December 21, 2020 Alien: Isolation is free on the Epic Games Store today – which has made us want a sequel even more than we already did…
If Creative Assembly is working on an Alien: Isolation 2 it’s being as quiet as Newt in an air duct about it. We were hoping that a sequel would be announced not too long ago but our dreams were dashed with the announcement of Alien: Blackout. Sure, it followed Amanda Ripley in a new storyline but, sigh, only on mobile.
Still, that doesn’t mean Alien: Isolation 2 is completely off the cards. Alien: Blackout was actually a good sign as it shows there’s plenty of interest in creating more Alien games. Let’s just hope it doesn’t lead to another Colonial Marines.
Wouldn’t it be great if Alien: Isolation 2 on PC was being made? The first game was highly praised and popular so there’s precedent for such a sequel. Perhaps we’d get more of the same tight survival horror gameplay, with a xenomorph hunting you down around a space station – it worked once, at least. But there’s also the chance to go in a slightly different direction so as to surprise us all, like a gherkin-headed monster springing from a vent.
But what do we want from Alien: Isolation 2 in the meantime? We’ve put together a wishlist that we reckon would keep us happy, in the event we were trapped alone on a dead ship with a creature from our nightmares.
Bring Alien: Isolation 2 to PC
First and foremost, if there’s going to be an Alien: Isolation 2 then we want to be able to play it on PC. Pretty please. As said, Alien: Blackout expands upon the Amanda Ripley storyline but only on mobile. Give us a similar story concept but bring it to PC in a full-featured sequel and we’ll happily hug the face of whoever makes it happen. Unexpected alien pregnancy not included.
Image via Vincent Ward Films, drawn by Stephen Ellis
Alien: Isolation turned the maintenance tunnels and transit system of the Sevastopol space station into a maze-like nightmare. The single location ensured that you felt trapped with the xenomorph and trying to escape it was always desperate – forcing you into crawlspaces and dark corridors.
Alien: Isolation 2 could take the same approach by having one setting, but it would ideally be quite different to the Sevastopol. There’s only so much you can do with metal interiors and, let’s be fair, air ducts and server rooms get dull after a while. There’s the potential to go the Aliens route and set it in the living quarters of a terrestrial colony. But that would probably result in many similar environments to the first game and, y’know, it’s a bit too obvious.
A better option might be to set it on Arceon, the unrealised wooden planet occupied by technophobic monks, which was conceptualised for Alien 3. It has a glass factory, orchards, and an upside down cathedral. There’s plenty of variety here and it’d mean that there would hopefully be more humans to talk to and work with. Speaking of which…
There were humans in Alien: Isolation but many of them were not helpful. Mostly, they existed to be slaughtered by the xenomorph as an example of the danger you faced, or they wanted to kill you and would hunt you down.
It’d be great if Alien: Isolation 2 gave us the chance to get to know a few survivors over the course of the game. There’s even the chance to have branching dialogue, trade resources with them, and to work together to trick and distract the xenomorph. Sure, this might go against the ‘Isolation’ part of the title, but if that means they have to die late into the game and it breaks our heart then, hell, so be it.
Chases and set-pieces
If having more people to talk to in Alien: Isolation 2 means more downtime then that gives the developer the opportunity to play with pacing. The first game was tense for hours at a time – which, it should be said, is partly what made it great – with only the missions near its end gaining in urgency.
Related: Scare yourself with the best horror games on PC
The sequel could follow suit but it doesn’t have to. Having more set-pieces and chase sequences to get our heart racing between the moments in which we’re holding our breath might make the sequel memorable, and for different reasons to the first game. It’s important to be able to distinguish a sequel from what came before it, after all.
Touching the retro-future
The 1970s-inspired designs of the terminals and communications technology in Alien: Isolation connected it directly to the first film in the franchise. But it was also fascinating to study whenever you didn’t have an acid-blooded parasite hot on your tail.
More of that would be great, obviously. But what we’re requesting in particular is more of a chance to interact with these machines. Let us spin the dials and push the buttons built into the environments. Tying this interaction to puzzles or basic navigation would be superb but we’d be happy even if it’s purely playful. Alien: Blackout involves plenty of interaction with holographic maps, camera feeds, and the motion tracker. Give us that and more, please.
Not long after it came out, Alien: Isolation got a mod that removed the xenomorph entirely, letting you explore the Sevastopol in all its technological beauty without the peril. Alien: Isolation 2 should ship with a similar mode so we can sink our eyes into the finer details of its environments without fear of them being ripped from their sockets.
It doesn’t have to go that far, though. Most photo modes in games just suspend the action and let you freely fly the camera around to find a shot you’re proud to take. If we even get that much we’d be pleased. Oh, and we’re not just requesting this because we’re scaredy-cats… honest.
Power loader fight
Go on. A bit of fan service is always appreciated. One of the most iconic moments of the entire Alien series is when Ellen Ripley jumps into a Power Loader to fight a queen xenomorph at the end of Aliens. Let us do the same.
Or something similar, at least. It doesn’t have to be a Power Loader. It doesn’t have to be a Queen. We just want an epic close-quarters battle with one of the most horrifying creatures to grace the big screen. If we get to say ‘Get away from her, you b***h’, we’d be laughing.