Overdue Game Review – ALIEN: ISOLATION
This game was first described to me as “an okay game, you just do a lot of walking around.” I wasn’t going to let that deter me, and I’m glad it didn’t.
Being a huge fan of the movies “Alien” & “Aliens”, I was stoked by what I saw during the ad campaign for “Isolation”. The environment looked extremely true to the 1979 classic, right down to the floor panels. When I started it up for the first time and was greeted with the 20th Century Fox fanfare, the slow Sega logo reveal and Jerry Goldsmith’s score – I was instantly hooked.
I’m not sure if they could have nailed the “Alien” universe any better. The level design and amazing attention to detail was outstanding. This LOOKED like it was straight out of the movie. Basing this game more on the first film and not the second was a great call. Shooters have been done, and they continue to be done. A shooter game wasn’t what I was looking for in this case. I WANTED to be afraid to move at times, I WANTED to get that rush having to drive the Alien back temporarily and not be able to kill it with ease and simply move on to the next section.
WHAT I WILL REMEMBER
I’ll remember being impressed with how much the game stayed true to the original movie’s environment and technology. Without divulging too much, there are some elements from the film that are in “Isolation”, and that was a real treat.
It’s a slower paced game, which forces you to acknowledge your surroundings and all the work that was put into it. One small example: suddenly looking down a darkened hallway and seeing what looks like the silhouette of TWO Alien’s back to back. Upon closer examination: it’s just the way the console was designed. But I know it was designed to give the player that kind of quick scare – and it was perfect.
WOULD I PLAY IT AGAIN?
I’d definitely have to wait a few YEARS before I started this journey up again, but yes. I would play it again.
This isn’t the type of game where if you have 20 minutes before you have to take off somewhere you can just throw it on for a bit. You need to invest at least a good hour every time you start it up. Much like “Dead Space”, you can’t save the game at anytime. You have to find and use save stations, and they aren’t the most abundant things on the map, let me tell you. There are so many rooms and items you can miss as you are scurrying around for self preservation, so if you eventually want to see everything – it will require another playthrough. And I intend to do that.
…just not right away.
“Alien: Isolation” was done so well and was finally the Alien game that the fans deserved. It immediately jumped up into my top 10 games of all time. In my mind, the story and all the little things that came with it make it instantly part of the Alien canon, and I’m much more willing to acknowledge this as an official continuation of that universe than either of the movies “Alien 3” or “Alien: Resurrection.”
Spot-on Alien design & mannerisms, a compelling story line and a brave heroine – all make for a great gaming experience.