There is no science fiction franchise more maddeningly inconsistent than that of the world of ‘Alien’. The first film, starring Sigourney Weaver, set the bar for science fiction horror. With looming darkness, Gothic/analog style, and a brilliant monster design the film quickly catapulted into the annals of movie history. The sequel, ‘Aliens’, went on to set the bar for action oriented science fiction. However, since then nothing good has come from the series. Period. Until, that is, the videogame ‘Alien: Isolation’. The ‘Alien’ franchise may be bombing at the boxoffice but fans are going to want to check out ‘Isolation’ in order to get their sci-fi/horror thrills.
We know what you’re thinking: ‘Alien: Isolation’ isn’t a new title, why are we discussing this? It is true. ‘Isolation’ released three years ago to the date but with Halloween looming it is the perfect time to look back at one of the most horrific (in a good way) titles in video gaming history. ‘Alien: Isolation’ is a horror experience unlike any other and despite its relatively mild sales figures it has continued to gain more and more steam over the years, even inspiring fans to make their own Virtual Reality mod for the title.
‘Isolation’ puts you back into the mood of the original ‘Alien’ film which is to say you are back in the analog science fiction world of 1979’s ‘Alien’. The futuristic/analog look is as beautiful as it is grungy and as enveloping as it is foreign. From the outset the game channels in Ridley Scott’s brand of Lovecraftian style horror as gamers are forced to stumble about surviving against something from out of this world. The title made sure to put gamers into disadvantages early on to really allow them to revel in just how helpless they are in the face of unmitigated Alien horror.
‘Alien: Isolation’ is a first person game that was originally developed to be a third person stealth style game. However, the directors of the game saw how tense the first person viewpoint was and so that was where they ended up shifting their focus — for the better. The title stars Ripley’s daughter Amanda as she searches through the Space Station Sevastopol in order to find out just what happened to her mother. The game is quiet, dark, subdued and always tense. We highly suggest ‘Alien: Isolation’ be picked up for the coming Halloween season.