Alien: Isolation is a Horror Masterpiece.

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Cloud_imperium

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#1 Cloud_imperium
Member since 2013 • 15010 Posts

Was playing Outlast 2 recently and it made me realize how much hide and seek horror games are becoming stale. Another thing that was worse than the original is how fast it shows you everything instead of building tension or setting the mood for your journey. No doubt that it was doing well for what it was created but industry is becoming so full of such games that even one of the better ones from similar genre often fail to grab your attention.

I think Alien: Isolation finds perfect balance between hide and seek gameplay and fighting back instead of just sticking to the former or the latter exclusively like most games. We all know how Alien looks like. We've played Alien games before, we have seen the movies, we have seen Promethius... yet Isolation successfully builds tension and slowly reveals (already quite popular and well known) threat. This threat is also quite intelligent. It is programmed well thanks to Creative Assembly's extremely talented team that released masterpiece after masterpiece over the years.

In the beginning you hide and feel underpowered, then you come across handful of tools to fight back or lure the threat to eliminate human rivals without engaging in gun fight directly (but you can do that too if you don't care about saving your supplies for later). For few moments you stay strong then go back to hiding and running once you're out of supplies. This struggle continues till 2/3rd of the game. Then just like the player who gets used to the threat, the protagonist 'Ripley Junior' also feels stronger as she comes across more powerful weapons and tools. Threat's fellow family members start appearing later in the game but then it doesn't even matter much as you have plenty to kick as* towards the end.

Then in this case the space station itself becomes a threat. You have to get out of it while things explode and break around you. You take 2 steps forward and it sends you 3 steps backward. This section often feels like a drag but it also serves its purpose. It makes you feel uncomfortable in a different way. While you overcome your fear against living beings, the surrounding itself becomes a challenge to navigate through. The game keeps things fresh by giving you mechanical tools to clear your path too.

Even the smallest of actions require player's complete input. Like right click to grab the door with right hand and left click to grab it with left hand. You hold both and then use movement keys to rotate mechanism and open the door. This makes every small action feel like an event in itself, which is necessary to create immersive and rewarding experience. Licensed products are hard to pull off. On top of being a great game on its own, the way Creative Assembly nailed each and everything in the game while staying faithful to source material deserves extra applause.

It's sad that the game underperformed, as it deserved to have a current gen exclusive sequel. It is shame to not have one so far. All in all, Alien: Isolation is a masterpiece. I'd say, gameplay wise it's better than Resident Evil 7 even. RE7 was really well executed game but Isolation offered more on gameplay front. It felt old school in a good way.

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Ghosts4ever

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#2  Edited By Ghosts4ever
Member since 2015 • 10981 Posts

My friend, you made exact same thread year ago

https://www.gamespot.com/forums/system-wars-314159282/alien-isolation-survival-horror-game-done-right-cr-33441408/

and no its not.

RE7 is far better in every way and i wont even called that a Masterpiece.

imo this is still best alien game

Loading Video...

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Ezekiel43

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#3  Edited By Ezekiel43
Member since 2017 • 1978 Posts

It's good. I like the atmosphere and the creature's scripting. I'm not gonna say AI, because I feel like games don't deserve that term.

I would have liked it more had it been four hours shorter, featured better puzzles and more balanced resources (which are never hard to come by) and not been connected to the movies.

The derelict chapter is one example of how trying to emulate the movies made the game worse. Recreating that whole chapter from Alien was so utterly pointless. Aliens came out like seven years after Alien and many viewers hadn't seen the original, but it still didn't waste its audience's time by redoing it when Newt's family finds the ship. The chapter can't be failed. It’s just walking and more walking that becomes tedious when replayed. Marlow could have just told us (Amanda) what happened. Also, the beacon that we never saw in Alien just looks ridiculous in Alien: Isolation.

That's not how I ever would have imagined it.

There are so many other problems with the story.

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phbz

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#4 phbz
Member since 2009 • 4752 Posts

It's my favourite horror game, but it's not perfect.

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pelvist

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#5  Edited By pelvist
Member since 2010 • 7489 Posts

I thoroughly enjoyed it one of the best survival horror games easily.

I agree with Ghost4Ever too on AVP being the best Alien game. It's also the best Predator game.

