Alien: Isolation Review

What strategies have you learned to survive in Alien: Isolation?

2
Nick_the_T3rran (after 1 day 14 hours play time)

52 days ago

Frickin hide and noisemakers are your best friend

83
Matt Purslow (after 16 hours play time)

531 days ago

It's difficult to come up with foolproof strategies in Alien since the AI can adapt and learn over time, so one strategy may work well for an hour or so until the alien works out what you're doing and begins to anticipate it. I spent a long time hiding in lockers until the alien realised this and began to habitually search lockers when it entered the room. However, the flamethrower is a useful tool that can be used to make exploration easier - it's not as scary to be out in the open when you have a gun that the alien hates with a passion.

166
Silentius (after 20 hours play time)

488 days ago

Hide, hide, hide and whatever you do don't run! The titular alien in Isolation is a lightening quick, invincible bad-ass with a taste for human flesh. The first time I met him, while armed, I emptied my pistol clip into his head... that didn't end well. I quickly learned that, in this game, discretion is definitely the better part of valour. The alien is a smart sucker and at times will play cat and mouse with you before making his move. Being stuck in a room with the creature can feel a bit like a chess game in that there are only a limited number of non-fatal moves you can make. On occasion I've been able to avoid detection by making use of the station's environmental controls (fog is your friend), at others, a well placed distraction (noise maker) has helped me get away... but it's always best to keep a Molotov cocktail at hand just in case (the beastie is scared of fire). Later on you gain access to a flame thrower which makes life a tad easier.

109

453 days ago

You can plant Molotov Cocktails like proximity mines. Figuring out where the alien had a penchant for dropping down during timed sequences and leaving a bottle for him made many tasks much easier, not to mention hilarious.

2
BaltasarOnMeth (after 5 hours play time)

71 days ago

I have not learned anything new, but the years of playing survival mode in Alien Versus Predator 2 finally payed off!

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How good an FPS is Alien: Isolation?

83
Matt Purslow (after 16 hours play time)

531 days ago

The first person perspective is brilliant and really makes Isolation the game it is - a third person camera would have destroyed the atmosphere, since it's a much about what you can't see as what you can. However, the 'S' in FPS - shooting - is not Alien's strong point. And it doesn't have to be - shooting as a last resort, and really should never be used, so it's not exactly a minus point for the game.

166
Silentius (after 20 hours play time)

488 days ago

Alien: Isolation is a great FPS, providing the S doesn't stand for shooter, because that's not what this game is about... 'First Person Sneaker' would perhaps be more appropriate. If I were to judge the game on gun-play alone, I would say the realistic health mechanics make it too hard to effectively function as a combat game. Put another way, you die too easily if you adopt a gung-ho approach. That said, when gun battles do occur, they're frenetic and panic filled as you've always got one eye on the nearest exit.

2
Nick_the_T3rran (after 1 day 14 hours play time)

52 days ago

First person helps this game be so good at scaring you!

2
BaltasarOnMeth (after 5 hours play time)

71 days ago

You don't shoot much. I am under the impression, that the guns in this game are mostly to create a feeling of uncertainty. You're way better off hiding.

109

453 days ago

If the S stands for Screamer, then yeah, it's pretty good.

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How sneaky can you be in Alien: Isolation?

2
Nick_the_T3rran (after 1 day 14 hours play time)

52 days ago

Lets just say I use up my flame thrower a lot. No jk the line of sight mechanics are great and the alien is good motivation to sneak always! So I've tested this thoroughly

83
Matt Purslow (after 16 hours play time)

531 days ago

Alien is all about being sneaky; there's literally no other way to play. This is a stealth game as much as a survival horror, and as such you'll be spending plenty of time hiding in lockers, air vents, or under desks. Keeping noise levels down and out of sight of the alien is the only way to survival.

166
Silentius (after 20 hours play time)

488 days ago

This isn't Colonial Marines or AVP, so it's not about blasting legions of space nasties. You can, if you wish, use weapons fairly freely, but there are... consequences that come from making too much noise. This being the case, the game sort of expects you to be sneaky and avoid most combat situations. There are some nicely worked stealth mechanics too, from hiding in lockers to cowering under tables, to crawling around in air ducts, the game gives you multiple ways of avoiding enemies.

109

453 days ago

It's less a question of how sneaky you can be, and more a question of how sneaky you can afford NOT to be. The game centers around tiptoeing - not running -- and hiding. If you so much as break into a trot in many sections of this game, you are dead.

2
BaltasarOnMeth (after 5 hours play time)

71 days ago

The stealth mechanics feel great. Light, angle, sound and obstacles play a big role. That's a good thing, because the game is about sneaking, there are no really big guns to make a hasty retreat if you are being discovered.

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How much fun are the weapons in Alien: Isolation?

83
Matt Purslow (after 16 hours play time)

531 days ago

Alien is stressful and terrifying in all the right ways. I don't know if this directly translates as a 'fun' experience, but if you ever wanted to find out what it's like to be a character in the Alien universe, then this is your best shot. It's compelling at all times.

