Alien: Isolation

Alien: Isolation

In space, no one can hear you scream. But they can probably sense your frustration.

Before you embark on this terrifying journey to revisit one of the most iconic movies ever crafted, it is best to forget about the terrible Alien games that have come before.

Alien: Isolation takes place 15 years after the film, Alien, and in the spirit of the original film, there is no massive firefight against the xenomorphs here.

Instead, there is only one alien and a surviving Ripley.

In the game, players take on the role of Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Alien's Ellen Ripley, who goes to a space station to find the flight recorder from the Nostromo, which was the ship her mother was on when Ellen disappeared.

At the station, Amanda discovers a horrific creature (remember, no one knows about the xenomorphs at this point in the Alien franchise) hunting the remaining survivors on the station. The survivors, in turn, have started to turn on anyone they do not recognise.

Left alone and in search of supplies for her crewmates, Amanda has to evade the original crew of the station, as well as one murderous alien whom she cannot damage or defeat.

And this is where the frustration sets in.

The alien is this God-like creation who hunts all humans and Amanda has only her wits to rely on to escape it.

The artificial intelligence controlling the xenomorph makes it formidable. It senses where you are and can track where you have moved to. And if you stay hidden in one place for too long, it will find you.

And kill you.

The thought of it hovering near you makes you want to move before it detects you. This becomes the objective of the game. The station is huge but no matter where you run, it will seek you out.

And because you cannot kill it, a large part of the game is about finding a new locker to hide in, or another table to crawl under.

Even then, it can detect your breathing and before you know it, monstrous jaws are bursting from your chest.

While I am a huge fan of the Aliens movie series, Isolation works well by sticking to the single alien premise and this has allowed me to recreate my own terrifying moments within the series.

There is no outsmarting the alien through repetitive gameplay to "memorise" the steps, because each time you do something different, the alien reacts differently, creating a new environment.

Forget about guns and explosions. If you are a fan of the film, this game honours its spirit and provides some horrific scares, making it one of the better Alien sequels to be released over the last 10 years.

sherwinl@sph.com.sg

Rating: 8/10

$66.90 (PS3), $69.90 (PS4 and Xbox One, version tested), $56.90 (PC)

Survival adventure


This article was first published on Nov 12, 2014.
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