Jonathan 'Kit' Shaw

REVIEW: Alien Isolation – A survival horror game that's actually horrifying and about surviving

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Alien Isolation comes to us by The Creative Assembly, a company that thankfully didn’t divert money to fund another project without Sega knowing (long story short, there was some unpleasantness over the production of Borderlands).

A.I. Alien Isolation was in development around the same time as Colonial Marines but was, naturally, overshadowed by it. I’m pleased to say that the finished product is better than Colonial Marines, but that’s perhaps like saying a healthy dog is better than a dead one.

The story follows Amanda Ripley, the daughter of the movie’s protagonist Ellen Ripley, some 15 years after the events of the first film. Ellen Ripley has been missing since then and when news surfaces that the flight recorder of the Nostromo has been recovered Amanda goes to the Space station Sevastopol to learn what had happened.

Gameplay is solid, although I had to fiddle around with the right stick sensitivity before I was comfortable with it.

As the title would suggest, there is an alien aboard the station who stalks you throughout the game, and what makes him unique is that his A.I is designed to be unpredictable, which is really effective when you’re hiding in a bin wondering where he is and don’t want to get your motion tracker out as he might hear it because he is standing right behind you with cutlery ready. It creates a great sense of tension and fear as you trundle along narrow corridors and vents to your next objective praying that he doesn’t suddenly pop down from the vents and bite your face off.

Graphically the game looks good, the designers have done an excellent job recreating the ’70s feel of the original movie and the concept of playing this on Oculus Rift is as mouthwatering as it is pant-wetting.

Alien Isolation proves that, at long last, you can make a good Alien game.  The Creative assembly have done an excellent job capturing the spirit of the movie, and it’s nice to actually play a survival horror game that is both horrifying and about surviving.