Alien: Isolation Review - Structural Perfection

Jimothy Sterling

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Alien: Isolation Review - Structural Perfection

Alien: Isolation's structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.

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softclocks

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But does the game mend the rift in our society? Does it heal?

These are the parameters by which a game should be judged.
 

Renegade-pizza

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softclocks said:
But does the game mend the rift in our society? Does it heal?

These are the parameters by which a game should be judged.
Does that mean Mario Party is the catalyst to society's end?
 

StormShaun

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The funny thing about this, is that some sites/reviewers are giving it a 5/6 or 8/9.
To be honest, the ones giving it a better score seem more reliable with their reputation and review.

Glad to see that Alien's reputation in the game industry is far from over.
Now for Sega ... you have a long way to do. Start by localizing the recent Yakuza games.
 
Mar 30, 2010
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Aw man, I've got this thing pre-ordered to turn up on the 7th and can't wait to play it. If you're bigging this up just to toy with me, Jim ... well ... just don't. Don't. Or we'll have words.
 
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If this is as good as Jim says, I hope it does well; it's been too long since a great survival horror. That said, Colonial Marines may have poisoned the well for Alien games; I didn't remember the name of it until Jim mentioned it, only that there was a recent Alien game that was absolutely atrocious.
 

Cowabungaa

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I wonder what the differences are between the current gen and previous gen versions. I only got myself a PS3, and my PC probably can't handle it. I can't believe there are no concessions between versions and I do wonder what they would be.
Renegade-pizza said:
softclocks said:
But does the game mend the rift in our society? Does it heal?

These are the parameters by which a game should be judged.
Does that mean Mario Party is the catalyst to society's end?
And Mario Kart the coup-de-grace.
 

P-89 Scorpion

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Based on the reviews I've read this seems to be a game were a shorter campaign and less fetch quest would be a benefit if only publisher's would be willing to go for a slightly lower price as well to offset it.
 

Elijah Newton

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Wow - I'm delighted to hear that it plays as good as it looks. I spent the whole review entranced by the detail and thought put into making the environment look? right. I don't think I saw anything which I'd specifically cite as a set from the movie, but every shot looks like it _could've_ been. The wraparound couches with the ivory / brown color scheme and very 80s looking plastic, but also the technology looks like it fell out of a wormhole where things moved on from the 80s rather than 2010s.

Big up for all that.
 

Andy Shandy

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My wallet, it hurts.

But I'm happy that it seems to be great (according to most anyway). Hell, even if I wasn't excited for it, I'd be happy for you Jim.
 

RA92

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I'm glad it's not Weyland-Yutani this time. Seeing them fucking up again and again feels a bit cartoonish these days.
 

JediMB

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The game sounds risky but promising, which I suppose is what one should expect from a game that tries to emulate the original Alien.

I guess I'll go read one of the more negative reviews and see what they have to say about it. No reason not to try minimizing the risk to my bank account.
 

rbstewart7263

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Ohhhhhh!!!!!! Im so excited I cant wait to play this!!! Thank you Jim im so glad the game is good and cant wait to get it!

Jim did you play on normal or hard?
 

Trishbot

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Aliens: Isolation. P.T./Silent Hills. The Evil Within.Daylight. Dying Light. Amnesia. Until Dawn. Outlast.

Horror is BACK, baby!
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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I am somewhat concerned they will take the good will generated from this game and either;

A- Make a sequel that is a direct copy.
B- Make a sequel that is nothing but guns and mowing down waves of Xenos.
 

Wan Shi Tong

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Wow I'm shocked this game got made. When he said it had actual difficulty I smacked my gob in surprise, a (close to) AAA game that punishes you for losing? You're telling me that somewhere some corporate fat cat said, "You want to alienate casual gamers by making a game that's difficult to play, on purpose? Well, it is a horror game, make it, here's the money."

Especially that this review was done by Jim Sterling, Jim "I want to French kiss both of the xenomorph's mouths" Sterling.

