The last Alien video game to hit store shelves didn't go over so well. Fans are naturally hesitant to be burned twice, but there is good news: Alien: Isolation sounds like it lives up to its namesake.
Whereas the last game in the franchise, Aliens: Colonial Marines, modeled itself off of James Cameron's action-filled Aliens, the team over at Creative Assembly has brought the franchise back to its terrifying roots by focusing on a single, monstrous Xenomorph in the same vein as Ridley Scott's original Alien film. Players take on the role of Ripley's daughter Amanda as she explores an almost abandoned space station in search for the truth of what happened to her mother on the Nostromo.
Alien: Isolation is a gorgeous game of cat and mouse, and players explore the space station, while being silently hunted by the deadly Xenomorph. Along the way they will encounter deranged survivors who will shoot the player on site, as well as Androids who don't have your best interest in mind. Players must use stealth and cunning to survive, especially against the Xenomorph, who is impervious to damage and can kill the player in one attack.
Critics like Jim Sterling of The Escapist are hailing the game's atmosphere as one of its biggest triumphs. Sterling gave Alien: Isolation 4 and a half stars out of 5.
"Alien: Isolation is at its scariest when it's not doing anything, and I don't mean that as an insult. This is a game that not only understands its source material, it lives up to it."
IGN has perhaps been the most critical of the game, scoring it a 5.9 out of 10. While reviewer Ryan McCafferey praised the game's graphics and tone, he wasn't impressed by the rest of what the game had to offer, specifically saying it outstays its welcome.
It may seem strange to complain that a game's too long, but when the genuine scares of being hunted by an unstoppable predator are so diluted by repetition and padding, Isolation's epic length really does work against it.
The game is far from perfect, with many critics chiming in about the game's overly-long length and overall unimportant story. For most critics, that doesn't detract from an experience that, when taken together, is definitely worth the price of admission. Jeff Marchiafava of Game Informer gave the game a 7.75 out of 10, writing:
"Unlike its titular organism, Alien: Isolation is decidedly imperfect. The story falls flat, your objectives lack a sense of accomplishment, and the campaign drags on longer than it should. When the gameplay is at its best, however, Isolation delivers the thrill of being in the Alien universe, something fans like me have waited a long time to properly experience.
Check out some of the best tweets from critics and developers about the title, and be sure to watch the game in action in the video below.
My review of Alien: Isolation: http://t.co/Cv9f5Pz2Od it has some issues but I liked it! It's basically Worst-Case Situation Simulator 2014.
— Kirk Hamilton (@kirkhamilton) October 3, 2014
If I wanted more horror games to come out, *cough*, I would make sure to support them by buying that good new Alien game new at retail. — Ian Milham (@Monkey_Pants) October 3, 2014
My time with Alien: Isolation was stressful. Not sure if that adds up to fun yet. Regardless, I wanted to experience more of it. — Andrew Reiner (@Andrew_Reiner) October 3, 2014
Alien: Isolation is so grueling, something which I loathe and admire: http://t.co/VRtx4rqYdL
— Ludwig Kietzmann (@LudwigK) October 3, 2014