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S&S Review: Alien: Isolation

Posted on the 21 October 2014 by Sameo452005 @iSamKulii
S&S Review: Alien: Isolation
Title: Alien: Isolation
Format: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Sega
Developer: The Creative Assembly
Price: $59.99
ESRB Rating: M

Imagine walking down a long, dark corridor fearing the worst. That is what I felt when playing Alien: Isolation. The game is extremely stressful and it never allows players to feel relaxed. Fans of the Alien franchise have long been yearning for the amazing Alien game, and Alien: Isolation is the game they've been waiting for. While I have some significant issues with the game, Alien: Isolation succeeds in immersing players in its world with an interesting story and the dangerous Xenomorph.
S&S Review: Alien: Isolation Presentation: 
The presentation in this game is incredible. Creative Assembly has created a world that is immersive in so many ways. The opening credits begin with the 1970s 20th Century Fox logo, which was a great touch and immediately hooked me in. Throughout the game, I felt like I was in an Alien film and the world this franchise has created was present throughout the game. The futuristic technology, from the DOS computers to the automatic doors, brought the world to life. Alien: Isolation does almost everything right with its presentation and atmosphere. At times, the space stations can feel empty and haunting, and every turn around a corner could be your last. Where it doesn't succeed is through awkward lip syncing during cutscenes.
S&S Review: Alien: Isolation
You play as Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley from the films. The game takes place fifteen years after the events of the first film, and Amanda receives word of the flight recorder from the Nostromo has recently been located. Amanda takes the initiative to find closure and discover what happened to her mother. I enjoyed the main part of the story, though I didn't care for the sub characters as much. Very quickly into the game, Amanda is separated from her crew on the Torrens, and there weren't enough moments among the characters for me to care for them. There was too much time between story events, which hurt any chance of me gaining interest in the characters.

One of my biggest issues is the game is too long. It took me around 18-20 hours to complete Alien: Isolation on the normal difficulty, and the final hours really hurt my experience. The final hours were tedious and one final objective turned into numerous, unnecessary objectives. The ending didn't feel very satisfying, either. The first few hours had excellent pacing among the Xeno, reuniting Amanda with the crew and investigating the Sevastopol, but the rest of the game really lost its steam. S&S Review: Alien: Isolation Gameplay: 

Like I said before, the game is very stressful. For most of the game, you need to sneak around enemies. Slowly walking in a crouched position or hiding in a locker or box is the safest way to avoid being seen. But hiding is only a temporary solution. The motion tracker can be your friend, and your enemy. It will say which direction the enemy is located, and I used that a lot to make sure I could survive. Using the motion tracker with the Xeno in the same room isn't smart, mainly because it will hear the noise and find you.

If you are caught, either by Working Joe synthetics, humans or the Xenomorph, surviving isn't guaranteed. The Xeno will kill you on sight unless you have a weapon or an item to distract it or cause it to flee. The Working Joes are far more powerful than humans, and fighting them can be extremely difficult depending on your ammunition or weapons at hand. If you don't have a stun baton or a useful gun, the fight is useless. Fighting humans is easier, but it has consequences. Gun fire, noisemakers and other items will draw the Xeno to the area, so be cautious when encountering any enemies.
The Xeno: 

The Xenomorph is where Alien: Isolation shines, but it's also where the game suffers. The movement of the Xeno isn't scripted, which can be terrifying, but also annoying. Too many times I would be hiding in a closet or in a crate and the Xeno wouldn't leave the room or the area. And why this annoys me is because I'd be hiding for well over a minute, and I couldn't progress to my next objective or the next area. When the Xeno is around, it can be stressful. One minute it will be in an area, the next it won't be on the radar or it will be in the vents, but you won't know where.

The first few hours of the Xeno's presence is amazing. It would come at unexpected times, it would lurk around long enough to stress me out, and it would only arrive a few times. There was a constant fear of the Xeno sneaking up on me or seeing me and attacking. Those few occurrences were perfect because I was anxious to turn a corner or enter a room. The middle of the game and the final hours caused my experience to suffer because the Xeno was always around. No longer was I scared of being killed from behind or turning a corner. I became annoyed because it was overexposed and became stale. The pacing of the game suffered because the encounter of the Xeno suffered.

S&S Review: Alien: Isolation

Saving the game in Alien: Isolation is both good and bad. There is no auto save, so reaching the next save station feels like a huge relief. You insert a key card into the station and have to wait a few seconds to actually save. When in danger, these few seconds can feel like forever. The save feature can become annoying because if you die after 20-30 minutes of playing, you go back to wherever your last save was. The loss of progression can feel exhausting especially when I died while waiting to save. Repeating a section because I died became really annoying. Final Thoughts: 

Alien: Isolation is a great game for Alien fans. The atmosphere and presentation are incredible, and the world is immersive. The game really lost its steam towards the final few hours, as I was ready to be finished with the experience. The Xenomorph is scary, but it can become annoying. Nonetheless, this is the game Alien fans have been wanting for years.
+Amazing presentation +Enemies aren't easy -Save stations can become annoying -Final hours become tiresome
S&S Rating: 7.5/10

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