Alien: Isolation Review - Structural Perfection

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Alien: Isolation Review - Structural Perfection

Alien: Isolation's structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.

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But does the game mend the rift in our society? Does it heal?

These are the parameters by which a game should be judged.

softclocks:
But does the game mend the rift in our society? Does it heal?

These are the parameters by which a game should be judged.

Does that mean Mario Party is the catalyst to society's end?

The funny thing about this, is that some sites/reviewers are giving it a 5/6 or 8/9.
To be honest, the ones giving it a better score seem more reliable with their reputation and review.

Glad to see that Alien's reputation in the game industry is far from over.
Now for Sega ... you have a long way to do. Start by localizing the recent Yakuza games.

Aw man, I've got this thing pre-ordered to turn up on the 7th and can't wait to play it. If you're bigging this up just to toy with me, Jim ... well ... just don't. Don't. Or we'll have words.

If this is as good as Jim says, I hope it does well; it's been too long since a great survival horror. That said, Colonial Marines may have poisoned the well for Alien games; I didn't remember the name of it until Jim mentioned it, only that there was a recent Alien game that was absolutely atrocious.

I wonder what the differences are between the current gen and previous gen versions. I only got myself a PS3, and my PC probably can't handle it. I can't believe there are no concessions between versions and I do wonder what they would be.

Renegade-pizza:

softclocks:
But does the game mend the rift in our society? Does it heal?

These are the parameters by which a game should be judged.

Does that mean Mario Party is the catalyst to society's end?

And Mario Kart the coup-de-grace.

Based on the reviews I've read this seems to be a game were a shorter campaign and less fetch quest would be a benefit if only publisher's would be willing to go for a slightly lower price as well to offset it.

Wow - I'm delighted to hear that it plays as good as it looks. I spent the whole review entranced by the detail and thought put into making the environment look... right. I don't think I saw anything which I'd specifically cite as a set from the movie, but every shot looks like it _could've_ been. The wraparound couches with the ivory / brown color scheme and very 80s looking plastic, but also the technology looks like it fell out of a wormhole where things moved on from the 80s rather than 2010s.

Big up for all that.

My wallet, it hurts.

But I'm happy that it seems to be great (according to most anyway). Hell, even if I wasn't excited for it, I'd be happy for you Jim.

I'm glad it's not Weyland-Yutani this time. Seeing them fucking up again and again feels a bit cartoonish these days.

The game sounds risky but promising, which I suppose is what one should expect from a game that tries to emulate the original Alien.

I guess I'll go read one of the more negative reviews and see what they have to say about it. No reason not to try minimizing the risk to my bank account.

Ohhhhhh!!!!!! Im so excited I cant wait to play this!!! Thank you Jim im so glad the game is good and cant wait to get it!

Jim did you play on normal or hard?

Aliens: Isolation. P.T./Silent Hills. The Evil Within.Daylight. Dying Light. Amnesia. Until Dawn. Outlast.

Horror is BACK, baby!

I am somewhat concerned they will take the good will generated from this game and either;

A- Make a sequel that is a direct copy.
B- Make a sequel that is nothing but guns and mowing down waves of Xenos.

Wow I'm shocked this game got made. When he said it had actual difficulty I smacked my gob in surprise, a (close to) AAA game that punishes you for losing? You're telling me that somewhere some corporate fat cat said, "You want to alienate casual gamers by making a game that's difficult to play, on purpose? Well, it is a horror game, make it, here's the money."

Especially that this review was done by Jim Sterling, Jim "I want to French kiss both of the xenomorph's mouths" Sterling.

This game just went from my least wanted to most wanted in 7:46

I was going to skip this one completely based on that stupid pre order DLC, but from hearing good things about it I will pick it up when they release the DLC (hopefully for free... haha). I get the feeling I'm going to have to do this for most of my games now, the pre order DLC looks great and I'm not going to purchase this game without getting access to it.

Seriously though I was expecting this to be a pile of poop but I am so surprised to hear Jim like it. I love horror games so this one will be a great pickup when it hits a steam sale!

Well, after reading the Polygon review I'm just feeling clueless about whether the game's issues will bother me too much or if I'll get past them like Jim apparently did. I'll have to think about this over the weekend before I make a preorder decision.

008Zulu:
I am somewhat concerned they will take the good will generated from this game and either;

A- Make a sequel that is a direct copy.
B- Make a sequel that is nothing but guns and mowing down waves of Xenos.

