Alien: Isolation is a survival horror game developed by Creative Assembly and based on the Alien science fiction horror film series. It was published by Sega and released for Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in October 2014. The game was ported by Feral Interactive to Linux and OS X in 2015, and to Nintendo Switch in 2019.
The game is set 15 years after the events of the 1979 Alien film and follows Amanda Ripley, daughter of Alien protagonist Ellen Ripley, as she investigates the disappearance of her mother. This leads her to go abroad Torrens to the Sevastopol Station, where they found Nostromo's light recorder.
Once there, she notices how the station is decaying and its inhabitants are desperate to survive. But she finds out the worst part of all, a monstrous, extremely hostile alien organism, which is responsible for the deaths around the station.
Amanda now needs to survive the creature and find a way to escape the station, as she discovers Sevastopol's history and Seegson's secrets.
Why It Rocks
- Horrifying atmosphere, the ambience sound is constantly silent, allowing us the dismay to hear the Xenomorph crawling into the vents right above us.
- Plus, once the alien is on the loose, a suspenseful music plays, which gets louder as closer the Alien is to get you, increasing the feeling of dread.
- Speaking of the Xenomorph, it has one of, if not the GREATEST AI ever made for a game, especially on Hard and Nightmare difficulty;
- It memorizes your hiding locations. For instance, assuming it has seen you leaving/hiding into a storage closet, or you stay hidden too much, the Xenomorph will become more tempted to closets, and even trick you into thinking that it left the area, only to get you once you try to leave. That's also why one of the tips during a loading screen says that hiding is only a temporary solution
- While the game doesn't really tell you a lot about it, the Xenomorph's AI adapts towards your playstyle and aggressiveness. The more aggressive you act towards it by using your weapons, the more aggressive it will become against you, leaving from vents frequently to hunt down Ripley, this forcing you to act passively nearly all the time if you wanna survive.
- Countless references from the first two movies, showing how much passion and effort the developers had toward this game.
- Sevastopol is vast location with huge backtracking through elevators and transport stations.
- The Xenomorph is not the only enemy around the station, you also have to deal with hostile androids called Working Joes, and hostile humans who are trying to survive.
- Extremely difficult, despite the game allowing you to take a breath between encounters, especially with the Alien.
- Speaking of high difficulties, the crafting items are scarce depending on its difficulty, forcing you to save resources for emergency cases.
- Like in classic horror games such as Resident Evil, your guns are not so powerful, forcing you to run and hide from your hunter.
- Sevastopol has a vast and very well developed hidden lore, often found in terminals and log files.
- It also includes log files from the original crew from Nostromo (the space ship of the first movie).
- The original movie's crew is also playable through special DLC (more specifically the Crew Expendable DLC), which put you in the first movie's events.
- Awesome atmospheric music. The symphonies variate from horror violins to bass melodies, capturing the essence of horror and technologic future.
- Unlike other Alien games, this one focuses rather on stealth than combat. The Alien is invincible, so your only chance of survival is hiding. The feeling of not being in control of your current situation is a key part of fear, after all.
- No jumpscares at all. Instead, the game uses other ways to frighten you, most notably the multiple death animations that occur depending on how the Xenomorph got you (such as being right behind a door, and instantly getting you), alongside with the unpredictable AI. The fright doesn't come from your death, but the fact it was there, and you knew you couldn't do nothing but watch it killing Ripley again, and again, and again.
- The game's second half is pretty fast to finish, since the Alien doesn't appear. However, you are compensated with the final act; to say the least, it will take hours to finish the game from there.
- The game's ending is a cliffhanger. The chances of there being a sequel aren't certain.
- There are some visual glitches like floating weapons. Fortunately, they don't ruin the gameplay.
Alien Isolation received several positive reviews due to its horrifying atmosphere. Critics praised the game's retro-futuristic art direction, sound design, and the Alien's artificial intelligence, but criticized its characters and long runtime. The game won several year-end awards, including Best Audio at the 2015 Game Developers Choice Awards and Audio Achievement at the 2015 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards. The fans of the franchise praised and acclaimed it, calling one of the best horror games, and the best Alien game ever created.
- When you are about to explore an area, remember to be stacked up on Medkits by crafting them. SCJ Injectors, Compound B and Bonding Agents are common materials that you can find at Sevastapol, so don't be afraid to use these materials, as long as you don't recklessly use them.
- While the Xenomorph is normally immune to nearly every weapon of yours, one weakness it has is fire. If you have the Flamethrower or Molotovs, you can use these weapons to make it flee back to the vents, but that will trigger the AI to act aggressively, so be aware when to use said weapons.
- If the Xenomorph is about to get you, and the Flamethrower is equipped, timing when to fire right before it gets you will instead play an animation of your character getting back up, allowing you to continue. This can be really useful when the Xenomorph doesn't flee and you don't wanna waste more fuel than needed, though it will cost you some health, and you won't survive if you don't have enough.
- Weirdly enough, there is an interesting glitch that can aid you. In the PC version, if you use the W and D buttons, your character will walk in a way that they won't make any noise. This can be really useful, as you won't need to resort going into the slower crouch position, and you'll avoid alerting any threat.