As for RE7, I wouldn't even be in my top 20 of best survival horror games. I wouldn't even think of RE7 while making a list. I enjoyed it somewhat, even though it was way too short and mechanically there wasn't much in it. How much of a game would be left if you took out all the cut scenes?

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phbz

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#6 phbz
Member since 2009 • 4752 Posts

@pelvist: I've played RE7 both in VR and classic and couldn't force my self to finish it. It was fine while in the house but once I got to the boat I just lost all the motivation to keep playing.

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warmblur

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#7 warmblur
Member since 2017 • 3404 Posts

The best thing about the game for me is the atmosphere and music. The stealth gameplay is just not fun for me it's one of those games I respect but I don't ever want to go back to.

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Cloud_imperium

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#8 Cloud_imperium
Member since 2013 • 15010 Posts
@ghosts4ever said:

My friend, you made exact same thread year ago

https://www.gamespot.com/forums/system-wars-314159282/alien-isolation-survival-horror-game-done-right-cr-33441408/

and no its not.

RE7 is far better in every way and i wont even called that a Masterpiece.

imo this is still best alien game

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If you want to be a stalker then at least do it properly. Try reading the text too instead of just spotting name of the game in the title and start writing rubbish.

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DaVillain-

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#9 DaVillain-  Moderator
Member since 2014 • 39071 Posts

Thank you @ghosts4ever for pointing this out to @Cloud_imperium that he indeed made this thread last year but since I really didn't say much about Isolation itself, time to make up for it.

I will admit that I am 34 years old series vet and hardcore fan of H.R. Giger, Scott, Cameron's version. Alien & Aliens are the best there is in sci-fi. I still have yet to beat the game. It's much longer than I had anticipated, the Xenomorph A.I seems to adjust and grows smarter as you play the game which makes the game progress very nicely as once you think you've got him figured out you really don't. Intense atmosphere, sounds, story is good, mechanics are good. The difficulty is there, it's a challenge, yet very tolerable, save often and you will go far. Alien: Isolation is a fantastic game and glad it's part of my Steam collection.

I need to reinstalled Alien Isolation at some point but I'll do that once I completed my 5th gameplay Witcher 3.

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phbz

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#10 phbz
Member since 2009 • 4752 Posts

@Cloud_imperium: Kind of ironic that ghost of all people calls out other user for making a similar thread one year ago. Maybe he meant to say that you should follow his example and make at least 10?

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Cloud_imperium

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#11 Cloud_imperium
Member since 2013 • 15010 Posts
@phbz said:

@Cloud_imperium: Kind of ironic that ghost of all people calls out other user for making a similar thread one year ago. Maybe he meant to say that you should follow his example and make at least 10?

Not just every year but every week. That too about same 2 or 3 games he plays.

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Macutchi

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#12 Macutchi
Member since 2007 • 6933 Posts

@Cloud_imperium: it's a phenomenal game. no doubt has flaws but the atmosphere it creates is the result of some pretty damn impressive game design. i posted this video not long ago in response to someone on here saying game ai hasn't improved since half life 1, and it does a great job in detailing how the ai works and capturing the essence of why the game works so well.

Loading Video...

the way the ai is orchestrated gives the game an organic, unpredictable feel which makes it so much more effective (and replayable) than scripted jump scares in other games. and it's all the little touches like the vulnerability you have when saving your game that deserve recognition. i just started replaying it last week and realised i'd forgot how good it is.

@phbz said:

@Cloud_imperium: Kind of ironic that ghost of all people calls out other user for making a similar thread one year ago. Maybe he meant to say that you should follow his example and make at least 10?

this lol.

isn't it time for his weekly "will any game beat doom eternal for goty" thread

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uninspiredcup

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#13  Edited By uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 36034 Posts
@ghosts4ever said:

My friend, you made exact same thread year ago

https://www.gamespot.com/forums/system-wars-314159282/alien-isolation-survival-horror-game-done-right-cr-33441408/

and no its not.

RE7 is far better in every way and i wont even called that a Masterpiece.

imo this is still best alien game

Loading Video...

That was a genuinely impressive recollection Ghost, sharp as a tack.

Although I disagree about AVP2, it somewhat too scripted.

AVP2000 has more intricate level, better atmosphere and mechanically feels closer to the movies.

