The story behind Creative Assembly's horror masterpiece.

The making of Alien: Isolation

In 2010, a group of 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. The result is one of the best horror games ever made...

The team used Ridley Scott's 1979 film as a creative touchstone, not James Cameron's sequel. "From the moment we pitched the original concept, Fox was completely behind us," says Alistair Hope, Isolation's creative lead.

1. The inspiration

"When we mentioned we had the film running on loop during press, everyone thought we were talking BS," says UI lead Jon McKellan. "But It's 100% true. It was running on screens in the studio 24/7." 

2. The team watched Alien obsessively

Fox gave the team a huge archive of production material, including design blueprints and costume photos. "It was like that moment in Pulp Fiction where they open the suitcase," says Hope.

3. Fox helped make the game so authentic

"Towards the end we’d still die and jump and yell and be surprised by it," says Hope when we ask him about the Xeno's AI. "Even now I can play it and my heart will be thumping away."

4. The alien's AI is so good, it surprised even the studio

"We knew players couldn't be up against the alien for the entire duration," says level designer Catherine Woolley. "That would be way too stressful, so we added the Working Joes to the game." 

5. The Working Joes were made to give the alien a break

The devs reunited Alien's cast for the DLC. "They saw the care we put into the atmosphere," says Hope. "Sigourney would be playing Ripley for the first time in a game. That was special."

6. The team made history by reuniting Alien's cast

Isolation's scariest surprise is when it throws not one, but two aliens at you. "We wanted to turn the tables on you a little bit," admits Hope. 

7. Double trouble

Isolation isn't just a great horror game, it's a beloved part of Alien canon. "For people to respond to it so well, and legitimise it as a canonical chapter in the Alien saga... it's hard to get your head around," says Jon McKellan.

8. It's a cherished part of the Alien series

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