By Joseph Valencia ’17
Alien Isolation- Creative Assembly/ Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC
8 out of 10
While it may not be perfect, “Alien Isolation,” made by Creative Assembly, evokes profound feelings of nostalgia in the player.
Since the release of the film “Alien”in 1979, fans of the series have been waiting for a video game to recreate the dark atmosphere and fearsome Alien seen on the big screen.
The player assumes the role of Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Ellen Ripley, who went missing after the events of “Alien.”
Amanda is searching for her mother, and is told that she has a chance of finding her aboard the Sevastopol Space Station.
Soon after boarding the Sevastopol, Amanda realizes that the station has fallen into a state of disarray and panic. The cause of all the chaos is a single Xenomorph drone, dubbed an “alien” by humans that have seen it.
The graphics of the game are stunning, with every edge and contour of the station beautifully rendered, and the aesthetics of the station reflect the retro-futuristic feeling of the original “Alien” film.
The saving points in the game are sign-in terminals that appear to be running on an interface very similar to antiquated DOS computers. The action of saving the game has the player insert an ID cartridge that registers their progress.
The Xenomorph, or alien, acts as the game’s main antagonist, and an ever present predator stalking the player.
Unfortunately, I became less afraid of the Xenomorph every time I encountered it.
Most horror games have the enemy moving about a programmed patrol route. The Xenomorph has been programmed to move freely about the Sevastopol.
The player’s main asset in avoiding the Xenomorph is a handheld motion tracker, which informs the player of an enemy’s relative location; however, the motion tracker does not inform the player whether the enemy is below or above them. The motion tracker also beeps loudly when enemies are nearby, and the beeps are audible to enemies.
Verticality plays a large role in “Alien Isolation,”as the Xenomorph is able to quickly traverse air shafts in the ceiling.
The Xenomorph is not the only threat to the player aboard the Sevastopol. The player must also face panicked humans as well as hostile androids. While these enemies provide a light challenge to the player, they pale in comparison to the ever present Xenomorph.
The other enemies feel as if they were thrown in only to give the player a break from the Xenomorph.
Overall, Creative Assembly masterfully recreated the heavy atmosphere and retro-futuristic setting of Ridley Scott’s original film.