166
Silentius (after 20 hours play time)

488 days ago

Gun play in Alien Isolation is brutish and short and should only be engaged in, in moments of dire necessity. Guns are noisy things and, in Alien: Isolation, noisy things attract nasty things... If you do have to resort to projectile based violence, then you can be sure that either you or your opponent will be dead in double quick time; it's not unusual to be taken out by a single shot. A further reason to avoid frequent gun-work is the paucity of ammunition at your disposal. Not knowing when you're likely to get your hands on more bullets means its best to be sparing with their use. Gun play in Alien: Isolation can be fun, if fun means a fast-paced, panic-driven frenzy.

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 5 hours play time)

71 days ago

The focus of the game is not on weapons. They work well in the situations where you use them. Isolation is NOT a shooter, it just happens to be in the first person perspective.

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Nick_the_T3rran (after 1 day 14 hours play time)

52 days ago

Real fun until the alien showed up cuz you made so much noise. you dummy... (still fun after that tho)

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How open is Alien: Isolation to explore?

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 5 hours play time)

71 days ago

The game does not prevent you from going back, but I didn't have a feeling of too many choices where to go most of the time. The game manages to create an impression of freedom in a very restricted space, almost old-school.

83
Matt Purslow (after 16 hours play time)

531 days ago

Alien's structure is akin to the likes of System Shock and Bioshock, in that the complex can be back-tracked through in order to revisit areas you've been to before. It's not open to explore in the open world sense - you'll need to progress the narrative for certain areas to unlock - but it's open enough that you feel you're exploring a genuine place as opposed to a series of videogame levels.

166
Silentius (after 20 hours play time)

488 days ago

It's reasonably open. The space station the game is set on is massive, has plenty to explore and allows you to backtrack. That said, access to some areas is dictated by your progress in the main storyline, i.e. if you don't have the correct cutting tool you can't get through that bulkhead. This sort of limits any open-world aspirations Alien: Isolation might have had, but adds to the sense of claustrophobia and helplessness that pervades the game.

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How well does Alien: Isolation let you develop your character?

166
Silentius (after 20 hours play time)

488 days ago

Amanda Ripley's character is roughly analogous to her mother's character in the franchise's movies, she is the perfect blend of raw determination and inherent vulnerability. As the game progresses you get to know and care about her, though the development is carried out through a largely fixed narrative which presents few far-reaching choices.

In terms of skills, there is no levelling up as such, though you do pick up better and more effective equipment as the story develops.

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 5 hours play time)

71 days ago

It's not an RPG, it's very story driven.

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How gory is Alien: Isolation?

83
Matt Purslow (after 16 hours play time)

531 days ago

There's not a massive amount of death in Alien because it's mostly about the tension, but when the bubble bursts and violence kicks off, it is brutal. The alien can tear people in two, and there's plenty of blood splatter in some of the kill animations. It's akin to the film: not a lot, but when it happens it's pretty gory.

166
Silentius (after 20 hours play time)

488 days ago

Alien: Isolation has some gore, though not a perverse amount of it. There are one or two nasty scenes, though largely the nastiness is suggested. You'll frequently encounter rooms full of eviscerated bodies where once there were living people, leading you to imagine the horrors that must have taken place.

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 5 hours play time)

71 days ago

It's quite tame. It's about en par with the movies. 80's movie.

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Are the aliens in Alien: Isolation scary?

83
Matt Purslow (after 16 hours play time)

531 days ago

*alien, as there is only one. And yes, it's scary as hell. The noises it makes, the scrambling through the ducts, the splatter of saliva drooling from a vent. The terror comes more from the fact you rarely see it, and when you finally do you instinctively know you're probably moments away from death. It's a creature of dread, and the fact that the AI feels real rather than pre-scripted adds to the terror.

166
Silentius (after 20 hours play time)

488 days ago

Oh yeah, he's scary. A ruthless, heartless, killing machine with a wicked skill-set, hell bent on having you for dinner... it's the stuff of nightmares. The immediate fright-factor of Geiger's alien may have been diluted by its involvement in pop-culture (I myself own a cuddly toy chest-burster), but Alien: Isolation successfully recaptures the monster's original menace.

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 5 hours play time)

71 days ago

Even after hundreds of hours playing a low HP marine in AvP2, I was not really prepared for THIS alien! You can't kill it the way you'd usually blast your way through a game, the AI does interesting things, it almost feels alive. It creates a fair amount of tension.

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Will Alien: Isolation be keeping you up at night?

83
Matt Purslow (after 16 hours play time)

531 days ago

Alien: Isolation is a genuinely terrifying game. Because, for the most part, there's only one enemy - the Alien itself - there's this distinct sense of unease. You're not expecting a bunch of soldiers to storm you; instead you know that there's a single deadly organism watching your every move. If you want to know what its like to be stalked, play Alien: Isolation.

166
Silentius (after 20 hours play time)

488 days ago

If you mean will it give me nightmares? I don't think so. Don't get me wrong, the game has set my heart racing on many occasions, but I tend to forget about that stuff when I put the keyboard and mouse away. On the other hand, if you mean will it keep me playing till the wee small hours? ... definitely!

