Though The Creative Assembly’s rendition of the beloved Alien IP proved to be divisive – not so much as Colonial Marines, but controversial nonetheless – from purely an aesthetic standpoint, the studio’s first-person scarefest Alien: Isolation recreated the claustrophobic and yes, isolating feel that is synonymous with the franchise close to perfection.
Pitch-perfect atmosphere and incredible sound design helped this feat, but one of the core ingredients of rendering an immersive experience that truly grabs the player with both hands is unveiling the events of the game through a first-person perspective. In the case of Isolation, users were put in control of one Amanda Ripley in her plight to locate her wayward mother, but a new, never-before-seen video has revealed that first-person wasn’t always the primary choice for The Creative Assembly, who once considered keeping the action third-person.
Speaking to Polygon prior to the game’s release last year, Creative Assembly’s lead designer, Clive Lindop, revealed that the choice between first and third-person proved to be the topic of debate at the studio.
“We really argued about third-person versus first-person,” Lindop said. “In third-person, you have too much information. Your character is hiding behind a desk, but the camera is up above and you see too much. You know more than the alien does. The fact that you can’t see stuff in first-person really drives you crazy.”
It certainly makes for a different experience, particularly in the genre of horror. But ultimately, we’re happy that The Creative Assembly opted for a first-person perspective for Alien: Isolation in lieu of the more action-friendly third-person.