Alien: Isolation - Review

To begin with I would like to state that the first 5 minutes of Alien: Isolation is way better than any of last years dreaded disappointment of the Aliens: Colonial Marines. However the idea of dragging the scare not only makes it a bit boring but you lose the fun of it, if you know what I mean!

As we all know that Colonial Marines had an utter failure with its fans and players and the Developer Creative Assembly has promised their fans that they would be delivering an authentic Alien Experience the second time around and that will favor tension over action. They even got stuck with one Alien title that suggested a greater focus on survival horror and stealth that the pervious games. So after all of this big blabbing, we expected a lot from the developers, but sadly the new title Alien: Isolation could not make its mark once again.

The game is very very ‘alien’. It evokes the mood of Ridley Scott and James Cameron films when it comes to perfection. Every landscape, the rundown space station that Amanda Ripley finds herself running errands through, the deep dark personality that are highlighted by shadows and impressive visual effect, also the general atmosphere that is downright chilling. But, considering it is a horror game, it takes a bit longer than what I had expected for the alien to show up. Probably they wanted to entice the horror effect for a while but, it just turned out to be a bit dull in my opinion. According to me, the first hour was not threatening at all but since it only seemed fair to act scared because of the game’s ambience it gave in a kick.

Once the xenomorph starts stalking the player through the dark and creepy Sevastopol space station, then isolation will hit its stride. About 99% of the hunter’s movements and actions are unscripted, so you genuinely never know if it’s going to leave you alone for minutes at a time, crawl into the ventilation ducts in the ceiling and then immediately drop back down, or sniff around the room you’re hiding in for three minutes, forcing you to wait it out.

And it is in that relentless pursuit that the game starts to work against itself, the inconsistent AI, the tedious back and forth tasks, and the awkward animations will all work against the players enjoyment of this game. And then frustration will just result in annoyance.

Now, the game actually proceeds in this manner. You are sneaking around as the character Amanda Ripley, who has come to Sevastopol looking for information about her missing mother and then you suddenly find yourself in this creepy place and then the next thing you know, a Xenomorph is stalking you. It is also then that the old school stealth concepts of patiently waiting out enemies, physical save points, and well-timed distractions start to lose their luster.

To add on, you will be dying a lot in this game, like a lot! And to add on to this, you will have to play again from the beginning, go through the same scary yet boring process of reaching where you last died and then die again! Doesn’t sound good, I know!

I played on Hard Difficulty, as I followed recommendations. It was written ‘ the recommended way to experience the game’ which was a bad bad decision. This meant that the xenomorph could get me wherever I am at any time, giving me no opportunity to even avoid my death. Sure, the flamethrower and the Molotov cocktail can ward it off for a while, but where is the fun in dying after that? So one suggestion for you all, ‘DO NOT PLAY IN A DIFFICULT MODE’.

Also the Isolation offers a leaderboard – based Survival Mode that challenges you to complete various scenarios with the highest score, which is earned by posting the fastest times and completion of bonus objectives. They recommend you to not try it until you have completed the campaign. This becomes just another brick on the wall after sometime, the intensity of the game overwhelms you so much that after some time, I dint even want to look at it.

Well, the game all together has done a marvelous job, with the visuals and the places and everything in it except for the crazy frustrating story line. At times, the game wears the franchise crown well and creates a sense of dread rarely seen in games these days. Then, two seconds later, the xenomorph magically appears on the other side of a door and any good will the game earned starts to slip away. This game was on a roller coaster that was going only up, but somehow met a downfall.