This game just went from my least wanted to most wanted in 7:46
 

MrDumpkins

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I was going to skip this one completely based on that stupid pre order DLC, but from hearing good things about it I will pick it up when they release the DLC (hopefully for free... haha). I get the feeling I'm going to have to do this for most of my games now, the pre order DLC looks great and I'm not going to purchase this game without getting access to it.

Seriously though I was expecting this to be a pile of poop but I am so surprised to hear Jim like it. I love horror games so this one will be a great pickup when it hits a steam sale!
 

JediMB

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Well, after reading the Polygon review I'm just feeling clueless about whether the game's issues will bother me too much or if I'll get past them like Jim apparently did. I'll have to think about this over the weekend before I make a preorder decision.
 

P-89 Scorpion

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008Zulu said:
I am somewhat concerned they will take the good will generated from this game and either;

A- Make a sequel that is a direct copy.
B- Make a sequel that is nothing but guns and mowing down waves of Xenos.

Your getting ahead of yourself, lets see if it sells first.
 

Mikeybb

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I'm glad to learn it's not a disappointment like so many other implementations of the alien franchise.

I'm always wary of spoilers when reading a review but this one seemed as free of them as it is possible to be while still imparting knowledge to the reader.

I have to admit, I'm very tempted by the title too now, though I'll be holding until post pre-order phase, even if it costs me more to get the dlc.
 

Lono Shrugged

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"I admire its purity... A survivor, unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.""
 

shintakie10

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JediMB said:
Well, after reading the Polygon review I'm just feeling clueless about whether the game's issues will bother me too much or if I'll get past them like Jim apparently did. I'll have to think about this over the weekend before I make a preorder decision.
I'm leanin pretty hard towards not bein able to get over the issues, though my SO probably goes the other way. We both played Amnesia and I was scared to death because nothin happened constantly. Very rarely did I actually run into anythin I needed to run away from and hidin lasted only a few tense seconds, then I went about my business in my now soiled pants. For her though, nothin happenin was just that, nothin happenin. She wasn't scared by the lack of monsters, she was bored by the lack of monsters.

Based off the Polygon review I'd be bored and annoyed by just how much the Alien pops up, but she'd find it fantastic.

Either way, doesn't matter to me since my money is goin towards Bayonetta and Civilization this month.

By the by. The end of the this year has been hell on my wallet.

Hyrule Warriors, 2 different Smash Bros games, Civilization, Bayonetta, probably Aliens Isolation at some point. I've gone almost all year without spendin money on games outside of Animal Crossing and assorted indies and here I am about to spend a good 200 dollars at the end of the year. Ridiculous I say.
 

nexus

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I can't be more excited for this. I didn't have any expectations, and I've deliberately kept it off my radar until now - but it looks good, damn good.

Even some things that Jim pans, like the save point system coined as "archaic", I think are critical features. As he said in the review, reaching a save point is tense and palpable - and it's obviously a deliberate design choice for what is a game predicated on tension and fear. Most of the mixed and negative reviews really put their claws into stuff like this - stating that it's some kind of failure or oversight. Some people really fail to understand why this is critical to some horror games. If there are no risks, and/or the entire game's premise is to "stay alive", then why include a checkpoint every 10 seconds?

From what I understand, the game features harder difficulty settings from the start for what is already a somewhat unpredictable and difficult game - so good, fucking just great - will have fun with this.
 

sageoftruth

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Sounds tempting. It's definitely on my watchlist now. If further reviews don't manage to turn me away from it, I'll get it when it becomes available.
 

RandV80

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Seems like the method to make a good Alien game was always obvious, it's just always been a manner of whether or not the publishers had the balls to greenlight it.

...And now up to the gamers to actually buy it, and not skip over it because you aren't always shooting things and it uses a save system that causes tension and punishes death.
 

