In Space, No One Can Hear You Laugh At The Gallows Humour

It’s just over two months until SEGA publishes The Creative Assembly’s Alien: Isolation.

I’ve been Googling this game a lot.

There are some varying opinions on whether this will be a working, entertaining (in which sense “entertaining” equals “frightening”) game, but the one thing I love to read about are folks’ war stories from playing previews at various conventions and trade shows.

The folks who relate their tales of creeping around an abandoned space station, frantically attempting (and often failing) to avoid death at the claws of everyone’s favourite (or least favourite) alien often adopt a dry, Monty Python style humour about the situation, and I love how they laugh at themselves for not just their failures to survive or for being scared, but enjoying being scared.

Like this player, whose report I’ve been trying to find for a few days now:

I’d also want to give props to Creative Assembly for the red herring they put in the demo in the form of a flamethrower. I get that you’re not really supposed to kill the Xenomorph and the flamethrower is meant to scare it off, but sure it looks like an intimidating piece of hardware and I sure felt better when I was waving it around. However, when I first pulled the trigger, spitting out a short but intense gout of flame at my antagonist, I swear the Xenomorph looked at me, turned away, and then walked calmly into a nearby air vent, as if to say “Nah, I’ll eat his face later.”

Which it did, two minutes later. Quite gruesomely, I imagine. I kind of shut my eyes at that point.

Here are a few more:

Oi! Quit laughing out there! Some of us are trying to get some kip!
Oi! Quit laughing out there! Some of us are trying to get some kip!

As for me, though – I think that after years of tactical challenges I’m looking forward to a game that’s working toward making me feel something, even if that feeling is terror. Which is doubly odd, because I’m not normally one for horror-suspense. I’ve not seen a single Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th or Saw or any such.

But there’s something about this particular brand of walking nightmare…

Maybe that’s it. Maybe I want to take the nightmare back out of my head, put it on screen and see if I can beat it, some sort of empowerment through lucid dreaming.

Or maybe it’s just the hiss, pop and crackle in the trailers as they display the Sega and Creative Assembly logos. It’s an oddly warm, vinyl imperfection before the cool, hi-def horror to come…

What are you doing?

What are your favourite “war stories” from gaming, of any variety?

What have you looked forward to so much that you’ve scoured the ‘Net for it?

Images borrowed without asking from the official Alien:Isolation site.

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