Alien Isolation Review 2016

Hiding from the alien is the best move
Hide and Seek can be a scary game, especially when you don't want to be found.

Does Alien Isolation Really Deserve its Game of the Year Title?

 

Can you survive the alien

Alien Isolation puts you in the shoes of Amanda Ripley, an engineer working for the Weyland-Yutani corporation. Her mother, Ellen Ripley, went missing along with the Nostromo spacecraft 15 years ago. Amanda, takes off to Sevastopol Space station along with her companions Samuel and Taylor after finding out that the space station has clues about her missing mother. But as soon as she arrives she finds out that something is mysteriously wrong.

Sevastopol Space station in the isolated space.

The atmosphere

Sevastopol Space station is a large space station orbiting the gas giant KG-348. It served as a freeport and commercial outpost in the Zeta Reticuli sector. Most of the gameplay revolves around traversing the space station. The space station is well designed with a sci-fi feel added to it. The environments looks realistic and is not some overly futuristic gimmick.

On some areas in the space station you can see the gas giant and space through the glasses of the space station, which is a very immersive experience.

The story

The story revolves around Amanda Ripley and her quest to find what happened to her missing mother, Ellen Ripley. Amanda is told by Samuels that the flight recorder of Ellen Ripley’s ship, the Nostromo, was recently found and is being held on the Sevastopol Space Station. Amanda then travels to the space station with her companions Samuels and Taylor in hopes of finding clues about her mother’s disappearance. Upon arriving in Sevastopol, Ripley gets separated from her crew members and enters the space station, where she finds the station mostly deserted and  the inhabitants have turned into paranoid looters scavenging for resources. After some traversing through the space station Ripley finds out that all the panic in the space station is due to the Xenomorph a.k.a. the alien, whom Ripley shortly encounters but manages to escape.

Enter the alien.

Amanda has to carry out various missions inside the Sevastopol Space Station all while hiding from the Xenomorph and other hostile creatures like the Working Joes - androids built by Seegson Corporation to assist the humans aboard the space station and other hostile humans which will not hesitate to kill you at first sight.

Voice acting and sound effects

The cinematic and narration of the game is executed very well with well designed cutscenes for advancements in the story and also for progression through the game, the cutscenes will keep you interested and invested in the game. The characters are well voiced and the voices do not feel robotic. You can also find audio logs while exploring the space station which shines more light on the story of the game.

The developers at Creative Assembly took special care about the voice and sound effects. They knew that for a good sense of horror, thrill and survival, the sound must be exceptional and of very good quality and that is what they provided. The voice acting and narration in the game is genuinely good and the sound effects are brilliant which matches the atmosphere perfectly and brings out a good and immersive experience. The sound of the alien crawling through the vents to the robotic voice of the Working Joes, everything is just produced perfectly.

Ingame detailing #1

Ingame detailing #2

Ingame detailing #3

Ingame detailing #4

Graphics

The graphics and detailing of the game are some of the best I have seen on both the current and next-gen systems. The amount of detailing the developers have put into this game is highly praiseworthy. The atmosphere looks great and immersive, the Sevastopol Space Station have highly detailed corridors and the player and alien models look very good.

The gun and equipments are also given quite a good amount of detail. Everything from a single terminal at the space station to the space itself is well detailed and allows players to immerse themselves in the space station and be a part of it. This all is done while maintaining a good and constant frame-rate. The game is very well optimized and doesn’t need a beast of a PC to run, it can perform exceptionally good on a mediocre PC. The game is very successfully ported to other current and next gen systems like the Xbox 360, Xbox One, Sony Playstation 3 and Sony Playstation 4. So there are no issues in game, there were no lags and framedrops while playing, and even if there were some issues, they were totally negligible.

 [high graphic gameplay]

The Xenomorph, the perfect killing machine.

Gameplay

The place where Alien Isolation excels in is the gameplay department. The gameplay successfully captures the feeling and thrill of being hunted by the alien. The game is not your typical action-shooter fps or a run and gun shooter, instead it is a highly stealth based horror-survival game with a lot of emphasis on silence and hiding.

You have a variety of weapons in your arsenal but they will be rarely of any use as using them creates noise which attracts hostile creatures, like the alien, working joes and other hostile humans aboard the Sevastopol Space Station.

Your little toy doesn’t scare me.

The Xenomorph is a perfect killing machine with razor sharp claws, spine like tail, broad legs and a hard protective shell. If you try to shoot the alien, it won’t work as the bullets will bounce off its highly protective shell. Although the flamethrower (which you will get in the later levels) can scare away the alien, it will return back after some time but angrier.

Be it hot, be it cold, a working joe will serve you anytime.

The weapons will hurt or kill the Working Joes and other humans aboard the space station, but it is highly advisable to back away safely when detected or risk getting caught by the alien.

Hiding from the alien, cause that’s what you are best at.

Throughout the game, you have to complete certain objectives, all in the vicinity of the Sevastopol Space Station while avoiding the alien and other hostile creatures by hiding.

There are plenty of places to hide. Under the desk, tables, lockers, air vents etc. There is no definitive pattern in the a.i. of the alien (it will take any possible route through the corridors of the space station each time it comes down a vent to hunt you).So if you think you can outsmart the alien by hiding for a few minutes and observing the route it follows, you are wrong.

One of the unique gameplay features in Alien Isolation is the microphone support. If you play the game using a headphone, the alien can detect you if the game hears you screaming through the mic. This is definitely a really cool and new feature.

[the noise detection]

The crafting system, for crafting items you probably won’t need

The game has a crafting system which allows players to craft several items and weaponry progressing through the game. The players can craft a huge variety of items, from basic medikits to flash-bangs and emp-grenades, everything is craftable.

You will also have certain tools and gadgets in your inventory like your motion sensing tracking device which shows the motion of the people around you by showing a circular blip in your radar.

Although its effective distance is limited it is your most reliable gadget for avoiding the alien. There is also a lot of back-tracking involved in this game which requires the use of your other two gadgets, the plasma torch and the access tuner, the plasma torch will help you to cut through sheets of metals guarding air vents which were blocking your way earlier in the game and the access tuner is used for hacking through the locked gates blocking your way.

Both these gadgets can be upgraded with progression of the story and will help to unlock new areas in the space station for exploration and finding raw materials for crafting.

The motion-sensing tracking device, your best buddy.

 The game has a manual save station system which you might have seen in some old school games  rather than an automatic checkpoint based save system which is found in recent games. You have to find the save station in order to save the game. Do note that saving the game takes three seconds, which is enough time for hostiles to find and kill you. This save system is ideal for this game and creates a sense of danger and thrill and keeps you wondering if its really worth the risk to save the game.

The save station, the only place in game where you can relax for 3 whole seconds!

 

Price and final verdict

The game is priced at 49.99 USD in the steam store. In my opinion the 50$ price tag is really worth it for you will be getting a game with a huge amount of gameplay which is based on stealth and exploration of Sevastopol Space Station while escaping the alien on board, great story and overall a good experience.

Does this game really deserved its “Game of the Year” title? Let’s make a checklist on that

Good voice acting and sound effects
Detailed and rich graphics
Good stealth based survival gameplay
Good story

In my opinion this game really deserves its title, the backtracking and the 15+ hours of campaign may be a letdown for a few but overall its a great game. I rate this game a solid 9/10 and would definitely recommend it to the fans of the survival-horror genre & also to the fans of the original 1979 alien movies as this game definitely succeeds its reputation.

Do you think this game really deserve its title? What did you liked of disliked about the game? Write your opinions and suggestions about the game in the comments below. If you liked this article make sure to click on some of the related article, you will find them quite interesting.

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