Casual Shinji

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Your mentioning of the frustration reminds me of my time with Outlast, where the annoyance of unbeatable stalker enemies took over from the fear right quick. So yeah, it looks alright, but I fear the Alien's indestructablity will just get on my nerves. And I'm sorry, but the Alien itself doesn't look particularly scary in this game. It just looks like an Alien walking around, no different from footage I've seen of Colonial Marines.
 

thiosk

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Great review! You tagged on everything I wanted to know about, and now, I'm going to buy the game.

I think i'm going to slide the PC out to the big screen and play in the living room, however.
 

PainInTheAssInternet

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RandV80 said:
Seems like the method to make a good Alien game was always obvious, it's just always been a manner of whether or not the publishers had the balls to greenlight it.

...And now up to the gamers to actually buy it, and not skip over it because you aren't always shooting things and it uses a save system that causes tension and punishes death.
I'm getting kind of sick of these insults.

A:CM was a shooter that let you hold all kinds of guns. You know what one of the primary complains was? The game wasn't scary because you could mow down hundreds of aliens with little issue. The only mission that anyone liked was when you lost all your weapons. A:CM is the reason so many are hesitant about even bothering with this game even with the pre-order DLC (especially because it's preorder in the wake of A:CM).
 

immortalfrieza

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RA92 said:
I'm glad it's not Weyland-Yutani this time. Seeing them fucking up again and again feels a bit cartoonish these days.
Evil corporations being staggeringly incompetent in just about every way is pretty common and I'm sick of it too. Weyland-Yutani is pretty much the Umbrella Corporation of the Aliens universe.
Casual Shinji said:
Your mentioning of the frustration reminds me of my time with Outlast, where the annoyance of unbeatable stalker enemies took over from the fear right quick. So yeah, it looks alright, but I fear the Alien's indestructablity will just get on my nerves. And I'm sorry, but the Alien itself doesn't look particularly scary in this game. It just looks like an Alien walking around, no different from footage I've seen of Colonial Marines.
I get the same feeling with the first 3 Resident Evil games, the Clocktower games, and SH: Shattered Memories. Forcing you to run and hide all the time gets annoying rather than scary pretty quickly, especially when there's little real reason given as to why you can't fight back. One does not make something scary by making you helpless, but by making you dread (subtlety in horror is rare these days) the next encounter. I've been far more scared and much more often by games that make you a walking arsenal that's able to kill every living or unliving thing in the game than games that prevent you from being able to fight back under any circumstances, because they balanced things so that you could still get your ass kicked despite being a walking arsenal and the music and atmosphere created a constant feeling of dread.
 

Augustine

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Renegade-pizza said:
softclocks said:
But does the game mend the rift in our society? Does it heal?

These are the parameters by which a game should be judged.
Does that mean Mario Party is the catalyst to society's end?
No sir, that mantle is on the shoulders of Dokapon Kingdom.
 

Hairless Mammoth

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Ok, I'll add this to my Steam wish list and get it on sale someday. I've never been a fan of horror games and was kinda disappointed this was the next chance to redeem the franchise from A:CM's repugnant reputation. I'm glad it did, though.

A few things still bother me and keep me from buying it day one. One is Jim just confirmed my worries of the rubber-banded AI or something similar. Many journalists who previewed the game gushed on at how the Alien's AI was groundbreakingly smart, while I figured it could be good but could easily still get lost/hooked on geometry and end up never stalking the player again without some extra help. I guess I was right. Another problem is why did the have to make the protagonist Ellen Ripley's daughter? She was mentioned only in the special edition of Aliens. It seems like a cheap attempt to being back the legendary protagonist of the movies without actually doing so, by using a close relative. I know I'm kinda nitpicky there, but any random woman or man [footnote]Or nine year old girl? How about a sequel that follows Newt from the second film, all the way from watching her dad get some lovin' from a facehunger to getting into the cryopod at the end of the film? Maybe it should also have a scene where they make it back to Earth, instead of killing 3 characters we grew to love?[/footnote] with the Ripley-like resolve could have worked in this game's narrative. A final point is cost. I'm saving up for my next PC and maybe a Wii U and can't afford to be buying things willy-nilly right now, do'h.
 

