Alien : Isolation (2014)

AlienIsolationPreview2-664x374

Alright, we’re doing something a little different for Day 7 of my #31DaysOfHorror. We’re taking a look at a brand new video game. I picked this up the day it came out, and realized I wasn’t going to watch a movie instead, so I figured I would share my first thoughts of this game. So, before I start, it’s worth saying that I’m very likely only about 2 hours into this game, so this is more of a ‘first impressions’ review than an overall review of the game. Lets talk plot first, as is our way, this one taken from Wikipedia.

The game follows Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley, as she tries to locate her mother following the mysterious disappearance of the Nostromo. Her search leads her to the decommissioned space station Sevastopol, where she encounters a deadly Alien.

This is a first person, survival horror game, that has some elements comparable to Outlast. However, it is substantially more polished, and obviously has an extremely recognizable brand attached to it. It’s also worth noting that you are playing a female character, so if you’re … an idiot who couldn’t possibly play as a female character this one obviously isn’t for you. However, if you have a brain in your head, and like quality games, read on!

Alien-Isolation-Ripley

The game is a little bit cartoonish, as is the tendency with Sega, and I was initially a little bit concerned that it might take away some of the scariness of the game. I was almost immediately proven incorrect, but we’ll get to that. Lets get the boring stuff out of the way first, the environments look fantastic, the controls are smooth and responsive, and if I’m being totally honest, I don’t know enough about the specifics of game design to talk about frames and clips and whatever else, so lets move on to what’s exciting about this game shall we?

First and foremost, the game is spectacularly atmospheric. The build up to the first encounter with the Xenomorphs takes its time, and builds the world so effectively. It feels immersive and it feels so true to the original film. Those two things really make this effective and frightening even before the game really gets under way. The recreation of the universe is so great, and dedicated, and the whole thing really does feel like a genuine spin off and sequel, rather than just throwing characters into the universe and saying  “WELP ITS AN ALIEN GAME NOW!”.

Another thing this game has that I was incredibly excited about is the “Nostromo Edition”, which contains DLC called “Crew Expendable” allowing you to play as the original characters. Now, I haven’t played this content yet but I am extremely excited to get it started.

alien-isolation-dlc

So far, this game delivers on all of the fronts that I wanted it to. The encounter with the Alien are genuinely frightening and intense, and the game has genuinely gotten me a couple of times. It’s an extremely fun new survival horror game, and it’s such a hugely fun experience. So far. You really are made to feel, as the game describes it, ‘unprepared and unarmed’.

So, while I can’t give the game an overall rating having… not finished it, I can say that if you can pick up one game and like having the bejesus scared out of you, this is the one.

As always, play along with me on Instagram with the tag #BarleyDoesHorror

GRADE (SO FAR) : A-

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