Your getting ahead of yourself, lets see if it sells first.

I'm glad to learn it's not a disappointment like so many other implementations of the alien franchise.

I'm always wary of spoilers when reading a review but this one seemed as free of them as it is possible to be while still imparting knowledge to the reader.

I have to admit, I'm very tempted by the title too now, though I'll be holding until post pre-order phase, even if it costs me more to get the dlc.

"I admire its purity... A survivor, unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.""

y

JediMB:
Well, after reading the Polygon review I'm just feeling clueless about whether the game's issues will bother me too much or if I'll get past them like Jim apparently did. I'll have to think about this over the weekend before I make a preorder decision.

I'm leanin pretty hard towards not bein able to get over the issues, though my SO probably goes the other way. We both played Amnesia and I was scared to death because nothin happened constantly. Very rarely did I actually run into anythin I needed to run away from and hidin lasted only a few tense seconds, then I went about my business in my now soiled pants. For her though, nothin happenin was just that, nothin happenin. She wasn't scared by the lack of monsters, she was bored by the lack of monsters.

Based off the Polygon review I'd be bored and annoyed by just how much the Alien pops up, but she'd find it fantastic.

Either way, doesn't matter to me since my money is goin towards Bayonetta and Civilization this month.

By the by. The end of the this year has been hell on my wallet.

Hyrule Warriors, 2 different Smash Bros games, Civilization, Bayonetta, probably Aliens Isolation at some point. I've gone almost all year without spendin money on games outside of Animal Crossing and assorted indies and here I am about to spend a good 200 dollars at the end of the year. Ridiculous I say.

I can't be more excited for this. I didn't have any expectations, and I've deliberately kept it off my radar until now - but it looks good, damn good.

Even some things that Jim pans, like the save point system coined as "archaic", I think are critical features. As he said in the review, reaching a save point is tense and palpable - and it's obviously a deliberate design choice for what is a game predicated on tension and fear. Most of the mixed and negative reviews really put their claws into stuff like this - stating that it's some kind of failure or oversight. Some people really fail to understand why this is critical to some horror games. If there are no risks, and/or the entire game's premise is to "stay alive", then why include a checkpoint every 10 seconds?

From what I understand, the game features harder difficulty settings from the start for what is already a somewhat unpredictable and difficult game - so good, fucking just great - will have fun with this.

Well Jim, I just preordered it on your good word.

That's how much sway I put in your reviews XD

Sounds tempting. It's definitely on my watchlist now. If further reviews don't manage to turn me away from it, I'll get it when it becomes available.

Seems like the method to make a good Alien game was always obvious, it's just always been a manner of whether or not the publishers had the balls to greenlight it.

...And now up to the gamers to actually buy it, and not skip over it because you aren't always shooting things and it uses a save system that causes tension and punishes death.

Your mentioning of the frustration reminds me of my time with Outlast, where the annoyance of unbeatable stalker enemies took over from the fear right quick. So yeah, it looks alright, but I fear the Alien's indestructablity will just get on my nerves. And I'm sorry, but the Alien itself doesn't look particularly scary in this game. It just looks like an Alien walking around, no different from footage I've seen of Colonial Marines.

Great review! You tagged on everything I wanted to know about, and now, I'm going to buy the game.

I think i'm going to slide the PC out to the big screen and play in the living room, however.

RandV80:
Seems like the method to make a good Alien game was always obvious, it's just always been a manner of whether or not the publishers had the balls to greenlight it.

...And now up to the gamers to actually buy it, and not skip over it because you aren't always shooting things and it uses a save system that causes tension and punishes death.

I'm getting kind of sick of these insults.

A:CM was a shooter that let you hold all kinds of guns. You know what one of the primary complains was? The game wasn't scary because you could mow down hundreds of aliens with little issue. The only mission that anyone liked was when you lost all your weapons. A:CM is the reason so many are hesitant about even bothering with this game even with the pre-order DLC (especially because it's preorder in the wake of A:CM).

RA92:
I'm glad it's not Weyland-Yutani this time. Seeing them fucking up again and again feels a bit cartoonish these days.

Evil corporations being staggeringly incompetent in just about every way is pretty common and I'm sick of it too. Weyland-Yutani is pretty much the Umbrella Corporation of the Aliens universe.

