PS4 Review: Alien Isolation

Alien: Isolation takes place fifteen years after the first movie where Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda, is looking for her. Amanda joins a team to explore the Nostromo and the space station docked to it. Her investigation is hindered by crazy bandits, killer androids, and of course, a Xenomorph. It’s a well-acted thriller that’ll keep both horror and Alien fans engrossed. On the down side it is a bit long and lot of the content could have been trimmed and simplified for the better.

 

Isolation feels like a horrific styled adventure game. Puzzles range from locked doors and blocked passages to the enemies themselves. Humans can easily be taken care of via stealth kills. Androids can be killed with weapons, though they absorb a lot of damage. The Alien should be avoided at all costs as one hit kills players. Thankfully tools like noisemakers, health packs, bombs, and other gadgets can be crafted to aid in Amanda’s survival. As thrilling as some of these encounters may be, many of them, especially with the Alien, come across as frustrating. This writer spent hours on sections that were no more than a few minutes apiece. There are no checkpoints, only manual save spots, making every interaction that much more difficult.

 

Hands down this is the best-looking game this writer has played on the PS4. The set itself feels like an authentic representation of the movies, backed up by a haunting score. Everything from the lighting, to the fog, to the CRT monitors make the bleak eeriness of space that much more daunting. Of course there some bugs that bog down the experience such as dips in frame rate, audio syncing, bad animations, and a few others. Thankfully most of these issues are minor and were solved on a day one patch.

 

Alien: Isolation is the best Alien game in years. That may not be saying much, but it truly is a good game that succeeds in finally capturing the essence of the movies. It feels like the movie sequel that never was. Actually playing some of the sections borderline on excruciating, marring down a beautiful game and an intriguing story. It’s not perfect, but it’s definitely an experience fans won’t want to miss.

 

Score: 3/5 Stars

 

Special Notes: The publisher provided a review code for the game. This article was originally published on October 9, 2014 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.

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