The marine environments, tight mazes, almost total darkness, endless spawning aliens that moved rapidly. Able to almost instantly kill the player, but they themselves dropping like flies, no jump scares, the player hearing them well in advance skittering and hissing around in the darkness adding to the tension.

This is one of the few (only?) games were endless re spawns and a lack of saves objectively adds to it.

Loading Video...

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Ghosts4ever

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#14 Ghosts4ever
Member since 2015 • 10981 Posts

@uninspiredcup: AVP2 was more SP story oriented but i like it only for its marine campaign. didnot like aliens or predetor.

it was good. or somewhat great. not masterpiece.

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Pedro

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#15 Pedro
Member since 2002 • 35814 Posts

Here are a few reasons it didn't reach masterpiece status, the game had multiple false endings, each false ending was similar to the last, the xenomorph stop being scary and became more of an inconvenience and the game ran for too long. If only they had eliminated these issues it would have been a masterpiece. The first few hours of the game is simply great.

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VagrantSnow

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#16 VagrantSnow
Member since 2018 • 404 Posts

I remember getting shot through a wall and uninstalling the game. I'm not a fan of these kind of "run and hide" horror games but throw in bugs like that and you've got yourself a less than entertaining experience.

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#17 mrbojangles25
Member since 2005 • 44800 Posts

It is one of the better horror games and my favorite. Probably the best AI in a game ever. Like, no argument about it. Show me a better AI. Seriously, I would love to know if there is a better non-player-character enemy to go against.

Honestly, the scariest thing about the Alien/AvP games is Weyland-Yutani. Predators hunt but have a code of honor, Aliens breed and kill, Marines obey orders...but the only legitimately evil thing in the universe is the megacorp Weyland-Yutani.

I love how in the games you see the underside of this corporation, like all the conspiracy theories about a megacorp is true. It's like if you are living this life using Johnson and Johnson products, but then you find out they have a lunar base where they're experimenting on human-alien hybrids. Like "WTF I just want some god damn lotion for my infant child, and now I find out you guys are straight up evil?!?"

@phbz said:

It's my favourite horror game, but it's not perfect.

Aye, but nothing is.

Fortunately we are blessed with a lot of good horror elements in gaming, whether it be from jump scares, psychological, and so forth.

SOMA

Amnesia

RE7

The Ravenholm bits of Half-Life 2

even Doom 3 was scary (although cheap startle scares).

@ghosts4ever said:

@uninspiredcup: AVP2 was more SP story oriented but i like it only for its marine campaign. didnot like aliens or predetor.

it was good. or somewhat great. not masterpiece.

Yeah AvP 2 is my personal favorite for a variety of reasons. Mostly because that was the hay-day of Monolith, and I loved any game they made in the LithTech engine haha

The AvP "reboot" game is an overlooked gem as well. The gameplay was arguably better in that game, but unfortunately it just lacked the overall feeling of the original games.

There's something to be said for a linear, well-directed experience on occasion. Not everything needs to be open-ended or open-world.

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Cloud_imperium

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#18 Cloud_imperium
Member since 2013 • 15010 Posts

@Macutchi: Only ignorant people say stuff like "aI hAsnT iMprOvEd'. AI has improved greatly during this gen.

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Macutchi

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#19 Macutchi
Member since 2007 • 6933 Posts

@Pedro said:

Here are a few reasons it didn't reach masterpiece status, the game had multiple false endings, each false ending was similar to the last, the xenomorph stop being scary and became more of an inconvenience and the game ran for too long. If only they had eliminated these issues it would have been a masterpiece. The first few hours of the game is simply great.

at what point did you find the game stopped being scary?

agree it was too long but the scares didn't really drop off for me, they peaked and troughed. the alien nest bit, in between meeting the new robot joes in yellow suits, was f*ckin intense but was pretty late on in the game

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Cloud_imperium

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#20 Cloud_imperium
Member since 2013 • 15010 Posts

@Macutchi:

Couldn't agree more. Its unpredictable nature forces you to be creative and adds more to its replay value.

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#21  Edited By Ghosts4ever
Member since 2015 • 10981 Posts
@Cloud_imperium said:

@Macutchi: Only ignorant people say stuff like "aI hAsnT iMprOvEd'. AI has improved greatly during this gen.

Name me one game this gen that as AI as good as FEAR.

