Replay Value:
Overall Rating:
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Creative Assembly
Number Of Players:
Release Date:
October 7, 2014

For the record, I am not a sci-fi fan. That being said, I have always appreciated the “Alien” movies for their thrilling, edge-of-your-seat style. The original was especially Hitchcockian, in my estimation, and I respect any entertainment product that uses atmosphere, pacing and character development to generate a reaction. Anybody can use a bunch of gore and gross people out. Unfortunately, the Alien video games haven’t been up to snuff, so everyone was looking to Creative Assembly’s effort to finally, at long last, right the ship.

Well, I wouldn’t say the ship is righted, but at least it isn’t sinking anymore.

I’m sure we’ll see graphical presentations on next-gen consoles that will eclipse Alien: Isolation this fall. I think we’ve already seen a few, in fact. Even so, I like to base my visual judgment on how those visual elements affected me: If they enhance my immersion and enjoyment, despite not blowing me away with photorealistic detail, this category will get a high score. For the game in question, there are times when the slickly designed alien made me recoil in legitimate fear, and other times when the relatively bland sci-fi backdrop took me out of the experience. Like so many other aspects of this game, it’s a hit-or-miss situation.

As far as I’m concerned, if you’re trying to produce a genuinely terrifying game, the audio should be near the top of your priority list. For the most part, the developers understood that when making Isolation , as the appropriately creepy ambient effects, combined with an often chilling soundtrack, make a necessary impact. The music selection could be more diverse and the balancing isn’t perfect, but the point is made. The voice acting is decent, if not amazing, and overall, the technical side of the game is just shy of impressive. Graphics and sound are a huge part of any adventure that has its roots in horror, and this is a valiant attempt.

As we all know, we haven’t seen a really great Alien game in a very long time. One could even argue that the last memorable experience was Alien vs. Predator on the Atari Jaguar. I’d like to say Isolation is the game that breaks the streak, that rightfully cements the franchise’s place in video game history. After all, this premise and concept should translate wonderfully to the world of interactive entertainment. I am encouraged at the result here but it’s just a little too inconsistent; it’s like a roller-coaster with fantastically satisfying highs and hum-drum lows. When it’s tense, it’s super tense; when it’s not, it’s mediocre.