Since the premiere of the cult sci-fi horror Alien by Ridley Scott, there have been many attempts to adapt it into the video game form. Among these, Alien: Isolation from Creative Assembly and SEGA, remains one of the most successful. Let’s look at what makes this FPS game so unique and why you should give it a try.
It’s faithful to the source material
Do you remember classics like Alien vs Predator or Alien Trilogy? While they were and remain fun, they don’t quite capture the dread of meeting a xenomorph we remember from the cult film. Until 2014, video games about the Alien were more action-oriented, drawing inspiration from the 1986 sequel directed by James Cameron. Also, the stories usually present in games are very loosely connected to the adventures of Ellen Ripley we’ve seen in the movies.
Alien: Isolation takes a totally different approach. The story of the game is closely connected to the film from 1979 and is set fifteen years after its events. We take the role of Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda (she was only briefly mentioned in the Aliens film), who sets off on a mission to unravel the truth behind her mother’s disappearance. Tracing the steps of the lost ship Nostromo leads Amanda to the decommissioned space station Sevastopol. There, she meets the same predatory species that almost killed her mother…
It has a captivating, gritty atmosphere
The Sevastopol station we already mentioned bears close resemblance to the spaceship Nostromo we know from the film. Creators paid special attention to small details, like the looks of doors or machines, and the sounds they make. But what deserves the highest praise is the unique atmosphere of Sevastopol. Many of its corridors are dimly lighted, air vents open, and danger seems to lurk behind every corner.
The few survivors you meet on your way are as afraid as you. Against the xenomorph running rampant through the station humans, even those armed, are merely prey. Quickly you discover that the traditional FPS gun approach leads to a quick demise. The only solution is stealth movement across narrow corridors and ruined halls.
The gameplay is spiked with genuine scares
The stealth elements are exactly the ones where Alien: Isolation shines the brightest. Sevastopol station is filled with nooks and crannies where you can hide against your opponents. But watch out, the xenomorph tends to surprise its foes. Hiding twice in the same place (e. g. inside a locker or under the desk) might not be a good idea.
During the game having ears open is the most important thing. That’s because if you can see the xenomorph with your eyes you’re probably dead already. So, while traversing the space station you should stay vigilant for every sound at the end of the corridor. Even a silent thumping might mean that a deploring “face-hugger” is coming your way!
The game’s sound is spot on!
Of course, the game does not make things easy for your sense of hearing. The slowly declining Sevastopol station plays a sad crescendo of its own. The screeching of an old metal bar, distant echoes, or voices from afar – false alarms set off on your every step here. That’s why you have to move slowly and be on a constant guard while playing Alien: Isolation.
The other part of the game worth mentioning is the perfect music score created by Christian Henson, Joe Henson, and Alexis Smith. Their tracks closely follow the footsteps of the film’s original music composed by Jerry Goldsmith in 1979. Music in Alien: Isolation perfectly matches what you see on screen. It plays slowly and discreetly when you walk through the empty corridor, only to speed up drastically when an enemy emerges.
That’s it, these are 4 main reasons to play Alien: Isolation. Now it’s up to you to venture inside the Sevastopol station and help Amanda Ripley survive a horrifying ordeal. While you’re at it, you might also want to rewatch the classic Alien film series once more!