Casual Shinji

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immortalfrieza said:
Casual Shinji said:
Your mentioning of the frustration reminds me of my time with Outlast, where the annoyance of unbeatable stalker enemies took over from the fear right quick. So yeah, it looks alright, but I fear the Alien's indestructablity will just get on my nerves. And I'm sorry, but the Alien itself doesn't look particularly scary in this game. It just looks like an Alien walking around, no different from footage I've seen of Colonial Marines.
I get the same feeling with the first 3 Resident Evil games, the Clocktower games, and SH: Shattered Memories. Forcing you to run and hide all the time gets annoying rather than scary pretty quickly, especially when there's little real reason given as to why you can't fight back. One does not make something scary by making you helpless, but by making you dread (subtlety in horror is rare these days) the next encounter. I've been far more scared and much more often by games that make you a walking arsenal that's able to kill every living or unliving thing in the game than games that prevent you from being able to fight back under any circumstances, because they balanced things so that you could still get your ass kicked despite being a walking arsenal and the music and atmosphere created a constant feeling of dread.
I'd actually point to Resident Evil 3 as a game that does a Stalker very well. The game highly advises you don't fight Nemesis, but you can if you wish. And he is beatable, it's just extremely risky. He also has a proper unsettling stalker theme -- whenever I hear it I'm scared of even moving to the next screen for fear of him suddenly stampeding into frame. Except for maybe a few one-offs, all enemies in the Resi games were beatable. A lot of the time it was the fact that you had to beat them that made them intimidating, because you couldn't just run away. Like with Nemesis, where most of the time you could flee, but there were those 2 or 3 scenarios where you were stuck with him in a confined area, and all you could think was 'Ah fuck, how am I gonna live through this?!'

OT: The other thing about Isolation that doesn't work for me is the look of the Alien. It's just too animalistic with it's hinged feet, hunched back, and typical sound effects. Too much like a lizard. It's lost its human side -- the side that creeped you out, because you were looking at something in the shape of a man, only it wasn't a man.
 

Scorpid

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Jim did you play the preorder DLC? Why was that not in your review bro?
 

Aristatide

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I get the feeling what some reviews/people are missing is that "fear-generating stuff" isn't a universally solvable formula. For example, I've never been scared by any of the Silent Hill games--disturbed at times, yes (god, the room where you fight whatshername's father), but never frightened. On the other hand, Fatal Frame 3 remains the only game to have ever given me nightmares. But I know people who are the exact opposite: Silent Hill 2 gave them nightmares and the Fatal Frame games are maybe a bit disquieting at most.

In any case, I can tell this game would scare me so much I don't think I can actually play it. I was getting freaked out at a few bits just in the review video! (Especially the bit with hiding under the desk, afraid to peep out.) And that right there says they've done something damned effective for at least some people.

Plus they've achieved at least one Biblical-End-Times-level miracle, with Jim forgiving Sega for A:CM, which is fitting on the Nicholas Cage Left Behind weekend.
 

vallorn

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Ok I'm a sucker for a good Horror game (Hooray for The Dark Descent and all the Penumbra games!) so... I guess this is going on my future purchases lit for after Christmas.

Thanks for the review.
 

Vault101

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StormShaun said:
The funny thing about this, is that some sites/reviewers are giving it a 5/6 or 8/9.
To be honest, the ones giving it a better score seem more reliable with their reputation and review.
.
I did raise my eyebrows at IGN's 5...not that they matter but still
 

Metalrocks

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good to hear its good. but i still have to wait before i can purchase it. apparently the retail version will come out by the middle of the month because sega doesnt like asia much and doesnt want to sell it on steam. region lock.
but im also not really eager to get it now. busy with other games. maybe i get it next year.
 

MatsVS

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So Jim Sterling sings its praises, while IGN claims mediocrity. This is a winner, then, will buy.
 

