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E3 2014 | “Isolation” Brings Back Hope, Scares To “Aliens” Franchise

Posted on June 13, 2014 AT 10:22am

“Forget the last game ever existed.” Those were the words the booth associate uttered as I was ushered into SEGA and Creative Assembly’s Alien: Isolation, a first-person survival horror in the same vein as Amnesia and Outlast. Initially I was hesitant to play another movie-based video game, as I had been burnt way too many times in the past to trust them again. As soon as I sat myself down and reentered the world of Xenomorphs, the cold chill of fear came rushing up my spine.

During my demo I had to reach a certain area alive, which would be much easier if it weren’t for a massive Alien trying to kill me every step of the way. As the level began and I grabbed all my equipment my scanner started beeping, meaning a Xenomorph was in the area. Ducking behind cover, hiding under desks and inside lockers, and slowly making my way from one area to the next I had to do everything I could to make sure that Alien did not find me. If it spotted me, I was dead. No amount of running would keep the creature from killing me, as I found out on my first few tries. 

The very first time a Xenomorph appeared on screen I immediately jolted, as I hid under a desk and saw its legs and long tail come stomping in. I started breathing deeply like the character I was portraying, and felt a couple sweat drops forming on my forehead. Not sure how, but it wound up spotting me, and when it went in for the kill I hollered like a banshee. Even with a flamethrower in possession I was not able to protect myself from the creature.

What makes this game different from past Aliens titles is the smart AI factor it contains. There was one instance where this was truly evident. I had my character climb through an air vent to reach my next area. Just as soon as I was about to enter it my scanner started showing that the Alien was in my vicinity. I stopped and waited for the creature to be far enough away to move on, but when I took just one tiny step back the tiny bang of the air vent metal grabbed the Xenomorph’s attention, and it proceeded to climb on in and slaughter me.

What Creative Assembly has been able to showcase thus far has given me a giant sliver of faith that Alien: Isolation is in good hands. The atmosphere, the scares, and the overall look of the game keeps the core elements of the first two Alien films alive, and with the amount of times my heart was left pounding with fright it appears that they’ve got the true spirit of Ridley Scott’s original vision still intact. While I am still kinda hesitant to go all in for this title what I was able to try out was incredibly satisfying, both as a gamer and a fan of the Aliens series.

Alien: Isolation is due on Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, and PC this October.

An accomplished music, anime, and video game critic, Evan Bourgault has been a Contributing Editor and Podcast host with ElectricSistaHood since 2008. His passion for discovering new bands, developers, and Japanese pop culture began in his college radio days and continues on today. Follow Evan on Twitter at twitter.com/King_Baby_Duck

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