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The making of horror masterpiece Alien: Isolation: ‘It was a giddy, exhausting, intense time’ – Game Up News
  • Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

The making of horror masterpiece Alien: Isolation: ‘It was a giddy, exhausting, intense time’


Aug 9, 2021

In 2010, a group of hardcore Alien fans at Creative Assembly were given the opportunity of a lifetime: making a game set in that iconic sci-fi universe, with the full blessing of 20th Century Fox. This wasn’t some non-canon spin-off, but a legitimate part of the Alien series. And the result is one of the best horror games, and one the most faithful film adaptations, ever made.


Most Alien games use James Cameron’s action-packed sequel, Aliens, as a creative touchstone—for obvious reasons. But the Creative Assembly team immersed itself in Ridley Scott’s 1979 original instead. “From the moment we pitched the original concept, Fox was completely behind us,” says Alistair Hope, Isolation’s creative lead. “I think because we were trying to stay true in spirit to the original, they felt like the property was in safe hands.”

Fox supplied the team with an enormous archive of production material, some of which has never been publicly released. “It was like that moment in Pulp Fiction where they open the suitcase,” says Hope. “We were stunned that all this stuff existed. For them to be able to drop that amount of material on us was great. It gave us a really good insight into how that first film was made.” The archive contained design blueprints, continuity Polaroids, costume photography, concept art, and thousands of photos of the sets.

(Image credit: Sega)

“As fans we would have said ‘Yeah, we know what these costumes look like.’ But it wasn’t until we got the archive that we could really look at the details. We deconstructed them and tried to put that level of detail, care, and attention into our costumes. We learned early on that you really need to study the source material. You think you know it inside out, but it’s not until you actually investigate closely that you get a full understanding.”

Total immersion

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