Game Review: Alien Isolation (Playstation 4)











The Story:

The game is set in 2137, 15 years after the events of Alien and 42 years before the events of Aliens. It focuses on Ellen Ripley’s daughter Amanda who, while investigating her mother’s disappearance, is ordered to go to the space station Sevastopol to recover data that could help locate her mother, unaware that an Alien has already infested the station.

I was excited to hear that the game would be an added piece to the initial movie and I thought was smart because of the wide gap between both films. Already with that you have 57 years worth of time that you can play around with. I thought the story itself was rather interesting with Ellen Ripley’s daughter Amanda trying to track down her mother and in doing that she ends up basically following in her footsteps in dealing with the Xenomorphs. Having the feeling of nostalgia along with a new story to play got me all kinds of excited to experience this adventure.

The Graphics:

The looks of this game is gorgeous. I love just how clean the environments look as well as the character models. Everything about this game feels so nostalgic and in the same tone as the original film. I mean even the 20th Century Fox bumper in the beginning looked like it fit right in with the movie. There were moments during loading screens or cut scenes that you would see a bit of static that was reminiscent of looking through a computer screen. The androids that you come across in the film look so fantastically creepy. With their plain test dummy-like face that is void of emotion makes them scary looking and when they start to come after you you’ll find yourself looking back as they get closer and closer with every turn. The design of the Xenomorphs were beautiful and looked like they were pulled straight from the source material. When it makes it’s first full appearance by coming down from a vent very slowly it truly made me giddy. The way that it would stalk the halls and corridors looked horrifying and beautiful at the same time.

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The Gameplay:

There was so much in this area that I dug. First off it’s just like any other first person shooter but this seems to play up the “thriller” and “horror” aspect of the film which was nice. The controls took a little getting used to but they didn’t seem overly complicated. In little to no time I found myself moving back forth between menus very quickly and with ease. There are doors to hack and puzzles here and there throughout the game that aren’t challenging but can be slightly difficult enough to keep you busy for a little while…..especially if you screw up. I would’ve liked to see some really challenging ones though. The audio was great and a nice touch to the game. With a surround sound system or headset you can really immerse yourself in the game and you will literally feel like you are hearing things all around you. Can you say paranoia? The REALLY impressive aspects were the ones that I didn’t expect at all. The A.I is truly an impressive feature that made the game feel realistic. When enemies are on your heels and you duck into a locker or cabinet they will inspect the area over and over until they are sure you’re not there anymore. The coolest part was the ability to hold your breath when an enemy is close to you. I thought something like that was a unique feature that I hadn’t seen before. Speaking of unique features that I’ve never seen before, there were two that caught me by surprise. If you have a Playstation Camera then you can take advantage of the motion recognition that can be activated in the game. This feature allows to the hid behind a corner and actually be able to move your head left and right to peek around corners. Cool right?! It gets even better. There’s also a noise detection feature that will make gameplay interesting. I had that feature on and completely forgot. While I was playing and was sneaking through an area of bad guys my wife called out to me and the group of people stopped what they were doing, said “Hey, what was that?” and went hunting for me. It threw me off guard in the best possible way and it was just another way to create a new experience in gameplay. There were MANY time throughout that the game had me jumping in my seat because of the scares it provides. It’s those times when you hear nothing but silence, then the already present paranoia sets in further and you start to look behind you constantly and in one of those glances back you see the Xenomorph stalking you and it’s too late. There were SO many times that people would hear talking to the game saying “No, no, no, no, no!” then to get impaled by an Alien tail.

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The game has definitely done it’s job at being intense and keeping you on your toes. It opens up a bit more in the Aliens’ world and after playing, it felt like Sega got this game the closest to perfect that we’ve ever had an Alien game before. I really feel like this is the start of something great here and the stories that could be told would be amazing. If you’re looking for a good creepy game to play in the dark then this game is for you. If you’re worried that this game is like Aliens: Colonial Marines then worry no more, this game is for you. If you just want to kick some Alien ass then this game is for you. Pick this up and enjoy all the Xenomorph-y goodness!

Alien: Isolation is available NOW on Playstation 4, Xbox One, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 from SEGA


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