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Ezekiel43

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#22 Ezekiel43
Member since 2017 • 1978 Posts

@Macutchi said:
@Pedro said:

Here are a few reasons it didn't reach masterpiece status, the game had multiple false endings, each false ending was similar to the last, the xenomorph stop being scary and became more of an inconvenience and the game ran for too long. If only they had eliminated these issues it would have been a masterpiece. The first few hours of the game is simply great.

at what point did you find the game stopped being scary?

agree it was too long but the scares didn't really drop off for me, they peaked and troughed. the alien nest bit, in between meeting the new robot joes in yellow suits, was f*ckin intense but was pretty late on in the game

Really wish the nest had featured egg morphing. Ridley Scott's alien wasn't a bug, like James Cameron's. I find it so lame that the developers wanted to imply there was a queen but didn't want to show it because it wasn't "Alien" and also didn't have the guts to feature egg morphing.

Even the theatrical cut of Alien implied the creature was doing something with Dallas and Brett.

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#23  Edited By Macutchi
Member since 2007 • 6933 Posts

@ezekiel43: if there were some crew or people you encountered which subtly disappeared one by one through the game only to be found cocooned in the nest, some still alive, some still dead... that could've been an incredible twist / scare.

but you'd need to spend some time with the characters for it to have any emotional impact, which could compromise the isolation theme

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Cloud_imperium

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#24  Edited By Cloud_imperium
Member since 2013 • 15010 Posts
@ghosts4ever said:
@Cloud_imperium said:

@Macutchi: Only ignorant people say stuff like "aI hAsnT iMprOvEd'. AI has improved greatly during this gen.

Name me one game this gen that as AI as good as FEAR.

This has to be dumbest thing one can believe in. Fear's AI is pretty basic by modern standards. It's linear game that takes place inside a building with straight forward geometry. It's easier to navigate in that space than programming AI for let's say an open world game where behavior of enemy changes depending on time of day and weather or how NPC reacts to player's choices or finds its way home after working somewhere in village during day far away from his home. I'm seriously having a doubt about you. Have you even played games since 2005?

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#25 hrt_rulz01
Member since 2006 • 19443 Posts

It's definitely a great game... just a little overly long for me. I didn't end up finishing it.

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Ghosts4ever

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#26 Ghosts4ever
Member since 2015 • 10981 Posts
@Cloud_imperium said:

This has to be dumbest thing one can believe in. Fear's AI is pretty basic by modern standards.

No its not.

when you torch a flashlight, enemy yell flashlight, the way they react every encounter. etc

Loading Video...

Just watch this. its not my fault that this game was 10/10 masterpiece in literally every single way.

It's easier to navigate in that space than programming AI for let's say an open world game where behavior of enemy changes depending on time of day and weather or how NPC reacts to player's choices or finds its way home after working somewhere in village during day far away from his home.

And most (or rather all) open world games have stupid AI. no idea why most developers choose to make boring open world formula rather than they can easily make excellent linear (or rather non linear) games with good AI and gameplay yet in open world games everything suffer from gameplay to AI to mission structure.

I'm seriously having a doubt about you. Have you even played games since 2005?

yeah i praise so many games after 2005 come on my friend. the fact that no AI after 2005 is as good as FEAR. maybe Crysis on delta which is impressive or STALKER which is so good that even GT criticized back then AI is so good you cant snipe with shotgun.

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#27 lamprey263
Member since 2006 • 36265 Posts

I loved it. Great use of the license. Better game than most people will give it credit for.

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#28 TheDarkWolf86
Member since 2009 • 619 Posts

@ghosts4ever: I think you had the best response to this thread thus far! You do have to give the original poster credit for trying to resurrect an old thread.

The game was good, but the only issue I have with the game is the AI. It was too hard. Due to the AI having two contradicting responses, the AI was too unpredictable and led me to spend more time hiding than actually spending time trying to explore and immerse myself into the game. I feel I spent more time trying to get to the next save point before I was either stabbed in the stomach by its' tail or by its' mouth.

Video: 10 Most Hyped Video Game Moments That Were Massive Disappointments (5:20 into the video)

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#29 PinkRibbonScars
Member since 2019 • 139 Posts

If they fixed the pacing and cut the filler then yeah it would be a masterpiece

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#30 clone01
Member since 2003 • 27592 Posts

@Cloud_imperium said:
@ghosts4ever said:

My friend, you made exact same thread year ago

https://www.gamespot.com/forums/system-wars-314159282/alien-isolation-survival-horror-game-done-right-cr-33441408/

and no its not.

