They say that in space no one can hear you scream!
Well try telling that to the alien in Alien Isolation because he (or she) can hear a cockroach break wind at 200 paces.
If you like stealth games then you are not only in for a treat but an altogether new experience from Alien Isolation, it’s not a sneaking about stealth game like Assassins Creed or Batman, more of a survival type of game, unlike any I have played before.
Remember the original Alien game on playstation 1? Which was basically a melee game with loads of aliens coming at you, well if you think you are in for the same then forget it.
The story revolves around Amanda Ripley, yes the daughter of Ellen Ripley, personally I don`t remember Ripley mentioning having a kid in the movies and we are not made any the wiser in the story of Alien Isolation so it’s just artistic license I suppose, and seeing as Ellen Ripley is eligible for her bus pass these days I couldn`t see her crawling around vents and taking down Aliens, even though it would be an amusing concept.
Anyway that aside Ripley junior is notified that the flight recorder of the Nostromo has been located and is being held aboard the Sevastapol space station, off she goes with her comrades Samuels and Taylor, who then become separated whilst trying to board the Sevastapol.
This is where the game begins for the player, this is not a tool up and kick ass kind of game in fact it’s more of a stealth simulator and if you get bored easily then you`ll be moaning after the first couple of hours at the pace.
So you start off with no weapons and in a state of confusion wandering around the space station looking for clues and avoiding the other crew members who obviously know what’s going on, now I did come across an annoying element in this game (apart from the 3 hour download and install) after an incident with another crew member (I am not saying who started it) but I ended up clubbing him to death thinking I could take his gun, but to my amazement I wasn`t allowed to pick it up! Whether this is a ploy by the developer’s to stop you going on an early killing spree I have no idea, yet it was highly frustrating.
When you eventually get hold of a weapon you can only kill humans and androids, the alien itself cannot be killed you just have to avoid it, which isn`t easy I can tell you especially if you have the Kinect mic enabled (my dog even alerted it at one stage!
The alien is programed to stalk you and is highly unpredictable and very unnerving, this really ramps up the tension in the game and I was generally jumpy most of the time, the developers The Creative Assembly say they tried to give Alien Isolation a similar feel as the original movie (except you can kill the alien in the movie) and it sort of works.
Ripley acquires a motion tracker and you can keep tabs on the alien as it sneaks around doing its thing, she can also build improvised devices from bits and bobs lying around.
There are plenty of hiding places and tunnels to creep around in and you can even get Ripley to hold her breath when the alien is close.
Save points are plentiful and you are going to need them as I came a cropper a fair bit in the early stages.
Graphics are superb and highly detailed the Ai humans are a tad dopey and can easily be avoided or taken down.
Alien Isolation is an innovative step forward in the gaming world it’s more of a simulator than a game in some respects, if you want plenty of action then this isn`t for you, if you want plenty of tension and the chance to use the brain then this is for you.
I personally liked Alien Isolation because it challenges you mentally, but I still would have liked more guns or at least the option to pick them up from dead crew members, just for a bit more realism, and the alien being indestructible was a let-down as it would be cool to turn the tables and track it down and take it out.
The Creative Assembly and SEGA have come up with something new with Alien Isolation and it`s great to see companies daring to take gaming to the next level, OK this game has its flaws and glitches and it does push the boundaries, definitely a sign of things to come in the next generation of gaming.
Developers: The Creative Assembly
Genre: Survival horror/Stealth
Release date: 7th October 2014