Alien: Isolation – Review

Alien Isolation Logo

Alien Isolation is a First Person Survival Horror Game from Sega and The Creative Assembly Studios for the PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC. The game is set between the original 1979 Film and the 1986 sequel Aliens; players step into the shoes of Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley who went missing after the events of the first film. Amanda is given a chance to find out what happen aboard the “Nostromo” the last know location of her mother by retrieving the flight recorder from the Sevastopol Space Station. When our protagonist and the rest of her team reach the Sevastopol they find that everything has gone to hell as a monster is on the loose and it will not rest until every single crew member is dead.

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In Alien Isolation players are encouraged to use stealth to sneak around their enemies and avoid combat all together in order to survive. Ripley can carry a pistol, craft weapons and gear to keep her going. She can distract and even immobilize her foes but charging a foe head up is not always the best option as many enemies can and will overpower you in an instant. In addition to her weapons, Amanda can also use a data pack to hack open doors and computer terminals as well as the series trademark motion tracker to spot out enemy movements. Ripley will need all of this gear because the Humans travel in packs, the Synthetics are extremely powerful and the Alien will take Ripley out as soon as it spots her making strategy key in dispatching her foes. The Alien’s A.I. is programmed to hunt down the player using sight, sound, and smell forcing to the player to stay on the move as the Alien won’t stay in one place for a longtime. The dynamic Alien A.I. coupled with the dark environment of the space station as well as its other hostile passengers make for some of the most scary and frantic action sequences players will experience in a video game.

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The controls of Alien Isolation are solid but do take a little time to get use to. Ripley’s movements are controlled by the left analog stick, and her view with the right analog stick, with the left trigger to aim and the right to fire/use her weapons and gear. The motion tracker is mapped to the R1 button, and L1 button is used to activate the free look system to peek around corners and objects in the space station. Players can use the L2 button while holding the motion tracker to better focus on what’s in front of them. The motion tracker is very vital if the player wants to advance through each mission because it will keep them alive. The player also carries a mini-computer which helps them in hacking the various computers, doors, and other miscellaneous systems in short hacking mini-games (think Batman Arkham Origins). Ripley also carries a overhead flashlight just her mother did in the films, to see in dark areas of the ship and players should make sure took check every nook and cranny of the space station for batteries because if they don’t they will be left in the dark.

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AI really opens up once the player masters the controls and masters running, hiding, and surviving and will appeal to folks into FPS, horror, and stealth genres because it does a great job of making the player feel like they are Ripley. The pacing of the game is spot on but is sometimes snagged by the game’s save system. The player must save and save often while completing objectives because if they don’t they will go back to their last save point with auto saving only reserved for the start of each mission. This forces the player to think strategically while making their way through each mission because one wrong move could mean game over. The motion tracker does also cause some problems as the objective marker will move around the sensor as the player moves through the level and sometimes it can become a bit confusing to follow. These two game mechanics encourage exploration, planning and strategy throughout Alien Isolation making the game more rewarding as the player continues to advance through each mission.

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Alien Isolation visually is an ode to the franchise, graphically the game is what you would expect from a next-gen game as well as nods to the films. The Sevastopol is very vast for a space station and many of its locals will look very familiar to long time Alien fans and will make newcomers to the series want to watch the films for the first time to see how things match up. The game even loads with a VHS style 20th Century Fox intro complete with the company’s fanfare, the video feeds on board the ship are also shot with a VHS filter and its clear that CA went to great lengths to pick up every visually cue from the films as possible for the game. The audio in Alien Isolation is amazing, the soundtrack is reminiscent of the films but has its own identity and all the iconic sound effects from the film are present from the “whoosh” of automated doors all the way down to the fleeting sounds of the motion tracker. when an enemy is present. If you are playing the game on the PlayStation the controller’s back-light will glow green and the rumble function will activate while the motion tracker is switched on.

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Alien Isolation is a love letter to fans of the series and amazing introduction to those new series The game brings together great storytelling, intense gameplay, stellar visuals and amazing soundtrack to create arguably the best games in the Alien franchise as well as the one best games of the year. Alien Isolation is not for the faint of heart and is not a shoot’em title as many of the series past games which may frustrate some gamers with its lack of auto-saving and direction but for others it will be one of most exhilarating and terrifying titles that they will play this generation.

Final Verdict

Alien Isolation is a title for series fans and survival horror gamers alike as it bridges the gap between Alien and Aliens while telling its own unique tale of the daughter of LT Ellen Ripley. Survival is placed heavily over conquest in this title which encourages gamers to take their time through the games many missions or die due to their impatience. Alien Isolation is not for the twitch gamer but rather for those who love too be scared as well as fans of the stealth genre who don’t mind a lengthy adventure. This is most definitely one of the best titles of the year and should have a spot on every GOTY list.

Official Trailer:

Overall Score: 8.5 / 10

RGN Rating : Silver Game

Developer: The Creative Assembly

Publisher: Sega

Available On: PS4 | PS3 | 360 | XO | PC

Played On: Sony PlayStation 4

Review Copy Info: A physical copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this Review.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by DJ Killzown Jones on 20141014 and was last modified on 20141017 .