ol’ CRT monitors, distortion on screens, thick analog buttons - it’s all been designed with what the original filmmakers had access to 30 odd years ago in mind.

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Alien: Isolation's audio is dynamic, but can you hear screaming in space?

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 Alien: Isolation's audio is dynamic, but can you hear screaming in space?

There are many things that go into making a truly terrifying horror experience, but for me it’s the audio that has the greatest impact. The slamming of doors and rats scratching at the walls in Amnesia, the mad ranting and horrible threats of Outlast’s twisted inmates - they make me want to rip my headphones off and switch the lights back on.

In its latest developer diary, Creative Assembly offers a glimpse at their sound design process for Alien: Isolation, a game that we all hope is every bit as sweat-inducing and worrying as Ripley’s first encounter with the glossy, black xenomorph. 

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Total War: Rome II Beasts of War DLC introduces throwing bees, snakes, scorpions

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Total War: Rome II Beasts of War DLC introduces throwing bees, snakes, scorpions

I can never quite muster the necessary enthusiasm for giant robots sometimes required for PC gaming, and for that I blame Beast Wars: Transformers - the Canadian CGI spinoff that I watched after school in the ‘90s. In that, the robots became birds and bears, and so Optimus Prime became Optimus Primal, y’see? Very clever stuff.

This is not a tie-in to that - though you can’t rule such things out while Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior exists. Rather, it’s an only marginally less ridiculous unit pack that brings ranged scorpion hurling to Total War: Rome 2; a game described as a good "romp" in Fraser's Total War: Rome 2 review.

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A new way to be trampled: Total War: Rome II updated with geographically accurate elephants

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A new way to be trampled: Total War: Rome II updated with geographically accurate elephants

As Maximus Cannus Fodderus looked up at the Saharan sun for the final time, he sighed. The ears weren’t right. They were much too small - and the animal’s reared back was convex, rather than dipped, as it should have been. The leg that came down on his chest was long and lean, not stocky and thickset. 

He was going to die - and it wasn’t even the right sort of bloody elephant.

In recognition of Rome II’s wide geographical scope and its well-educated generals, Creative Assembly have introduced a new African elephant model to the game.

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Total War: Rome 2 modding is a go with the release of the Assembly Kit

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Total War: Rome 2 modding is a go with the release of the Assembly Kit

Who would win in a fight, the Romans or the Zerg? Till now it’s only been a fight in the cinema of the mind. Now it can be in the cinema of the... can a mouse click be a cinema? I’m thoroughly confused on that front. Let’s just say if the finger were a projector and the mouse button were a screen then the distance in between is... Creative Assembly have released mod tools for Rome 2!

If you're having a hard time understanding the excitement, you ought to check out our Total War: Rome 2 review.

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Total War: Rome II patch 8.1 puts a stop to inappropriate use of flaming projectiles

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Total War: Rome II patch 8.1 puts a stop to inappropriate use of flaming projectiles

No matter how many times a teacher says not to, schoolchildren will always throw flaming projectiles when they shouldn’t. It’s a fact of life as embedded in our cultural history as salting the earth of your neighbour’s garden when they go on holiday. But not in Rome II. Creative Assembly are going back on centuries of tradition to make sure their siege artillery only use flaming projectiles when it is appropriate, “when attacking walls and towers".

The 8.1 patch “fixes" many other “bugs", too.

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How Creative Assembly designed Alien: Isolation's terrifyingly clever xenomorph

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How Creative Assembly designed Alien: Isolation's terrifyingly clever xenomorph

Alien: Isolation burst out of Creative Assembly's chest yesterday, splattering previews all over the internet and making us spill our collective cereal — here is my Alien: Isolation preview, in case you're interested in finding out more. The game plays, in the parts we've been shown at least, like Amnesia in space, with only a solitary, highly intelligent and free-roaming xenomorph forming the game's horror centrepiece.

Gary Napper, lead designer at Creative Assembly, and Jude Bond, lead artist, spoke to me about how to create a truly terrifying artificial intelligence, what they thought of recent games in the franchise and how Alien: Isolation hopes to sustain a level of tension from start to finish that doesn't result in heart-stopping fatalities. Come have a look at the words we said to one another.

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Alien: Isolation developer diary introduces Creative Assembly's horror contingent

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Alien: Isolation developer diary introduces Creative Assembly's horror contingent

Hey! There’s an Alien Isolation trailer scuttling about the vents here somewhere, if you’re interested. In it, a Colin Firthian voice actor gets to say “We get to shut the book, Ripley," in a prim staccato only faintly recognisable to the English as their own accent.

It's not the Ripley he's referring to, though - she’s out of reach for videogame adaptations, for sensible reasons - but daughter Amanda, who learns the whereabouts of the Nostromo’s black box fifteen years after her mother’s disappearance in shouty, quivery circumstances. Creative Assembly have piggybacked Ripley the Younger’s quest to find mother as an opportunity to return to the mother of sci-fi horror - because they think they know what made it tick. They say as much in this interviewish video.

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Alien: Isolation debut trailer boasts first moving footage, nearly forgets its star

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Alien: Isolation debut trailer boasts first moving footage, nearly forgets its star

Ask any snake oil salesman - It’s easier to sell a thing that is there than isn’t. That’s the problem any developer of a Proper Alien Game is faced with. They know an amateur blows their load by throwing a gaggle of green monsters at the player within the first 40 minutes of the game’s opening - so want to communicate an encouraging lack of Alien in a 140 second trailer. The question: what to show in the slimy chap's stead?

The answer: ‘70s PCs.

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