Its been along time since the original Alien movie came out and Alien Isolation pays tribute to the Ridley Scott classic film. In 2012 Aliens Colonial Marines was released and disappointing millions of fans around the globe. This time around, this game sets itself to be more like the first Alien film rather than the second one. The player plays as Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Ellen Ripley and is pitted against a single Xenomorph that relentlessly hunts the player throughout the entire game. The main goal is to survive long enough to uncover the mystery behind the Weyland Yutani company, Sevastopol, and the mysterious disappearance of Amanda’s mother.
Hiding won’t always help.
The environment is built around the 1979′s vision of the future and so is the technology. The retro future adds to the overall atmosphere of the space station, Sevastopol On the Sevastopol station there are three types of enemies: There is the androids, that unlike the Weyland Yutani models are basic and look like plastic models, despite their appearance these enemies are ruthless and it will take everything in the players power to have to kill them. Next there are the survivors, these are just other humans that have survived the initial Xenomorph attack. Despite the fact that their primary directive is not to kill, but if they think Ripley pose a threat they will fight her. Finally there is the Xenomorph which will hunt the player down no matter what. It is essentially immortal as it cannot be killed, it can only avoided it.
There are hacking mini games in this game, and no, they are not that fun.
The gameplay of the game is as intense as it is frustrating. What I mean by this is that the Xenomorph is controlled by a very smart AI that will never do the same thing twice. The problem I have with this is that even if the player is in the most impenetrable hiding place in the game the Xenomorph will find the player, drag her out of the hiding place, and kill her. About half way through the game Ripley will be pitted against hordes of evil synthetics instead of the Xeno and after a while of dealing with them it will get very boring. This is the point the game tries to mimic modern action games which turns out to be a bad idea.
The working joes are very durable.
On paper Alien Isolation is the Alien game everyone has been waiting for. But despite the fact that there are times when you heart is pounding in you chest and the Xeno is standing mere inches in front of you, these parts only make up a small amount of the game and the other times you will be fighting synthetics or looking for a lever to turn on the power. The first 6 hours are exhilarating and intense like a survival horror game should be, but after the first half the game begins to lose its quality and become repetitive. There are multiple times in the game that would act as great endings but they just lead to the next section of the story. If you are like me and love to explore you will be pleased with what you find. Everything in the space station from showers to toilets can be interacted with. Another reward of exploring is that you will likely find upgrades for your gadgets and scrap metal to build weapons. Blueprints and finding extra pieces can mean life and death in this game.
Alien Isolation adds survival horror mechanics with the Alien universe to try and make the Alien game all of the fans have been waiting for. At first the game is an intense horror game that stays true to the original Alien movie. However not long after your first encounter with the legendary Xenomorph the game begins to overwhelm you with different types of enemies, and by the games halfway point it begins to drag on and lose sight of its survival horror mechanics.
What We Liked
Alien Isolation has good survivor horror mechanics, intense gameplay, rewards exploration, and good enemies.
What We Didn't
The game overstays its welcome and it becomes a drag. Alien Isolation becomes repetitive and the ending is poorly executed.
Alien Isolation provides a scary experience early on, but loses sight of what it truly is toward the end. Overall, it is still a good experience and hopefully future Alien games builds on what this game did right and removes what it did wrong.