In Alien: Isolation you play as Amanda Ripley, Daughter of the iconic Ellen Ripley played by Sigourney Weaver in the original Alien film. Set on the space station Sevastopol, Amanda is on a mission to find the flight recorder of the ship her Mother was on, the Nostromo. All goes wrong pretty quickly in the beginning for Amanda and eventually finds herself stranded alone after losing her boarding crew. The atmosphere created in the game is immense, helped by the enormous back catalogue of footage, stills and concept art the developers managed to get their hands on. Every nook and cranny of each room and corridor is filled with detail it feels real, lived in so to speak, and the audio is phenomenal. every noise, the creaks and groans of the station have you on your toes at every moment.
The terror is heightened by the fact you are powerless, you get the odd weapon throughout the game but use at your own risk as it is more likely to attract the attention of the Alien and get you killed, than be of any advantage. You also have an array of scrap parts and other bits and pieces to pick up and craft into items used for distraction. As for the Alien itself, it too feels, looks and behaves real. It’s like someone else is controlling it. stalking, looking, forever changing its tactics. Even being caught, you can’t help but smile and think ‘you cheeky bugger, you got lucky then’ just as you would if your friend was in control of the beast.
It’s terrifyingly good, feels like a proper old school survival horror. And to be honest it’s about time we got one, and thankfully it’s Alien picking up the torch and making up for the shameful attempts made by other games in the franchise. It’s been said already but it truly is the game fans deserve. A lengthy campaign that just draws you in, and gets your adrenaline pumping. A true challenge of wit, bravery and stealth. It has definitely raised the bar for the genre, and quite high too.
Visually it is extremely stunning, capturing the atmosphere and look of the original Alien film flawlessly. just a couple of character animations let it down, but they are minor. and don’t really distract away from the rest of the game. There is always something to be heard keeping you alert, thinking what is making the noises. coupled with the soundtrack, there is only one word to describe the audio of Alien: Isolation. Perfect. As for the campaign, it’s lengthy and will get you wanting to play again, not forgetting the survival mode which will no doubt appeal to the speed runners out there. It is difficult,and may not appeal to some. but that’s what survival horror is about. just because it’s in first person doesn’t mean it should play like a popular war game.