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Hands on with the latest Xbox titles: Alien Isolation and Fable Legends


Following on from their strong presence at E3 this year Microsoft have taken to London for an afternoon of gaming goodness, giving those that couldn't cross the pond a chance to play some of the titles we can expect on the Xbox One over the coming months.

First up is Alien Isolation. Having poured over screenshots and video footage of this title from The Creative Assembly, finally getting a hands on just made me even more excited for when this finally comes out. Playing in one of the games additional modes, Survival asks a very simple task of you; get to the other end of the ship. 

Of course you are not alone on The Nostromo with the famous Xenomorph prowling the corridors and rooms, looking for its next prey. With the ship in apparent distress, the Alien is strangely proud in its pacing of the corridors leaving you to crouch and using the many shadows cast by faulty lights or ducking behind a crate as momentary cover or stuffing yourself into an empty locker, holding your breath as the Alien takes a real good look around, terrifying stuff. Making noise will alert the Alien to your presence, leaving you to rely on whatever you can get your hands on, starting with flares to distract it or a flamethrower to knock it back, allowing you to run for cover or if you search enough you can find parts to build a noisemaker, again very handy to distract the deadly angel. Aside from protection and distraction tools you also have the trusty hand held motion tracker, pinging away whenever you are in near proximity and giving you a rough direction of where the Alien is. 



Visually the game really manages to capture the feel of the Nostromo and more importantly the look and feel that Ridley Scott put to film so many years ago with the ship being left drifting in space for so long it is showing signs of fatigue. Even the Alien itself somehow manages to look a little stiffer, looking like a man in an alien suit than the latter CGI efforts that ruined the film series. Just like the film, action is not the key but terror and suspense which is a clear element of the game and backing up the strong visuals are the unnerving sound effects, with screeches of the Alien echoing through the corridors, steam rushing from pipes or the familiar noise of a door opening, everything sounds terrifying on this deadly spaceship.

How the final game will play and how The Creative Assembly intends to fill in a full single player story is to be seen but for a small snippet of the Survival mode, things are looking impressive.

Next up, Fable Legends, a game that to be honest, the E3 presentation done nothing for me but with a hands on it is really turning into something a little different from the previous Fable games. Though the game will have a single player mode the team at Lionhead Studios are really focusing on the multiplayer aspect at the moment, giving us a hands on with one of the modes on offer that allows four players to team up against one villain. With four characters to choose from (there will be more in the final game) there is already decent variety to choose from, each one having different enough skills to be an original character with their own pros and cons on the battle field. The demo gave us Stirling, a buccaneer of sorts using his blade and light frame for quick attacks, Inga, the slower but more heavily armoured character uses her huge shield to take more damage than other players, Winter is able to cast freeze spells including a helpful ice armour to cast on friends and finally Rook, who uses an automatic crossbow to take out enemies from a safe distance. The action for the hero's is presented in third person, cutting swathes through the enemy legions before taking on the larger boss types, combining each of their skills to become an efficient fighting team. The fifth player acts as the villain and their experience of the game is totally different with the action more like a strategy game than the third person action adventure the other players see. 



With a bird’s eye view of the game world the villain is granted a couple of minutes at the start of each area to place their minions, using higher ground and dead ends to their advantage. Once the timer has counted down the heroes and set free onto the land, battling whatever evil was placed but the villain still has a lot to do, being able to trigger wooden spike gates to cut off heroes from the rest of the team and ambush them or cast fireballs or even command the boss ogre to emit a deadly poisonous gas.

Taking on the familiar fantastical visuals of the previous games Fable Legends is a game I would have passed on is now one that could be a decent online experience when it finally arrives.

Edited On 14 Jul, 2014

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