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 5 hours play time)

71 days ago

No, this game requires a lot of attention and alertness. I can't play games like this, when I'm tired. I'm more likely to quit and go to bed, than I'd be playing Resident Evil.

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Would you buy at full price or wait for a Alien: Isolation sale?

83
Matt Purslow (after 16 hours play time)

531 days ago

I bought Alien at full price at release, and was exceptionally happy. These days, you'll only ever find it heavily discounted, and it's worth every penny.

166
Silentius (after 20 hours play time)

488 days ago

I bought it full price and it's been worth the investment.

2
BaltasarOnMeth (after 5 hours play time)

71 days ago

Whatever you do, make sure you read the description of the season pass. This was the first game I ever remember buying a season pass and didn't get everything. It was a major bummer for me back then.

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How good are the graphics in Alien: Isolation?

83
Matt Purslow (after 16 hours play time)

531 days ago

Alien is a very handsome game, and most of that is due to its excellent use of light. The narrow spaces are filled with shadow and twinkling LEDs, light from the nearby suns filter through half-shut windows, and dust gets caught in the beams. The lack of much organic matter helps everything feel fairly real.

166
Silentius (after 20 hours play time)

488 days ago

Alien: Isolation looks great and does a wonderful job of recreating the aesthetics of Ridley Scott's Alien Universe. The narrow corridors and claustrophobic vents combine with superb light and particle effects to convey a convincing sense that you really are trapped on a ailing space station.

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BaltasarOnMeth (after 5 hours play time)

71 days ago

The game is quite pretty, but the anti aliasing is broken. I have been following several discussions on the developer's forums, it doesn't look like this'll ever be fixed.

Unless you somehow manage to supersample/downsample this game, check out, whether the level of aliasing is tolerable for you.

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How good are the sounds in Alien: Isolation?

2
BaltasarOnMeth (after 5 hours play time)

71 days ago

It's the kind of game you want to play with headphones or a very good surround system. The sounds in this game are so great, they almost paint a picture of the scenery in your head while listening.

83
Matt Purslow (after 16 hours play time)

531 days ago

Alien's sound design is phenomenal. There's nothing that touches it when it comes to sound location. You can track the location of the alien based on the noises it makes and how the echo through the environment. Despite having a tracking device, the game seems to emphasise the use of your ears over your eyes. The alien stomps, scuttles, hisses, and shrieks. The environment also makes all the right noises to build up the atmosphere of an artificial construct floating through space.

166
Silentius (after 20 hours play time)

488 days ago

Atmosphere is everything in Alien:Isolation, it's a slow burner of a game, where the tension is gradually ratcheted up over a long period and sound is a key component in making this work. Whether its the iconic score, or the whir of retro-tech, so familiar from the franchise movies, you really feel you're inhabiting a living, dynamic and familiar world. What's more, paying attention to sound is often the difference between life and death. Sounds alert you to nearby threats; human, android or otherwise and you'll need to alter your approach accordingly. There are plenty of red herrings thrown in for good measure too... was that distant, metallic clang just falling debris, or was it the alien scrabbling about in the ventilation system? Sound can also be used as a weapon of distraction to help you avoid or misdirect your enemies... a well aimed object, thrown in the right direction, can often help you escape an otherwise inescapable situation.

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How does Alien: Isolation run on your PC?

2
BaltasarOnMeth (after 5 hours play time)

71 days ago

Laptop, Core i7-4810MQ, 32 GB Corsair Ballistix RAM, GTX 970m, Crucial M500 SSD, Windows 10

The game runs at max settings at 60 fps most of the time, with some drops to the 40 fps region.

166
Silentius (after 20 hours play time)

488 days ago

It runs very well on max settings. My laptop is maybe a year and half old and was top spec when I bought it. So far (touch wood), I haven't had any issues.

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How good is the Mac port of Alien: Isolation?

166
Silentius (after 20 hours play time)

488 days ago

Don't know.

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How good is the Linux port of Alien: Isolation?

166
Silentius (after 20 hours play time)

488 days ago

Don't know.

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Why do gamers stop playing Alien: Isolation after a short period

2
BaltasarOnMeth (after 5 hours play time)

71 days ago

I didn't have a chance to play a singleplayer game for a couple of weeks. It's very hard to pick a game up again in the middle, for me at least.

What do gamers think of Alien: Isolation after many hours of playing

166
Silentius (after 20 hours play time)

488 days ago

Yup, the game is definitely to my tastes, though it may not be for everyone. Alien: Isolation is not about instant visceral gratification, nor is it a game that fetishizes military hardware. Instead, its a game that genuinely stands out as a memorable, frightening and enjoyable experience. Traditionally, first person games have focussed on ending as many lives as possible, this is a game about preserving one: your own.

If I had one gripe it would be that save points are too infrequent... more times than I can count I've spend 15 or 20 minutes skillfully evading the alien only to be munched when a save point is just out of sight. I get why the developers decided to do this: the absence of immediate safety adds to the overall tension, but after the umpteenth happening, it really starts to get old.

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5 reviewers answered 7 questions