Preview: Alien: Isolation

Preview: Alien: Isolation

by 16 June 2014

The LA Convention Center is conveniently located on Earth, rather than in space were people can hear you scream. Unfortunately for the other players enjoying Alien: Isolation alongside myself at E3, I was making enough noise that those in space would somehow have noticed. Trust me, I’m a sound biologist.

If you’re not following, let me clarify: Alien: Isolation is terrifying.

The lighting — or more accurately, the lack of light — could almost be considered the third character in the game along with Amanda Ripley and the titular xenomorph. Long dark shadows and near pitch black hallways create not only a deadly beautiful area for you to navigate but quite a big problem for the player. The alien is perfectly camouflaged within the darkness with its jet black skin.

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Imagine a ninja with super powers is stalking you through an unfamiliar maze that’s also being flooded with Scarecrow’s fear gas.

If you get caught you will likely die immediately. If you’re quick and either very lucky or skilled you may be able to get a burst out of the flamethrower and scare the alien off. This should give you some time to remember that oxygen is important to human life, so you should start breathing again. The slightest noise will most likely give away your position. Occasionally you wont even know you’re dead until you see a bloody tail erupt from your chest.

There are times when the xenomorph is right there in front of you. You can see it, but either its not sure were you are somehow… or it just enjoys playing mind games. I found myself in this situation a few times and eventually I noticed a pattern. The common factor was always that the alien was blocking my only chance for escape. Not only will you start panicking through the game, making terrible decisions, but the alien is cunning and methodical. That makes the situation even more terrifying.

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Isolation is very true to the original Alien movie. Since its release 35 years ago, nothing has come close to replicating the environment the crew of the Nostromo suffered through. Nothing can put you mentally where they were in the movie.

Until now.

If you’re thinking I’m just a big scaredy cat and you can handle it cool and level-headed you may be right, but I dare you to play it with the Oculus Rift and still tell me the same.

Alien: Isolation is coming to PS3, PS4, Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on 7 October. If you think you can handle it, you definitely shouldn’t miss it.