Developer Creative Assembly has teased the next project from members of its Alien: Isolation team, posting various job adverts relating to the title alongside an image that looks like our first glimpse of the project. The image is clearly marked "not representative of gameplay" and contains several elements nodding to the job ads and Sega, including a little Sonic in space, so take this more as a flavoured hint of what's to come.
However, it is clearly indicative of elements of the game, because the gun shares several features with this weapon background art from the blogpost first announcing the game. Other points to notice would be the custom elements of the gun, decals and keychains, the chunky tape deck that suggests a retro-futurist aesthetic, and... OK, I've no idea what the inflatable unicorn is about.
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This is the first we've heard of the game since District 9 director Neill Blomkamp visited the studio for a “behind-the-scenes look” about two years ago. The job adverts all begin with the following boilerplate text: "Creative Assembly's award-winning team behind Alien: Isolation are exploring new frontiers with a brand-new and exciting first-person shooter IP."
Looking through the adverts shows up some additional small nuggets. One uses the description "tactical shooter", while others clarify something we already knew, which is that the IP is Creative Assembly's own. So yeah: not Alien: Isolation 2.
Most telling perhaps is that one role is for a Live Product Director: "The Live Product Director will own post-launch Product Management of the game, including the Product Roadmap, Retention & Engagement Strategy and Game Analytics and will be the key point of contact for understanding and representing player sentiment & behaviour."
That probably means service game, because one of the few details we know for sure is that the game will be an "ambitious multiplayer title [that] is a fresh take on the FPS genre [and] will allow players to embrace a variety of creative playstyles."
These hints could, of course, come to naught. But Creative Assembly's success has made it the UK's largest developer, so a project on that scale is certainly not beyond it. Whether this will have the chops to go up against the giants of genre, however, we'll have to wait and see.