Alien Isolation

Alien Isolation

4 stars

It plays like a thriller in space, as you would want from an Alien franchise game.

pc, action, role-player

A truly scary experience. This game gets it right in so many ways. You play as Ripley’s daughter. Searching for her mother’s lost escape capsule. Instead she walks into a suspenseful death trap where the one alien roaming the ship isn’t the only threat. Desperate crew members and murderous androids all will beat you to death at first glance. The androids are particularly creepy and like zombies will claw and grab at you until they are no longer functioning.

The game is really creepy. There is no real fighting back. You’re weaker, outnumbered and out xenomorphed by the rest of the characters on the ship. I was becoming the role of the vulnerable mechanic daughter of the doomed Ripley and getting snapped up from the dark corners by the Alien.

The human survivors cannot be trusted and will shoot you in the face as soon as they catch sight of you. Best to ignore them mostly, …mostly.

The game hum’s and moan’s like the Nostromo from the original alien movie. This really gives that haunted house in space atmosphere, Ridley Scott planned for. This game was far truer to the franchise than quite a few of its cinematic releases. It is survival horror sci-fi as you squeeze your way through tight vents and dark chutes with limited flash light batteries, all the while hearing the scuttling and thumping around you, as the Alien searches for a meal. It will find you if it hears you, so slow and steady is the way to go, with discerning use of the motion detector. The sound of it will alert close by hostiles, so don’t forget to stop using it when the Alien gets close.

Hiding is always an option but never a permanent one. You can spend a while sitting in a locker waiting for enemies to pass or the creature to thud its way through the empty corridors, or you can grow a pair and sneak your way through the dimly lit environments.

For a relatively small download the game seems to be reasonably long, or maybe that’s just because it’s impossible to rush with so many enemies on high alert that can over power you. It’s not a good idea to try hand to hand combat with an android. It will make mincemeat out of you, but not before it’s tenderized you first by tossing you across the room into a wall. With all the homicidal androids it’s not hard to become a bit droid-phobic. They look especially creepy with a Michael Myers style rubber head and glowing eyes.

I want to finish the game but right now I’m too nervous to play its the final climactic scenes. I’m shell shocked from getting here. I now truly know what it’s like to be Ridley’s daughter, creeping around a doomed spaceship while being hunted by a Xenomorph, and it doesn’t feel very safe. I may need therapy after this game with the 3d stereoscopic fooling my reptilian brain into very real emotional responses and possibly turning a few more hairs grey but it was well worth it with this entertaining reboot of the franchise, and the only one of its games to finally get it right!

alien-isolation-closeup

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