Published on October 17th, 2014 | by admin
Alien Isolation XBox One Review
Summary: Alien: Isolation will make you scream in both frustration and euphoria but succeeds where many games of this franchise have failed
Developer: Creative Assembly
Platforms: PS4, PS3, Xbox One(reviewed), Xbox 360, PC
Reviewers: Edwin Millheim and Andrew Bistak
Creative Assembly has put something together here that connects very well within the Alien franchise and in our books, is one of the most definitive gaming versions to date. The story takes place 15-years after the events of the first film and well before the film Aliens which introduced the Colonial Marines. Best of all, this is a whole new adventure with no pulse rifles, only the character’s wits and fast choices that makes this game a truly hectic and nerve-racking experience.
Given the attention to Alien lore, fans of the film franchise will embrace this as a worthy addition to the legacy that was created so long ago and made great by Ridley Scott. From the way it’s presented with the graphics and the design of the world, it harkens back to the beloved film of 1979 and is done extremely well. Alien: Isolation also meshes with the world we know and love, even to the point when we here some of the voice recordings of Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley going over the last report from the Nostromo… it gave me chills and I had a dopey grin on my face due to the strong link to the movie Alien.
With that said, Alien: Isolation brings us back to the root of it, the basics that grabbed us by the throat and burned the phrase “In space no one can hear you scream” in our minds… maybe not in space but playing this game, the neighbour’s may hear you scream. Play it in the dark and it will make you jump out of your skin a few times and I don’t think a game has given me the jitters this much since the original Half-Life game. Kudos to the developers!
In terms of story which is very well made, our heroine in this epic survival-horror adventure is Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) who is looking for clues, more so, the whereabouts of her mother. Now some fifteen years later, Amanda Ripley soon finds the clue she is looking for, the flight recorder of the Nostromo, her mother’s ship that had gone missing which has now been found. Does the flight recorder hold the answers she has searched for all this time? Of course she has to find out and with the Company people, she agrees to go to the space station Sevastopol that now holds the Nostromo’s flight recorder.
Things of course go to hell pretty fast in classic Alien fashion on this huge space station that you’re exploring for clues. The station is falling apart and as you explore areas, there are plenty of voice log recordings and computer logs to be found as well as graffiti on the walls that can give you some insight as to what is going on. Soon you do find survivors and things start to become a little more clear. However one slight issue with the cinemas in Alien: Isolation is that you cannot skip them which does get a tad frustrating, especially after you’ve been killed half a dozen times. Fortunately due to how meticulously the game has been created to mimic Alien, you can forgive this slight oversight.
However when you do find the “survivors”, it is at this time that you realize just how dangerous your situation is with death around every corner that includes space station hazards and the synthetics (robots) who are every bit as deadly as the xenomorph (aka the alien) that you encounter. Also, the human survivors can be a bit unpredictable as well as their motivations change with the story. To make matters even worse for Ripley, there are other humans who are looting the space station and trying to survive like you who don’t mind opening fire on strangers.
Needless to say, the dangers to Amanda Ripley are what make this game such a refreshing change because she is just a normal person….Ripley is just a human, she is not a super human that takes tons of damage or grabs hold of a machine gun to hose down dozens of foes and walk away without a scratch. Amanda Ripley is very human, a fragile everyday human being like you and I who can be killed in oh so many gruesome ways. Remember, this is Alien universe we’re talking about.
One of the main themes of the gameplay is the play of cat and mouse between Amanda and the alien who is the ultimate hunter that is more strong, deadlier and powerful than you. But in order to survive, playing it slow and steady is the answer but sometimes running for your life helps as well but for the majority, it’s going very slowly, keeping to the shadows and air vents that will keep you alive. You also need to think things through such as causing a distraction to slip past hostiles.
Once again stealth and thinking it through is what will keep your character alive and by realizing that this game is not an action shooter but rather, it’s Alien opposed to Aliens and the claustrophobic feeling really adds to the overall gaming experience. You’ll spend quite a large amount of your time in Alien: Isolation hiding and nothing is more frightening than seeing the xenomorph just a few feet away as it attempts to search for your trail. With that said, the AI of Alien: Isolation is a little bit of a mixed bag and at times, the alien just walked passed me without giving me a second glance. Call it blind luck or perhaps an oversight with the developers!
Of course, the real stars of the game is not only the Alien and Ripley but the ambience itself such as the sounds and the things you don’t see. These all join together and build such dread that the tension is thick when something does happen and you may find yourself jumping off your chair as I did while playing this game. Although there are no pulse rifles in Alien: Isolation, you do have access to some weaponry but it’s quite limited and there’s also plenty of quick-time events to not only scare but also frustrate the player. Thankfully the gameplay with all the Alien references is wickedly addictive.
Graphically, Alien: Isolation is a very good looking game on next-gen consoles that mimic the movie Alien almost perfectly. Human characters are well animated with great texture details but the highlight are the special effects of the alien itself that interact perfectly with the gaming environment and the developers make the most out of the lighting to enhance the tension of the game. The environment also boasts that late 70’s feel which is a great nod of the hat to the original film.
The sounds in the game are top notch and the designers worked hard at making a virtual scare fest, mixed with the music it often cuts into your nerves. Sounds echo, and the metal in the space station groans as it expands and shrinks from the stresses of the damage its sustained. Once in a while you can hear the Alien skittering about or screeching in the distance. It’s an incredible ride. Add in some professional voice acting and together with the graphics and gameplay, Alien: Isolation is a very enjoyable yet sometimes frustrating gaming experience.
Depending on your gaming skill level, Alien: Isolation will take gamers between 15 to 20 hours to successfully complete but this is dependent on how many times you die which you will do quite often. Nonetheless, it’s a well-made game that definitely looks and feels next-gen. Sure, there are a few glitches in both the graphics and gameplay but overall, Alien: Isolation will make you scream in both frustration and euphoria.
Overcome An Ever-Present Deadly Threat – Experience persistent fear as a truly dynamic and reactive Alien uses its senses to hunt you down and respond to your every move.
Explore A World Of Mystery And Betrayal – Immerse yourself in the detailed setting of Sevastopol, a decommissioned trading station on the fringes of space. Encounter a rich cast of inhabitants in a world scarred by fear and mistrust.
Improvise To Survive – Hack systems, scavenge for vital resources and craft items to deal with each situation. Will you evade your enemies, distract them or face them head on?