Creators of The Novelist want you to avoid freezing to death next

Orthogonal Games, the studio behind 2013’s The Novelist, has announced its next project, called Near Death. It presents a simple premise: Your plane has crashed in Antarctica. You’re cold, you’re alone, and it’s dark. There’s an abandoned research station within walking distance. Try not to die. It’s an effective hook, evoking the excitement and immediacy of the first BioShock‘s (2007) opening sequence, in which the game’s protagonist finds himself half-drowned in the middle of the Atlantic only to see a mysterious lighthouse in the water nearby. The major difference is that Near Death has no Rapture (the game’s underwater city) for its protagonist to…


The uncompromising Alien: Isolation just got uncompromising-er

There are two things to know about Alien: Isolation, the Creative Assembly horror game from earlier this year based on the long-running Alien series of films. The first thing to know is that it is really, really, really good-looking. The gone-to-shit space station you explore is bafflingly dense and lived-in, and the set designers keep finding ways to transform it, from the familiar corridors of a cockpit and mess-hall to wider business and shopping plazas—riffs on Ridely Scott’s aesthetic, confidently played. All retain an ironclad sense of late-70s retrofuturism; if that whole space<—>no one hearing you scream thing weren’t already such a…


Three new games to dig into this week

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. ALIEN: ISOLATION (PC, MAC, PS3/PS4, XBOX 360/XBOX ONE) BY CREATIVE ASSEMBLY Ridley Scott’s seminal space slasher Alien and the tension of a survival-horror game are such a perfect pair that it’s a xenomorph-worthy shock it took this long. Alien: Isolation cops the sweaty, cramped vibe of Scott’s lived-in future, rather than the guns-blazing tone of James Cameron’s sequel. We hear it’s darn-near impossible, too—sorta like outsmarting an alien designed to kill. Perfect for: Haunting Ground diehards, stowaway androids, Jonesy. Playtime: Fifteen-odd hours, or an eternity spent cowering in a locker.…