WarpZone

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Jimothy Sterling said:
Alien: Isolation Review - Structural Perfection

Alien: Isolation's structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.

Read Full Article
It'll be interesting to see whether this actually outsells Colonial Marines or not.

HA HA HA who am I kidding? The only people spending money right now are the rich. That's why the Preorder Culture exists at all. It's not because gamers are too stupid to wait for the reviews. It's because everybody's broke EXCEPT the whales!
 

Skeleon

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Glad to hear they seem to have pulled it off. I'll definitely get it... at some point. Endless backlog. Still, over the course of the development, a lot of negative news came out; glad to see the developers got it right. One thing, though: How friggin' obvious is the main character as a Ripley knock-off? She looks so similar. :-D
 

Nurb

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Scorpid said:
Jim did you play the preorder DLC? Why was that not in your review bro?
He's been pretty critical of DLC and preorder practices, so I wouldn't expect him to have it or mention it.
 

Doug

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I'm not going to buy the game...but not because I doubt Jim, its simply because survival horror does not appeal to me.

BUT I felt like I wanted to share congratulations to the Alien fan's who finally have a good game after the utterly awful Colonial Marines.
 

Sanunes

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Scorpid said:
Jim did you play the preorder DLC? Why was that not in your review bro?
Since the copy he reviewed was stated to be provided by the publisher, they might not have included that content. He also in one of his Jimquisition episodes came across as very annoyed they had something that seems important to the story locked in pre-order DLC (at least that is how I took his position).

For me I am very torn about this game and its why I wish companies still provided demos even if they were after the games release. Right now I won't buy it before a major sale on Steam because from the various reviews I have read the game is either going to be something I love to play or loathe that I bought and I can't see to find out which way its going to wind up being.
 

scorptatious

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I've never really played an Alien game or watched any of the movies. The premise of this game does sound interesting to me though.

And I'm also kinda glad to see this doesn't seem an absolute train-wreck like the last Alien game.
 

Valkrex

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And with this review I feel safe in pre-ordering. Thank you Jim, and its really nice to see more survival horror games popping up.
 

Kameburger

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As Jim is an Alien fan I trust him the most to make the judgement on whether or not an Alien game is good. I mean broken is one thing, but I think if this game captured the spirit of the first film than I think I will be a happy customer.

IGN was really low and I actually didn't want to keep reading because it just sounded like the kind of people who don't like the source material very much, criticizing it for being the way it's supposed to be. I remember IGN complaining that they wondered how much of the 20 hour game time they had spent hiding in lockers, but I think if you're a survival horror fan, that's not a bad thing necessarily. Also Polygon had a pretty low score, but it also seemed like they weren't exactly fans of the genre.

The game looks good. the people who's opinion I value on the subject say it's good. I will play it, and I hope I like it too.
 

Razorback0z

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softclocks said:
But does the game mend the rift in our society? Does it heal?

These are the parameters by which a game should be judged.
WRONG!!

The primary purpose and obligation of video games is to raise the status of women. If it fails to do that, it fails.
 

Lightknight

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Whoa, "Sega, you're forgiven for colonial marines"?! This game must be amazing.
 

Fox12

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BBboy20 said:
So: Not a Broken Piece of Shit?
I think ign was confused by the distinct lack of boom boom noises. I wonder how many times they tried to melee the alien before they realized this was survival horror.
 

rbstewart7263

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Im wondering which difficulty jim played on? Ign played it on hard which the game reccomends and didnt like it too well. Jim what did you play and do you also recommend hard??
 

CaitSeith

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Comparing Alien with ZombiU. Hmm... sorry, Jim. But I want to be able to sleep this week.
 

Frankster

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Bleh between this and Shadows of Mordor that's 2 games I didn't care much about before but I'm now really interested in playing.

Way back when Isolation was previewed I said I disliked the idea of an invincible antagonist, if the player is lucky/good enough to be able to set a trap for the alien and kill it with makeshift weaponry, then it should be allowed.