Casual Shinji:
Your mentioning of the frustration reminds me of my time with Outlast, where the annoyance of unbeatable stalker enemies took over from the fear right quick. So yeah, it looks alright, but I fear the Alien's indestructablity will just get on my nerves. And I'm sorry, but the Alien itself doesn't look particularly scary in this game. It just looks like an Alien walking around, no different from footage I've seen of Colonial Marines.

I get the same feeling with the first 3 Resident Evil games, the Clocktower games, and SH: Shattered Memories. Forcing you to run and hide all the time gets annoying rather than scary pretty quickly, especially when there's little real reason given as to why you can't fight back. One does not make something scary by making you helpless, but by making you dread (subtlety in horror is rare these days) the next encounter. I've been far more scared and much more often by games that make you a walking arsenal that's able to kill every living or unliving thing in the game than games that prevent you from being able to fight back under any circumstances, because they balanced things so that you could still get your ass kicked despite being a walking arsenal and the music and atmosphere created a constant feeling of dread.

Renegade-pizza:

softclocks:
But does the game mend the rift in our society? Does it heal?

These are the parameters by which a game should be judged.

Does that mean Mario Party is the catalyst to society's end?

No sir, that mantle is on the shoulders of Dokapon Kingdom.

Ok, I'll add this to my Steam wish list and get it on sale someday. I've never been a fan of horror games and was kinda disappointed this was the next chance to redeem the franchise from A:CM's repugnant reputation. I'm glad it did, though.

A few things still bother me and keep me from buying it day one. One is Jim just confirmed my worries of the rubber-banded AI or something similar. Many journalists who previewed the game gushed on at how the Alien's AI was groundbreakingly smart, while I figured it could be good but could easily still get lost/hooked on geometry and end up never stalking the player again without some extra help. I guess I was right. Another problem is why did the have to make the protagonist Ellen Ripley's daughter? She was mentioned only in the special edition of Aliens. It seems like a cheap attempt to being back the legendary protagonist of the movies without actually doing so, by using a close relative. I know I'm kinda nitpicky there, but any random woman or man [1] with the Ripley-like resolve could have worked in this game's narrative. A final point is cost. I'm saving up for my next PC and maybe a Wii U and can't afford to be buying things willy-nilly right now, do'h.

[1] Or nine year old girl? How about a sequel that follows Newt from the second film, all the way from watching her dad get some lovin' from a facehunger to getting into the cryopod at the end of the film? Maybe it should also have a scene where they make it back to Earth, instead of killing 3 characters we grew to love?

immortalfrieza:

Casual Shinji:
Your mentioning of the frustration reminds me of my time with Outlast, where the annoyance of unbeatable stalker enemies took over from the fear right quick. So yeah, it looks alright, but I fear the Alien's indestructablity will just get on my nerves. And I'm sorry, but the Alien itself doesn't look particularly scary in this game. It just looks like an Alien walking around, no different from footage I've seen of Colonial Marines.

I get the same feeling with the first 3 Resident Evil games, the Clocktower games, and SH: Shattered Memories. Forcing you to run and hide all the time gets annoying rather than scary pretty quickly, especially when there's little real reason given as to why you can't fight back. One does not make something scary by making you helpless, but by making you dread (subtlety in horror is rare these days) the next encounter. I've been far more scared and much more often by games that make you a walking arsenal that's able to kill every living or unliving thing in the game than games that prevent you from being able to fight back under any circumstances, because they balanced things so that you could still get your ass kicked despite being a walking arsenal and the music and atmosphere created a constant feeling of dread.

I'd actually point to Resident Evil 3 as a game that does a Stalker very well. The game highly advises you don't fight Nemesis, but you can if you wish. And he is beatable, it's just extremely risky. He also has a proper unsettling stalker theme -- whenever I hear it I'm scared of even moving to the next screen for fear of him suddenly stampeding into frame. Except for maybe a few one-offs, all enemies in the Resi games were beatable. A lot of the time it was the fact that you had to beat them that made them intimidating, because you couldn't just run away. Like with Nemesis, where most of the time you could flee, but there were those 2 or 3 scenarios where you were stuck with him in a confined area, and all you could think was 'Ah fuck, how am I gonna live through this?!'

OT: The other thing about Isolation that doesn't work for me is the look of the Alien. It's just too animalistic with it's hinged feet, hunched back, and typical sound effects. Too much like a lizard. It's lost its human side -- the side that creeped you out, because you were looking at something in the shape of a man, only it wasn't a man.

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