A couple of things should be known about this game to avoid any misunderstandings. Alien: Isolation is a 2014 survival horror game based on the setting of the Alien movies. Historically, games based on the Alien movie series are action shooter orientated, usually with mild results in quality gameplay. Alien: Isolation is NOT one of those types of games. It is NOT an action packed shooter. This game mostly involves avoiding detection and combat. Stealth. The player can’t kill the alien, so the player must outsmart it in order to live. Because of this the experience is intense, challenging and, due to terrific AI programming, very unpredictable. The opinion of a “thumbs up” goes a four-way fold in this case: Best alien game experience. Best survival horror experience of 2014 – to date. Best experience from SEGA in 2014. Best movie based game in 2014. I highly recommend it to players who enjoy a good cutthroat jump scare over a bullet soaked gore-fest in their horror genre games.
If you’ve read the main summery, the plot basically speaks for itself. In the main campaign, the player mostly experiences the events through the first person perspective of Amanda Ripley, a character that was briefly mentioned in the Aliens movie but left basically unexplored as Ellen Ripley’s daughter. If one is an Alien movie buff and looks at its plot timeline, the story of this game occurs after the first movie but before the second. You know, while Ellen Ripley herself is thought to be dead when she is in fact floating around in hyper sleep off camera somewhere still waiting to be discovered.
If you are not a movie buff and have no idea what I am referring to, don’t worry about it. This game does an excellent job standing up on its own plot wise. There are plenty of audio files and hidden bits of story that will have fans doing back flips, but all of it is just icing on the cake. Alien: Isolation is it’s own story, no homework required.
Anyway the plot is this: Amanda is a mechanic who has been given the opportunity to find out what happened to her mother, Ellen Ripley, when the ship Nostromo’s flight recorder is found aboard the space station Sevastopol. Amanda arrives on Sevatopol to find it in ruins and chaos. Crewmembers fighting amongst themselves, Sevatopols station’s computers and androids acting strangely and to top it off a mysterious alien creature is hunting every living creature aboard. Amanda’s mission goes from solving a mystery to escaping the station alive as she becomes entangled in the horrors aboard the space station.
Pretty basic concept, but the delivery of the characters along with the experience and atmosphere of the game has an added intrigue of it’s own. Due to some really clever gameplay and wickedly unpredictable enemy AI, surviving becomes it’s own plot. The Alien has no set parameters it will disappear and reappear from ventilation shafts seemingly on a whim and investigates locations where you thought you were safe despite every precaution you take. One moment the alien jumps out and kills your character and the next it might not appear at all while it hunts something else. A player may die multiple times sometimes seconds from loading the saved games and still be unable to predict where the Alien’s location may be on their next attempt. The games’ other foes, the Working Joes and, at times other humans, are slightly more restricted in their predictability but not by much. Humans will chose fight or flight at random and coordinate attacks. Working Joes may attack or not and change routes, ignoring players one moment then silently stalking them the next.
All in all in conclusion Alien: Isolation is a top of the line survival horror experience that plays with player paranoia and deserves a look. There is also plenty of content to keep new players occupied along with several dlc packs and a competitive survival mode. Suggestion: Give it a try, player will likely not be disappointed.
* WARNING THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON THE PS4 VERSION AND MAY NOT INCLUDE INPUT BASED ON PC ONLY CONTENT OR ALL DLC PACKAGES.