Alien: Isolation review
Can Sega redeem themselves after the disappointment of Colonial Marines?
Alien Isolation is set between the 1979 film Alien and it’s sequel Aliens. It begins with Ellen Ripley’s daughter Amanda who is investigating her mother’s disappearance 15 years earlier. She gets the opportunity to transfer to the Sevastopol to search for the flight recorder of the ill fated Nostromo, only to find upon her arrival that there is an Alien aboard and from then onwards survival and escape are the number one aim.
Delivers where Colonial Marines failed
The main reason Colonial Marines failed is because it was rushed. Members of Gearbox who had been previously working on the title had been pulled off the project to work on Borderlands, the company failed to report this to Sega who upon finding out cancelled the project temporarily, these factors led to the game being a flop and never fulfilling its potential.
Alien Isolation on the other hand was not rushed out, time and effort were put in to make the whole feel of the experience a surreal one. The Alien will always make a beeline for Amanda whenever it suspects she is near and that can be very daunting. It leaves you wanting to remain in the locker you were hiding in. The very way it moves will scare you senseless. It actually charges at you with the loud thuds of its feet drawing every bit nearer. It doesn’t just attack you on the ground either it can also move around inside vents and if you’re not paying attention you could end up walking underneath one of these vents to meet a grisly demise.
Walking in Ellens footsteps
There is one major similarity between Ellen and Amanda and that is they are both natural survivors and despite overriding odds always find a way to survive. Upon arriving aboard the Sevastopol, Amanda has to quickly learn to fend for herself after losing the other members of her search team while making the journey across from her ship. She is left with nothing but the clothes on her back and has to construct her own weapons to survive including Flashbang’s and Molotov Cocktails.
These can be constructed with objects found around the ship and provided she has the weapons blueprints, these can also be upgraded through upgrade blueprints found later on in the story. The Motion Tracker is a very handy device to have throughout the game and will always let you know if the Alien is about whether you want to know or not! You can also make use of certain distraction techniques to get rid of an impending Alien attack.
Ever feel like you’ve been here before
You will find throughout your experience that a lot of areas within the game appear the same for example the corridors, you can feel like you’re going around in circles but instead of being annoying it actually works well. It really feels like you’re aboard the ship and if you’ve ever seen Alien it won’t be a factor for you when buying the game.
Some of the things you are required to do may seem a little repetitive and by the time you reach the credits you won’t ever want to restore power again but thats how the game is. Some of the mini games can be very annoying with little description on how to actually beat the games which will leave you frustrated at times. At certain points throughout the game you will feel like the game just wants you to die at the hands of the Alien because of the way it picks up on every little thing you do, just waiting to drop out of a vent and kill you.
In Space no one can hear you scream
This isn’t strictly true as you do have Allies aboard the Sevastopol as well as survivors who’d love nothing more than to kill you. There are also a host of androids aboard the ship but not all are friendly. You can tell the bad guys from their red eyes and they also want to see you dead, these can be very vicious in the way they hunt you down, they are relentless. You can actually use the human enemies to your advantage by putting the attention on them and allowing the Alien to come out of hiding and kill them, which can be a handy tool when needed if you’re low on ammunition.
The one thing that sets this game aside from Aliens Versus Predator and Colonial Marines is noise. If you make the slightest noise you attract the Alien straight to you. If you run, if you shoot, it will be mere seconds before you are dead or being stalked and it makes you think about how you want to play the game.
Extra content and Survivor Mode
You can buy the Nostromo Edition which is a really nice feature especially if like me you are a massive fan of the Ridley Scott 1979 classic film. You get to take on roles of the original cast who all actually voice their own characters including of course Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley. You get the chance to recreate a scene from the film choosing from three members of the cast.
You can use the flamethrower as well as closing air vents to trap the Alien before flushing it out via an air shoot. Survivor Mode is a nice twist and is very different from the Survivor Mode of Aliens Versus Predator, this time round you have to complete challenges while being stalked by the Alien and you can set online scores depending on how well you complete these challenges.
The graphics are very dated which fits the game well as it is set between the first two films but you can also feel as if you’ve been everywhere before because of the similarities between some areas of the game and that can be slightly confusing. The game however is a nice new take on the franchise and doesn’t fail as badly as its two predecessors because more time was taken and more thought put into it, sometimes all it takes to make a great game is that attention to detail.
Alien Isolation has an abundance of scares and the sheer fear of the Alien constantly stalking your every move is a massive plus for the game because it makes you actually want to hide and never come out, the game is a massive step up from Marines.
Miss; Some areas of the ship do look the same and this can be a little confusing also a lot of tasks required can be repetitive.
Need; Actual Multiplayer, challenges are fun but to be able to survive with other players would have been better.