Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Alien Isolation Review - A great example of a good movie tie in.

 By Sam Coles:

Film tie ins of video games generally go together as well as a six lane pile up in the middle of Los Angles, however in recent years games based on films well films that are fairly old have been fantastic such as Mad Max and Shadow of Mordor. Alien Isolation was an absolute surprise after the tidal wave of radioactive waste that was Colonial Marines, as Creative Assembly a strategy game developer made a first person survival horror and it’s great minus a few technical issues.  

Alien Isolation is based on the original film which was first released all the way back in 1979 where in this game you play as Ellen Ripley’s daughter Amanda and she is in search of her mother as she received a destress beacon. Her colleague Samuels who totally not an android (it’s obvious) is trying to persuade her not to go. The story is pretty good and the acting is excellent although Amanda can come across as a tad whiney in some scenes which made me want to serrate my ears off.

The atmosphere and build up is fantastic because when you first step on board the space station you see each individual light turn on down the corridor with nothing but the distant hum of computers and fans. What I like about this game is that you don’t even encounter the alien for about 30-45 minutes and it gives you a false sense of security until finally the alien strikes.

The gameplay is a first person survival horror emphasis on survive as combat is generally a last option and plus the alien can’t die so good luck taking it head on. There are other enemies besides the alien such as crazed humans that will shoot you on site and androids where their programming has gone nuts and will try to strangle you to death. You can find weapons to help you supress these enemies such as a revolver to kill humans with a quick head shot, a shotgun, flamethrower and other leather items to use. What you want to do is to craft non-lethal items like noise makers which will help you distract the alien so you don’t meet your untimely death. Gameplay is great as the alien’s movement and presence is unpredictable which will keep you on your toes however it can feel a bit cheap sometimes as he will find you even though you’re well hidden.

The game’s presentation is superb with great animation from characters and the alien is well animated with great detail with its slow yet fast pace movement as he switches between the two. The environments are beautiful with fantastic dynamic lighting coupled with the cold and grey feeling I get as I walk down the corridor. Sound design is top notch as it is minimal as there is barely any music outside of cinematics it’s all about the diegetic sounds in the game with the terrifying sounds of the heavy footsteps of the alien where he is walking slowly or when he is running when he knows where you are. The sounds of the androids with their calm demeanour as they say they just want to help when they strangle you to the distant cries of crazed crew members.

The only problems I have with this game is that the frame rate has a habit of dipping during cutscenes and some gameplay segments and when the game first released it crashed during an elevator section every time, but these problems have been ironed out with patches.

Alien Isolation is a fantastic game I urge you to go out and get to get into the mood for Halloween you can get it on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3 and PC. I would recommend getting it on the 8th generation consoles to get the full graphical experience.   

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