The term “FPS” usually means first-person shooter in the video gaming industry. However for Alien: Isolation, the game is best described as a first-person stealth game instead.
The Alien franchise has always been popular among movie and video game fans alike. However, the franchise took a hit due to the mixed reception for the movie Prometheus as well as the release of the horrendous Aliens: Colonial Marines video game. Alien: Isolation plans to make the franchise cool again.
Instead of making an action game, The Creative Assembly made a survival horror game with the release of Alien: Isolation. Because of this new direction, Alien Isolation feels fresh and exciting as it brings in some new ideas to the table. However, some of the game’s execution and pace ruin what could have been a better game.
What I do like about Alien Isolation is its nods to the first 1979 Alien movie directed by Ridley Scott. This is because you are playing as Amanda Ripley who is the daughter of Sigourney Weaver’s character Ellen Ripley. Alien: Isolation takes place a few years after the events of the 1979 movie as Amanda is trying to search for her mother wondering of her disappearance. She will soon discover that space isn’t as safe as it appears to be.
Alien: Isolation is a game that requires patience as things start off very slow at the beginning. For the first two hours or so, Ripley is just walking around opening doors and stuff as the Alien hasn’t arrived yet. However, once the Alien appears the game gets exciting and scary.
The Alien that lurks around the spaceship is smart and is very strong too. At the beginning of the game, Ripley doesn’t have any weapons so you will have to be quiet in moving around. The Alien can pick up noise so it’s advisable that you don’t sprint or make too much noise while moving. There were several times in the game I jumped in fear as the Alien killed me even though I thought I was “safe”.
The bulk of the game when you are walking around trying to avoid the Alien is the best part of Alien: Isolation, although sadly things start to get more annoying when other “enemies” are around. Unfriendly humans are roam around, but the most annoying enemies of all time are the hostile Androids. They are without a doubt the most annoying bad guys in a video game I have encountered in a very long time.
The Alien in Alien: Isolation is not annoying simply because you can avoid it and it also goes back to hide in the vents when it gets bored. The Androids on the other hand never hide and are very hard to kill. There is a large section of the game where the Alien is not around and the only enemies you see are an army of Androids. This part of the game dragged out for far too long in my opinion.
The pace of the game is somewhat of an issue too. The beginning is quite long and boring and could have been shortened. The aforementioned Android bulk of the game could have been cut off completely. The Androids are more annoying than they are scary like the Alien parts. The game is quite long which is not a bad thing, but some parts could have been cut to make the experience more bearable.
Graphically, Alien: Isolation is atmospheric and runs pretty well on the Xbox One version I tested. The main Alien looks big and menacing unlike the cheap ones that we saw in Colonial Marines. There were moments the game would lag, but a small update patch should be enough to rectify this. The audio is one of the best I had experienced in a long time too as the scary sounds of the Alien and the music will get your heart racing.
Overall, Alien: Isolation is a decent game that is a fresh survival-horror experience. The main flaw of the game is simply the pace as the game drags on and features elements that could have been cut out entirely. Still, the game is quite fun to play especially at night-time with the lights off.