Alien Isolation review - Capturing the Xenomorph essence

One could say the games' industry never used the Xenomorph to its full potential. Alien vs Predator was good enough, but the game was launched over a decade ago, and with Colonial Marines released last year, the faith of Alien was sealed. Now, Creative Assembly's Alien: Isolation is out, and promises to deliver a true-to-the movie depiction of Alien. Does it succeed? For the most part, yes.

Aiens: Colonial Marines dashed my hopes of ever seeing a game involving Xenomorphs properly developed. It seemed devs considered them just cannon fodder, monstered to be slaughtered en masse. I, foolishly, bought into the hype Gearbox was building up prior to release, and in retrospect that was probably the worst thing I could do. In short, it was a lesson I reminded of, having been taught of it first by John Romero's Daikatana. 

So, when Creative Assembly announced they were goin to develop an Alien game, I was skeptical, partly because they were known for only grand-strategy games (and Rome II was buggy as hell), but also because I had been burned before.

 Alien Isolation - Product Image

Thankfully, what Creative Assembly finally delivered could is what I'd call the first proper Alien Game, where xenomorph is not an inconvenience you have to deal with. In fact, throughout the game, you're mostly chased by one single Alien. Isolation also manage to create a sense of tension I missed from recent survival-horror titles, like A Machine for Pigs, or Outlast.

Tension is the keyword, since the shadow that you're about to get chopped off if you dare to exit the locker-room loms over the entire experience. It never leaves you, even when you died 9 times in 10 minutes. It just manages to capture that sense of being isolated, completely vulnerable and facing a threat that is strange, unforgiving, un-flinching. You know, a proper Alien experience.

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