I stand by that, especially if there's flamethrowers in the game (normally the Alien runs away from the flames but what if you were to setup a room as a trap leaving it with no escape routes?), you should be able to kill the Alien.
Heck even hiding in a small room like Newt did should be an option even if it leads to boring gameplay.

But other then disliking the idea of an invincible foe, I'm liking everything else I hear about this game.
 

Shadow-Phoenix

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What I originally wanted was the Colonial Marines I waited 6 years for, that never really arrived and then Isolation was planned and it kinda gave me hope, then they showed it to be an Amnesia type game and my interested shot down to zero, I wasn't really a big fan of Amnesia and I like other types of Horror games but not the Amnesia types so I'm going to pass on this and sigh because I'll probably have to wait another nigh 6 years until I finally get the Aliens game I want that isn't a staple from another game.
 

Denamic

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Though horror isn't exactly my favorite genre, I am happy to see another actually GOOD Aliens game. I had almost given up on it.

I'm not sure why I don't like horror any more. I grew up watching and loving horror and splatter flicks. I loved games like Clive Barker's Undying and Silent Hill 2 to bits. It's not that I can't take the pressure; I can. It's just that I don't enjoy it like I used to. I still really enjoy some horror-ish things, like Dark Souls, but I think that's because of the sense of adventure rather than plain old shit-your-pants terror.
 

Sanunes

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After a friend cautioned me about the game today, I am just wondering how far you got into the game? For I am being told I will enjoy the first ten or so hours of the game, but after that it feels like there was publisher meddling and it hurts the second half of the game, for the game feels like it reaches a conclusion about halfway through and then continues.
 

xGrimReaperzZ

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From what i've read the PC port is also great, it can run @1080p144fps! (Which is something that you don't always see unfortunately, which is why i own a second monitor, a higher-res IPS one)
 

small

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Well ive been playing it for a few hours so far and its the single best game based on the franchise ive ever seen. i dont experience fear in games at all. jump scares yes but not fear. this however yeah i stopped playing it 20 minutes ago and i still have that sense of dread in the pit of my stomach.. love it :D

pc version her too. looks gorgeous.

one thing i especially love is the fact there isnt a minimap constantly displayed, no compass, no giant arrow on the hud saying go here.. there is alot of exploration.

after this id like to see them try and aliens game, they absolutely nailed alien.

dare i say it. it actually lived up to the hype for me.

CA i forgive you for rome 2's release
 

aliengmr

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Shadow-Phoenix said:
What I originally wanted was the Colonial Marines I waited 6 years for, that never really arrived and then Isolation was planned and it kinda gave me hope, then they showed it to be an Amnesia type game and my interested shot down to zero, I wasn't really a big fan of Amnesia and I like other types of Horror games but not the Amnesia types so I'm going to pass on this and sigh because I'll probably have to wait another nigh 6 years until I finally get the Aliens game I want that isn't a staple from another game.
The problem with going for an "Aliens" (with an S) game is no matter what you do it becomes just another shooter that has to go to great lengths to justify the license. The "Aliens" are just another thing with teeth and claws that you have shoot. Its hardly unique in terms of gaming. That's not to say that it can't be done, just that it would have to overcome just being just like the rest.

With Alien: Isolation, the Alien becomes what it was always intended to be, an unstoppable killing machine you have to avoid. In this way the essence of the first movie, and arguably the entire franchise, it presented in the best way possible. That essence is "fear". The Aliens are fear and terror given form. They have no name, no culture, no feelings, just claws and death. But killing 5 of them before reloading reduces them to just another baddie. When this is the case the fundamental essence is lost.

This game does more for the franchise than many of the movies. I love the franchise, always have and I'm not into the "Survival horror" genre myself, but I can say that Alien: Isolation is the first, and really only, true game that used the franchise.

Alien v. Predator, I contend, is a different franchise altogether.
 

