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New 'Alien' creepy in all the right ways


October 07, 2014

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    Starring Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley from the hit movie Alien, Alien: Isolation takes place in 2137, 15 years after the events of Alien and 42 years prior to Aliens. Developed by The Creative Assembly and published by Sega, Alien: Isolation is a first-person survival horror stealth game.
    The game follows Amanda Ripley after being isolated on the space station Sevastopol while searching for the flight recorder of Nostromo to investigate the disappearance of her mother, Ellen. During her exploration of the Sevastopol, Amanda discovers the space station has been infested by an Alien.
    Alien: Isolation borrows a lot of ideas and style from Ridley Scott's original horror film Alien, leaving Amanda to survive by exploring and using stealth against the Alien. However, weapons are available for players to use against human occupants and androids.
    The Creative Assembly decided not to follow a predetermined path in the game. Instead, the Alien has an artificial intelligence programmed to hunt Amanda through sight, sound and smell. The Creative Assembly have confirmed that “the Alien AI was programmed with a complex set of behavioral designs that progressively unlock as it encounters the player to create the illusion that the Alien is learning from its encounters with the player and adjusting its hunting strategy appropriately.”
    The game is done to perfection, in my opinion, in both visuals and audio. The graphics are have the perfect lighting and textures to give the feeling of being isolated on a space station in the middle of nowhere. Also, the audio cues, sounds and score tie in to perfection with the visuals and ambiance. This perfect blend of audio and visuals creates a very tense and frightening experience.
    Gamers should be warned, though: this is a survival horror game. The Alien will not show up instantly and may even take an hour or two for gamers to eventually cross paths with it. With that said, some gamers may find this game poorly paced, particularly considering the hours of exploring you will have to do on the space station. Also, as beautiful as the game is, the facial animations look rather bland at times.
    In conclusion, the game is genuinely scary and perfectly captures the mood and tone of the Alien films. Also, the unpredictable AI of the actual Alien makes for a tense cat-and-mouse gameplay that is perfect for a survival horror. Although the pacing and game style are not suited for all gamers, Alien: Isolation is a welcome horror and probably the best Alien game to date.


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