PS4 Review: Alien: Isolation

In Space, everyone can hear you scream….

We’ve been burned by Alien games in the past, most recently with Colonial Marines… So with that in mind, can Alien: Isolation finally bring us the Alien experience we’ve been craving? Short answer, yes. Long answer, yes…if you can hold your nerves till the end.
The game follows the story of Ripley’s daughter Amanda and is set 15 years after the events of the first film. The black box from the Nostromo has been recovered to a space station named the Sevastopol and Amanda agrees to go with a small team to collect it so she can learn what happened to her mother. Of course, it all goes horribly wrong and Amanda is separated from her team and must work her way through the station which is full of scavengers trying to survive, homicidal androids and of course, the Xenomorphs.

Sevastopol is one creepy station, full of air vents for you to hide in…but also plenty of places to get jumped by the Xenomorph. It is very much a survival horror game; you start out with nothing and gather weapons as you go on, as well as collecting craft items to make objects like EMP bombs, health kits and other gadgets to distract enemies. The atmosphere is chilling, sometimes I found myself frozen and not wanting to push on for fear of being jumped from a vent or from behind…which happened numerous times anyway.

Simply put, Isolation is the scariest game I’ve played in years. When I first saw the Xenomorph, I had no choice but to run as all I had to fend it off was a flare and a pistol. The androids put up a hell of a fight too and are just as creepy, especially when getting caught when trying to be stealthy. The game almost has a Metroidvania style to it where you get an item that you can backtrack to use to access a past area, which is good…but backtracking through Sevastopol fills me with dread.
Visually, Isolation is a damn fine looking game. The enemies are creepy as hell and the environment is well detailed. The only thing I will say is that the cutscenes aren’t the greatest; even on PS4…the framerate seems to be all over the place. Voice-acting is superb though and the music just intensifies the already claustrophobic atmosphere of the game.

The Verdict

Alien: Isolation is the best Alien game to date; it’s also the best survival horror game in years. But at times, it fills you with so much paranoia that you don’t want to carry on, the only negatives are that I found the game to drag on a little bit towards the end and the already mentioned cutscenes, other than that…this is the Alien game we’ve been waiting for, which is more a case of “careful what you wish for”…