Alien: Isolation is a tense, atmospheric game about being hunted by a deadly and intelligent predator. That makes Survivor mode a weird proposition. It's a series of standalone challenges, pitting you against not just Alien's Xenomorph, but also time, skill and leaderboards. In a new video, Creative Assembly explains their thinking.
In an ideal world there would be informative, full-length documentaries on every interesting facet of games—my personal hope is for a Looking Glass documentary exploring, among other things, the fantastic Thief series—but Football Manager is a solid alternative, what with it being probably the most quietly successful management sim around. FilmNova have made such a film, entitled An Alternative Reality: The Football Manager Documentary, and it's coming to select UK cinemas next month.
Here's a terrifying new trailer for next month's Alien: Isolation. By terrifying, I mean it's using a Twitter hashtag as part of its title—summoning nightmare visions of a dystopian future in which hashtags break free from the social media service as part of a wider ideological mandate for enforced brand engagement. I'm getting the chills just thinking about it. As for the video itself, it shows one of the gruesome deaths possible at the hands of the infamous Xenomorph. Which in itself is pretty scary.
The Aliens: Colonial Marines legal battle between Gearbox Software and Sega of America has become a little bit uglier, as Sega has filed documents claiming that not only was Gearbox an equal partner in the game's marketing, it sometimes took matters into its own hands and made promotional promises without the publisher's approval. The allegations directly contradict statements made by Gearbox in July, when it said that it was just a contractor on the game and had absolutely nothing to do with the game's marketing.
Company of Heroes 2’s latest standalone expansion was described by Winston Churchill as “undoubtedly the greatest American battle of the war.” Well, he wasn't referring to the expansion per se because Churchill is long dead (sorry to break it to you), but rather the battle it’s based on—the Battle of the Bulge.
The Aliens: Colonial Marines legal saga may be stumbling toward at least a partial conclusion, as Sega has tentatively agreed to pay more than $1 million to settle the lawsuit against it. The publisher hasn't admitted to actually doing anything wrong, of course, but the expense of litigation and the uncertainty of the outcome has left both sides anxious to grab what they can and split without a fuss.
Sega has announced, and announced the release date for, Football Manager 15 in the span of a single press release. No countdown sites, no mysterious teaser trailers, no publicity stunts—just your straightforward announcement, with a few paragraphs of fluff, and a logo. We'll have to wait until October to hear about the game's new features, but in the meantime Sega has revealed the existence of the curiously-cased inSIder tie-in site, which appears to be a sort of email subscription thingy with added discounts and that.
Gearbox Software was slapped with a lawsuit last year over the hot mess that was Aliens: Colonial Marines, and specifically that the final product was a far cry from what was promised in "actual gameplay" demos displayed at E3. Gearbox quickly dismissed the action as "frivolous" but otherwise remained quiet on the matter until yesterday, when lawyers for the studio filed multiple motions seeking to have it removed from the action.
Alien: Isolation's pre-order reward is two bonus missions based on scenes from the original film. Since learning of those missions, fans have been in an increasingly sickly state—made weak by the conflict between desirable extras and sensible pre-order scepticism. Now, bursting explosively from their chests, is the information that those missions—which feature original cast members reprising their roles—will also be released as DLC, to be made available after the game's launch.
Alien: Isolation was always essentially Alien: The Video Game in my mind, with its slavish reproduction of that film's technology, its sets, and the pre-Cameronised alien that hadn't yet been robbed of its near-indestructibility in the 1986 sequel. The news that Creative Assembly and Sega have gone full Alien and announced two bonus missions based on the original movie, and featuring the original cast, should make me very happy indeed—but it's been handled in just about the worst possible way. Those two missions—Crew Expendable and Last Survivor, detailed below—have been earmarked as pre-order DLC. You'll get the first one along with some other stuff simply by pre-ordering the game, but to get both you'll need to pre-order from "select retailers", which haven't been announced yet.
Richard Wordsworth had a grand, terrifying old time with the Oculus Rift demo for Alien: Isolation, but it looks like it will remain just that, for the time being at least: a demo. Speaking to Eurogamer, Sega confirmed that "it's just a prototype and does not represent a game currently in development at this point in time". After watching the following trailer for said prototype, your boos and hisses are likely to increase in both volume and frequency.
Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies is out, and, as explained in our review, provides welcome rejuvenation to Relic's strategy sequel. In this new trailer, the game's executive producer Greg Wilson explains the standalone expansion's* new War Spoils feature. Also he jumps out of a plane.
Here's a little known E3 fact for you. Every year, E3's organisers set quantum explosives underneath the show floor. If the games industry goes for more than one hour without releasing a new trailer, it detonates, trapping us all in a never-ending press conference hosted by the demonic amalgamation of all publishing executives. Thank goodness Creative Assembly had this Alien: Isolation trailer to hand.
Chances are you already know about the two forces at the centre of Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies. Germany and the US previously fought out their differences in the first Company of Heroes, in 90% of all FPS games made before 2007, and in real-life history. If you do need a refresher, watching two two-minute trailers probably isn't going to help. If, instead, you just need to see some tanks and explosions, they're practically perfect.
I recently strapped on my bulkiest, most improbable armour in order to again attempt the vast campaigns of the Dawns of War 2. The reason being that I wanted to play them in co-op, and, with Games for Windows Live potentially shutting down in July, wasn't sure if that was a thing I'd be able to do. It looks like I can rest easy on my seemingly unending Tyranid defence, as Relic have announced that Dawn of War, Dawn of War 2, and both games' various expansions will all be transitioned over to Steamworks. In doing so, the Warhammer 40K series can dodge whatever ill fate is in store for GameSpy and GfW Live.
Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies release date announced, will reinforce multiplayer next month
It's a worrying sign that we can have favourite wars; that people can sit around the pub, aggressively arguing that the dramatic impact of aerial warfare makes World War 2 a better conflict than the American Civil War, despite its pioneering use of railroads. At least Relic are doing their part to alleviate inter-war tension with Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies—a standalone multiplayer expansion that leaves behind CoH2's Eastern front setting in favour of CoH1's Western lands. If you prefer to battle across the sunnier side of Europe, you'll be able to do so when the expandalone reports for duty on June 24th.
If Company of Heroes 2 has popped into your Steam account, don't panic, it's not a brazen stealth annexation on Sega's part, but the start of a free weekend for Relic's intense real time strategy. The game earned a plump score of 80 in our review, and is a good bet if you enjoy air strikes and LOUD ANGRY WAR NOISE.
Pity the user interface elements of Alien: Isolation, for they have been through a terrible ordeal. Pristine, unblemished versions of the game's icons were printed onto VHS tapes, scratched, shoved into an old player, and played on an old CRT telly while the cable input was twisted. The tortured images were then ported back into the game, producing imagery suitably distorted enough to fit with the low technology of the Alien films. You can watch the results of the process in the latest developer diary, which explains some of the other techniques the Creative Assembly have used to try to capture Ridley Scott's vision of a future made out of big '70s pocket calculators.
Too busy scouring the Eredivisie for promising young wingers to notice that your other half has walked out on you? Football writer, and co-author of Football Manager Stole My Life, Iain Macintosh charts a typical journey into the dark side of FM micromanagement.
In a startling break with standard practice, it seems Sega has taken to announcing the release dates of AAA games on a Saturday. This way lies madness, friends. What next, Half-Life 3 confirmed on Christmas Eve. Anyway. Alien: Isolation. October 7th.