Shadow-Phoenix

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aliengmr said:
This game does more for the franchise than many of the movies. I love the franchise, always have and I'm not into the "Survival horror" genre myself, but I can say that Alien: Isolation is the first, and really only, true game that used the franchise.

Alien v. Predator, I contend, is a different franchise altogether.
The problem with that is if all you can do is run,run and run some more, hide more as well and probably lock a door or two then that's all there is to the game in the same way you would say shooting, imagine another 5 Aliens games where it's the same as isolation, there are people out there like me that liked the aspect and idea of Colonial marines, those that in the movie franchise had guns and yes they were meant to use them but due to the movie script they were told to die one by one and since it's a movie with only one way scenes that's how it's presented, give me a gun and choice and I'll decide whether to fight or flee, that's what I want, that's the Aliens game I want to play.

What I don't want is the only one formula that Iso presents, it's very much reminiscent of Amnesia where you are forcibly helpless on purpose from the game devs point of view which to me feels a lot like a movie script of me being told what part I have to play and makes me feel like I'm locked into the only option of running which is no fun to me, I like the idea of having a gun, running away and shooting only to find I ran out of bullets and the last cache is right behind the beast with my decision to run and lock the doors behind me or outwit the monster to grab the last cache.

I wouldn't say it's the only true use of the franchise either, I've seen Aliens games in the past that were scary to quite a lot of people but also fun to play, I also loved the AVP series and how that played out, what I don't like seeing is Amnesia replacing everything in horror games as a one only rule, it actively forces a lot of people away from those games like it's doing to me, I don't want to play Iso because it's nowhere near my cup of tea and for that I now have to wait and hope a new Aliens game comes with something different from Iso that's not made by the same team.
 

TexDangerfield

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If CA did Aliens, but paid such careful attention to detail like they have in this game then you'd have a winner. I've played up to the first encounter and I'm constantly nervous when doing simple things like checking my mini map. I kept thinking I was seeing the Alien in the tunnel during that first time :p
 

Kameburger

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Apr 7, 2012
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Shadow-Phoenix said:
aliengmr said:
This game does more for the franchise than many of the movies. I love the franchise, always have and I'm not into the "Survival horror" genre myself, but I can say that Alien: Isolation is the first, and really only, true game that used the franchise.

Alien v. Predator, I contend, is a different franchise altogether.
The problem with that is if all you can do is run,run and run some more, hide more as well and probably lock a door or two then that's all there is to the game in the same way you would say shooting, imagine another 5 Aliens games where it's the same as isolation, there are people out there like me that liked the aspect and idea of Colonial marines, those that in the movie franchise had guns and yes they were meant to use them but due to the movie script they were told to die one by one and since it's a movie with only one way scenes that's how it's presented, give me a gun and choice and I'll decide whether to fight or flee, that's what I want, that's the Aliens game I want to play.

What I don't want is the only one formula that Iso presents, it's very much reminiscent of Amnesia where you are forcibly helpless on purpose from the game devs point of view which to me feels a lot like a movie script of me being told what part I have to play and makes me feel like I'm locked into the only option of running which is no fun to me, I like the idea of having a gun, running away and shooting only to find I ran out of bullets and the last cache is right behind the beast with my decision to run and lock the doors behind me or outwit the monster to grab the last cache.

I wouldn't say it's the only true use of the franchise either, I've seen Aliens games in the past that were scary to quite a lot of people but also fun to play, I also loved the AVP series and how that played out, what I don't like seeing is Amnesia replacing everything in horror games as a one only rule, it actively forces a lot of people away from those games like it's doing to me, I don't want to play Iso because it's nowhere near my cup of tea and for that I now have to wait and hope a new Aliens game comes with something different from Iso that's not made by the same team.
I thought I'd chime in on this cause I think it's interesting when it comes to this franchise in particular. I think the really frustrating thing about Aliens:CM was that somewhere between the marketing and the actual game there was a lot of potential for a really good Aliens game. I really liked the AVP series, and I think that some of the things it did there were absolutely irreplaceable. But I think what I might really be saying here is that maybe the best parallel I can draw to this franchise is actually the Spider-man movies. It's maybe more frustrating because between all the bullshit, there is something really cool buried there, but somehow between Sony's meddling and what ever weird vision Webb had for the characters, it ended up being quite bad.

