Alien Isolation is aimed at fans who love the tense and dark atmosphere that the films provided. It envisions the universe that Ridley Scott created. The space station Sevastopol will be hosting this particular nightmare. It’s home to one nasty Xenomorph whose sole purpose is to hunt you down by sight, sound and even smell.
Many years ago, Ellen Ripley broke a promise to her daughter Amanda. She was supposed to come back home in time for her 11th birthday. Unfortunately, they were never reunited. Alien Isolation picks up some 15 years later after Ellen Ripley disappeared. As you can imagine, this still haunts Amanda. Even without the presence of her mother, she has grown up to be much like her in personality and even her occupation.
She is a well-schooled engineer and soon learns of a mission to recover the flight recorder from Nostromo. An entire team is sent out for this mission but it soon turns disastrous, leaving only Amanda to complete the objective. Little does she know about the ancient evil that awaits her and lurks within the darkness of Sevastopol.
Gamers take the role of Ripley’s daughter Amanda as she searches for answers on her mother’s disappearance. She is on her own to search the vast empty space station known as Sevastopol. However, there is one thing that constantly tries to keep her company and it’s neither warm nor fuzzy. It’s a crafty Xenomorph with nothing but ill intent. It methodically stalks her and is relentless in its search.
The AI in Alien Isolation is really impressive. The programming contains specific behavioral features that allows the Alien to investigate rooms, lockers and wherever else you might be hiding. Its strategy constantly evolves, keeping gamers on their toes. You can also learn to read the Alien by its specific actions. The sounds it emits can help in letting you know whether you have been spotted or if its still actively searching. Players will have to scavenge for supplies and use stealth to survive not only the alien threat but human and android enemies as well.
You’ll die a lot in this game. It makes you pay if you are the least bit careless in your exploration of Sevastopol. I found myself forgetting to blink and afraid to give anything else a moments attention while the game was on. You aren’t given much time to relax other than the very first part of the game. Once the Xenomorph starts hunting you, it’s game on. Players will quickly discover that running is equivalent to ringing the dinner bell. If you make a sound or are spotted by the alien, you will be eaten. Fighting back against other enemies can be an option but your best weapon for the alien is stealth and lots of it. Expect to be extremely paranoid and feel greatly underpowered. Some way wish for more firepower but this is what creates fantastic horror games. This helps in continually building tension. There is nothing more terrifying than an evil monster that cannot be defeated. To beat this game, you’ll have to become a pro at four things. This includes stealth, scavenging, distracting and patience. Use your motion tracker and don’t rush it. Explore with caution and never, ever run. Learn to read the alien as much as possible and avoid fighting it outright at all costs.
Alien Isolation is terrifying, yet beautiful to look at. The attention to detail is outstanding and makes the venture that much more real and horrific. It performs beautifully on the PlayStation 4. The cut scenes seemed a bit stiff at times but overall, it’s a very satisfying immersive experience that will no doubt stand up as an all time classic in the survival horror genre.