A &E

Alien Isolation: A Trip Back to the 1980’s

Alien Isolation: A Trip Back to the 1980’s
Photo courtesy of @AlienIsolation twitter

Many folks are familiar with the Alien movie franchise and horror icon the Alien.

For years, the franchise has made multiple attempts to create horror games based on the movies, and many have failed both financially and critically. However, their newest attempt, “Alien Isolation,” made by SEGA, has proven to be successful as it creates an intense and ominous survival atmosphere.

The player plays as technician Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Ellen Ripley from the Alien movies, who is offered to go aboard the “Sevastopol Station.” The station is said to have the flight record of the ship the “Nostromo,” which her mother, Ellen, was a crew member of. Amanda agrees, and she travels to the station on a courier ship with two other members from her team. However, once they reach their destination, something seems off as communications go dead and the station appears to be damaged with floating debris all around it. As the debris hits the courier ship, Ripley and the other two crewmen become separated as she boards the station alone. She soon finds that most of the individuals in the station have been killed by something non-human. Now it is up to Ripley find the others and survive, while being stalked and hunted down by the extra-terrestrial predator known as Alien.

The gameplay is ingenious as it adds multiple ways go about surviving on the station. One way is the item maker, which allows the player to create medical kits to heal the player, and multiple distraction items for whenever the player has to slip by the creature undetected. The creature has a mechanic where if the player uses the items too often, the Alien will learn from the previous distractions and will not go after the item. Another way to survive in the game is to use many different routes to get around the station, including the vents and other sections of the station. Though this means it will take longer to get to the main objective, there is a lower chance of being caught by the Alien.

There are other enemies in this game besides the creature itself, such as robotic androids called “Working Joes” and the remaining survivors who shoot out of fear and survival instinct. These other enemies help broaden the games difficulty as the player has more than one enemy to look out for. Ripley’s motion tracker in the game shows the green dots of all the enemies, how close they are, and what direction they are heading.

The game’s environment also affects the way the player feels as they traverse throughout the corridors and rooms. Some parts of the station are enormous, dark, and bloody. They give a dramatic and cautious atmosphere, making the player want to become more aware of his/her surroundings. The mechanic of having sounds making the Alien aware of Ripley also helps with this atmosphere as it creates more obstacles for the player to deal with.

If there is one small thing wrong with this game, it’s the crashing with the PC version. Though this doesn’t happen to often and or never at all, multiple instances have shown up with PC gamers within the first 24 hours of release.

This Alien game has finally given many fans what they wanted out of the franchise and has lived up to its expectations. I give it a 4.5/5.

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