RE7 is far better in every way and i wont even called that a Masterpiece.

imo this is still best alien game

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If you want to be a stalker then at least do it properly. Try reading the text too instead of just spotting name of the game in the title and start writing rubbish.

All of his posts are crap. On topic, I've heard a lot of good things. I'll have to check it out.

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#31 AJStyles
Member since 2018 • 1197 Posts

I liked everything about it except the difficulty. The game was overly hard and I gave up right away.

The game sucks because if that.

I got stuck because...oh god...I don’t know...I wasn’t supposed to be seen by cameras or aliens in an area and I couldn’t get passed it. Tried for over 3 hours. Would get seen and die or mission failure.

Games shouldn’t be that freaking dumb. Reminds me of the horrible mission design of a lot of Ubisoft games.

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#32 Speeny
Member since 2018 • 2109 Posts

I didn't end up finishing it but from what I played, man it was an experience. Great game and probably the first I recommend to someone who wants to play a good horror game.

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#33 jg4xchamp
Member since 2006 • 61809 Posts

I like it enough, it's a bit shallow mechanically. But the 2nd half of that game is fucking trash. There is a good stretch of pacing up until you kick the thing out into space, and then you realize there is a whole half left with this tedious ass shit with the robots and some computer room shit, and the alien nest is uber scripted n linear in comparison to the more free form cat n mouse game you play with the Alien in the first half.

The game also does cheap shit like oh last time the flame thrower did damage, but not this time, because reasons. Which is inane, jank is tolerable when it's consistent. Inconsistency however should be frowned upon.

As a narrative its outclassed by the likes of Silent Hill and as a game the Resident Evil series has certainly had more engaging survival horror gameplay. But as far as a triple A take on type of games that are Amnesia and Penumbra, it's cool, I don't think it's nearly as creepy as Penumbra and Amnesia, but the trade off is its a little bit more replayable than Amnesia....you know if the second half of that game wasn't garbage.

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#34 with_teeth26
Member since 2007 • 9723 Posts

I couldn't get into it but I think that was more due to some other shit going on in my life when it came out and i tried playing it.

probably worth a revisit

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Cloud_imperium

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#35 Cloud_imperium
Member since 2013 • 15010 Posts

@ghosts4ever: Fear AI is better because enemy lights torches. FO man. You ruin every thread with your nonsense.

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#36 nethernova
Member since 2008 • 5715 Posts

@mrbojangles25 said:

Probably the best AI in a game ever. Like, no argument about it.

No, just no. What AI? The Alien circles around you, no matter what. It doesn't matter how fucking silent you are, it will always show up right next to you.

Loved the atmosphere at first but got annoyed pretty fast. Had to force myself to finish it and will never touch it again. Eww...

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#37 R4gn4r0k
Member since 2004 • 31902 Posts

I'm not a huge fan of horror games but Alien: Isolation and SOMA are just so damn immersive.

That's why I consider both to be among the best games ever made.

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#38 Ghosts4ever
Member since 2015 • 10981 Posts
@Cloud_imperium said:

@ghosts4ever: Fear AI is better because enemy lights torches. FO man. You ruin every thread with your nonsense.

still find me any recent game that as AI as intelligent as FEAR.

meanwhile highly praised games

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What a joke AI has been in these highly praised open world games.

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Gatygun

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#39 Gatygun
Member since 2010 • 1660 Posts

Felt to much like a shitty version of amnesia.

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#40 floppydics
Member since 2014 • 110 Posts

Best alien franchise game to date including avp2000 at al. And i loved that game too. The attention to detail mirroring the first alien movie sets and tech was amazing. Most respectful usage of the Ip seen to date. Replayed in vorpx recently and scared the shit outta me. Sequel please.

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#41 drummerdave9099
Member since 2010 • 4179 Posts

There were a few deaths I had during my playthrough that really pissed me off- felt cheap, buggy, etc.

The flamethrower was also super weird- all of a sudden you're practically invincible.

What really gets me with these games is when you try to be super sneaky but then die after a few minutes. Feels like time wasted and I'd rather just try and run and hope I make it next time.