Alien: Isolation "got it so perfect" says new Alien director

13 Alien

District 9 director Neill Blomkamp, who revealed last month that he's turning his talents to the next Alien movie, recently told IGN that he's a big fan of Alien: Isolation. In fact, he said the game was so good that it actually forced him to question how he wanted to present the technology that will underpin the film.

One of the cool things about Alien: Isolation is the way it maintains the vision of the future as it was seen in 1979: Everything is big, clunky, and monochromatic, just as it was in the movie. "The chunky keyboards, phone receivers, distorted CRT monitors, and blinking coloured lights should look dated, but it has quite the opposite effect," as we noted in our review. "This is a tactile, practical, and convincing science-fiction world, with machines and environments that are functional and utilitarian, rather than overtly futuristic."

It's a style that Blomkamp was apparently taken by, too. "I’m such a visual person that the narrative of stuff is neither here nor there for me sometimes. It’s literally about imagery. And when I saw the images I thought, ‘Sh*t, they can’t be that good'," he said. "And then I played it and to me it was that good. It’s so good. It’s ridiculous."

The game made enough of an impact to leave him questioning how he wanted to depict advanced technology in the new film. Referring to the green CRT displays, dot matrix printers, and "Mother," the Nostromo's mainframe computer, he said, "That sh*t was real man. On the planet, in that future, that was cutting edge. So it’s an interesting debate if you look at it from my standpoint, which is, do I make my cutting edge… is it cutting edge, or is it actually closer to the first two [films]? Because I wanted to be like it has the same parent. It’s a genetic offspring of the first two movies, and Alien: Isolation made me question that quite a lot. Because they got it so perfect with all of the late 1970s, early ‘80s tech, it’s really cool."

The actual influence that Alien: Isolation will have on Blomkamp's film remains to be seen, but it certainly speaks highly of The Creative Assembly's efforts to capture the "real" feeling of Alien—something we took note of as well.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.