Alien: Isolation Review

Alien: Isolation

Developed by The Creative Assembly

Published by Sega

*This Is Ripley, Last Survivor Of The Nostromo, Signing Off.*

*Please Note: This Review is of the PlayStation 4 Version*

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The Story:

The events of Alien: Isolation takes place in the year 2137; Fifteen years after the events of Ridley Scott’s Alien and see’s Ellen Ripley’s Daughter; Amanda approached by Weyland Yutani after it’s revealed that the Nostromo Flight Recorder has been found by a ship called the Anesidora and may offer some insight into the whereabouts of her mother. Ripley finds out that the recorder has been taken to Sevastopol Station; A Space station under the ownership of the Seegson Corporation. With a small team consisting of Ripley, An Android & A Weyland Yutani Employee; They head towards the Sevastopol however things go horribly wrong and the team get separated. Once getting on board the ship, Ripley soon realizes that not everything is at it seems and that on an empty derelict ship, she may not be alone after all.

The Gameplay:

Alien: Isolation is a first person survival horror title that heavily relies on using stealth and quick thinking to your advantage. The game changes out the regular first person shooter gameplay familiar in recent Alien titles like Aliens: Colonial Marines & Aliens vs. Predator for a more tactical survival gameplay with Ripley finding many items aboard the Sevastopol to use to her advantage such as Bonding Gel, Sensor Modules and more to create Medkits, Noise Grenades and more to use in her battle for survival against the Alien. One of the best things about the game is of course The Alien itself which has been programmed by developers Creative Assembly to actively hunt out Ripley by Sight, Sound and Smell making it a deadly hunter and what’s more it cannot be killed which makes the fear of your encounters with it all the more terrifying with The Alien even being able to get you from pretty much anywhere whether it’s by dragging you from under a bed, in a locker, from an air vent; Once it is in your sight (Unless you are lucky enough to have a Flamethrower) you are pretty much as good as dead. Like with Outlast’s Night Vision Camera; Alien: Isolation has a Flashlight which allows you to see in the many dim lit areas aboard the derelict space station and very much like Outlast; The game requires you to find batteries to keep the light on otherwise you are left wandering into a deathtrap blindly. You can also use iconic Alien series gadget; The Motion Tracker which allows you to detect nearby enemies or allies however this cannot be used within the Air Vents which makes it difficult to judge your next move if you hide in one during an enemy pursuit; In addition to this, The Motion Tracker is also more of a burden than a helper since the beeping of the tracker helps enemies and more importantly; The Alien detect your location within a matter of seconds so it’s recommended like most supplies in the game that you use it wisely. One final thing that I will say about Isolation in gameplay terms is that the difficulty of the game is very blurred with the easy, normal and hard modes not having that much of a difference in terms of enemy damage and the works however the novice mode made the game much easier with there being access to more supplies and enemies being easier to sneak by (Including the alien) but the Nightmare mode makes the game so much harder than it already is; Especially considering that there is even less objects, Enemies are more aware and your motion tracker is cracked so that whatever pops up on it isn’t always reliable. It is also worth noting that this game can be done in a similar fashion to Dishonored by being completed without Dying or Killing anybody which makes the game all the more harder.

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The Sound:

In terms of a soundtrack; Alien: Isolation has very little to no Soundtrack and for once, this is one of the very few games which really benefits from this since the games quiet and ambient sounds add to the games eeriness aswell as the feeling you are trapped up in space alone with no assistance to guide you to safety. The sound effects that have been used in the game are incredible and actually feel authentic as you hear them in the game. The Flamethrower feels as though you are actually starting a real life fire and the sound effects that came off The Alien and The Motion Tracker both sounded exactly as you would expect them to hear from the good old movies (Excluding Resurrection).

The Graphics:

The visuals on Alien: Isolation are superb with the environments and Alien looking like they were ripped straight out of the Ridley Scott Alien movie adding to the games authenticity and the characters look and feel like actual human beings which are relateable on most levels. The look of space from inside the space station was truly magnificent while the dark corridors, Air Vents and even the blood soaked floors and doors added to the element of fear only achievable by not being able to predict your next move. Overall, the visuals on this game are perfect.

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Lasting Appeal:

Alien: Isolation has many different collectibles to find aboard the Sevastopol which adds some decent length to the games replay value however the main winner for this game’s replay value is definitely if you are a trophy/achievement hunter since the game requires you to take on many challenging tasks to get your 100% Gamerscore or Platinum Trophy since you need to do things like go through the game without killing any humans or more difficult; Not dying once in the entire game which more than likely will have you playing for hours on end to complete. In addition to this, Alien: Isolation has plenty more to offer if you happened to get the Crew Expendable or/& Last Survivor DLC which lets you play as iconic characters such as Ellen Ripley, Dallas & Parker with most of the original actors from Alien 1 returning to voice their characters (Yes that includes Sigourney Weaver aswell).

Final Thoughts:

Overall, Alien: Isolation is a truly terrifying experience for a video game which after a long time of disappointment has not only brought about a fresh Survival Horror experience but also rejuvenated a dying franchise with a breathe of fresh air. The game has a very enjoyable story and characters; The lack of sound makes the game even more tense and the visuals are incredible. The main memorable experience as mentioned under gameplay is the fact that the Alien has a mind of its own however that is the only problem with the game in my honest opinion since it does make the game frustratingly difficult at times. All in all, This is a great game and the Alien game we have all been waiting for. Good Job Creative Assembly.

My Score = 9.5/10

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The Good:

  • The Story is great
  • Characters are Relatable
  • Gameplay feels fresh
  • No Sound = Tense Feel
  • Fantastic Visuals
  • Plenty of Replay Value
  • Decent Voice Cast
  • Intelligent Alien A.I.

The Bad:

  • Story takes a little while before it kicks in
  • The game gets Frustratingly Difficult at times
  • (Not affecting the score) I still have nightmares from a death scene that caught me by surprise

Alien: Isolation is available now from all good retailers for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One & PC. Thanks go out to Sega for supplying the game and assets used in this review. Be sure to let us know your thoughts on this review in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to UGNN for all your gaming news and reviews and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

EP43121207040_7D67F00BE500592C9EAB_L Review by Matt McNamee

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