I think this is the same thing happening here. Clearly with Colonial marines, Gearbox didn't give 2 shits about this game, and bought time for themselves to pump out more Borderlands because they feel like that's their baby. Thus, another game with a lot of potential gets plopped out half-assed.

I feel like with Aliens Isolation, what ever one could say about it, you can't say it was half-assed, or plopped out, or uninspired. I think that's a key distinction. I looked on metacritic, and the lower scores for users were pretty much upset about the type of game this was; that it was too much hiding and quite unfair, but if you tell that to me, this is the exact kind of Alien game I've always wanted. Actually Aliens is my least favorite of the series ironically, followed closely by Resurrection and I think this was a key reason was that Alien had been jump roping with which genre it was supposed to be. The games, always seemed to tend toward the action side of things as well, and for that reason I think this is a bit of a breath of fresh air.
 

MonkeyPunch

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I've been waiting to see what Jim thinks of this game :)
Not because his opinion would sway me in any direction, but because of how much Jim seems to like the Alien franchise and also seems to like horror games.

From what I've picked up from the various reviews is that the game could have done with being a bit shorter and somehow (I wouldn't know how) make the game a tad less random. "Less unfair" if you will. It's almost screaming for a sequel by the looks of things from the standpoint that they could refine some of the game mechanics - as they seem to have already nailed the aesthetics. Then on the other hand a sequel doesn't necessarily sound like a great plan in general.

It was always going to be a tough game to make but CA seem to have done a really good job on something this difficult to make.
 

ricree

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aliengmr said:
The problem with going for an "Aliens" (with an S) game is no matter what you do it becomes just another shooter that has to go to great lengths to justify the license. The "Aliens" are just another thing with teeth and claws that you have shoot. Its hardly unique in terms of gaming. That's not to say that it can't be done, just that it would have to overcome just being just like the rest.
The best way to handle an Aliens adaptation, I think, would be to take a page from Yahtzee's What if We Leveled Backwards [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/columns/extra-punctuation/8661-What-if-We-Leveled-Backwards] article, and have the character's capabilities seriously degrade as the game goes on.

At the start, you're a badass space marine whose capacity for violence put Serious Sam to shame. But as time goes on, you lose more and more of your weapons stores, upgrades burn out, and those helpful squadmates of yours get slowly picked off. There could even be an element of choice, as you are faced with multiple fortified points being overrun, and only enough time to reinforce one of them. Depending on which you pick, you lose some ability or weapon permanently, and it might even be possible to lose both.

The idea is that you start out as a light, run and gun shooter, but by the end the player should feel desperate, hounded, constantly on the move. Barely clinging on to survival, much less able to complete any meaningful objectives, since you're down to just your most basic gun and a smattering of ammo. But somehow (thanks to the magic of good level designs), you just barely manage to pull it off and escape with heavy losses.
 

BaronVH

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I tried playing this on normal, and gave up as other games came out. I just recently returned, and on the advice of several, started an entirely new game on easy. After completing the game I came to realize something: this may be the best game I have ever played. It certainly is the best licensed game.

First of all, it was long, but not in a bad way. There were several times I thought it was over, and if that were the case, I would have thought it was a typical game ending, but I was so wrong. The other aspect was that it had a definite ending. Not a Halo 2 or The Order ending. It was a fully fleshed out story.

The other aspect is that the production values were through the roof. The voice acting and music were top notch.

Finally, it stayed true to its purpose and never wavered. At one point I thought it would devolve into a typical shooter. Nope. If you shot your gun, it had better be the absolute last resort. I thought it took the original Alien movie and actually one upped it. It was certainly scarier. Thank goodness there was some snow days, as it allowed me to play it for multiple hours on end. Great, great game.