Alien Isolation review - Capturing the Xenomorph essence

First Look

There’s a lot I can say about Alien: Isolation. Its aesthetics fits the tone of the original movie perfectly, using appropriate space-age architecture and past-future tech (what the 1970 film-makers thought the 22nd century technology would look like). 

Sadly, the audio is a mixed-bag. While music & sound-assets are spot on, the voice acting is just serviceable, skirting between monotonous and robotic. Thankfully, almost everything concerning the Alien is top-notch, its sound effects are pants filling, and the music library accompanying it is designed to put you in a tense state of mind. 

Alien Isolation - Trainz 

Speaking of the xenomorph, it doesn’t use ceilings and walls as much as he should, instead preferring to simply patrol the hallways or crawl through the vents, yet it still is a towering monster, terrifying and fatal. Hearing the high-pitched shriek it lets out whenever it spots someone (maybe me, maybe some other unfortunate soul) makes me want to crawl into a locker and huddle in a corner, sobbing.

Optimization

On PC, Alien Isolation looks damn impressive, with proper lighting, and high-res textures. What I will fault the game for is animation, which doesn’t even come close to the game’s overall polish, having uncanny-valley type movements. Facial animation is particularly egregious, giving the impression that everyone around Ripley is an Android, something entirely possible in the Alien universe.

The Options Menu is simple, yet provides the options PC games should come with. It has a Field-of-view slider, Shadow-Mapping resolution, Level of Detail and even a film-grain filter to make it more akin to the original film (or Outlast).

Alien Isolation - Video Settings 

You can use a controller or KB & Mouse, and it works perfectly with both of em. If the old WASD control scheme doesn’t do you any good, you can tweak it to your heart’s desire.

Below you will find the minimum system requirements, and the specs for the machine I used to run the game. Note that despite not having the most monstrous of video-cards, I still got a consistent 100+ frames-per-second through ought.

Minimum System Requirements

CPU

3.16GB Intel Core 2 Quad or AMD Phenom II X4 955

RAM

8 GB RAM

HDD

35GB available

Video

2GB DirectX 11 (AMD Radeon R9200 series or NVidia Geforce GTX660 or better)

Operating System

Win Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Win 8.1

Network

-

 

Gaming Rig

CPU

Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3300 Mhz

RAM

Corsair 8GB, DDR3

HDD

OCZ Agility3 60GB, SATA3

Video

Sapphire Dual-X R9 280X

Operating System

Windows 7

Network

Broadband

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