E3 2014: Alien: Isolation Showcases Just What an Alien Game Should Be

We’ve been excited about Alien: Isolation since it was first shown. As Ellen Ripley’s daughter Amanda, you’re out to look for your mother and fellow colleagues. While you’re trying to find them, what you don’t want to find is the alien. It’s a violent killer, and you’ll see the remnants of his victims shrewn about the ship — giving you just enough information to be scared. You’ll need to use the environment to your advantage to survive. That means hiding in a locker whenever possible — sure, that’s generally not something you want to do, but you’ll have to if you don’t want death to visit you swiftly. The ’70s vision of the future is alive and well with the art design, as there are a lot of curved edges within the environment. Even your trusty flamethrower has a sleek look to it. Weapons are scarce and ammo is a prized commodity. If you need something a bit more low-tech, than a makeshift molotov cocktail will suffice in a pinch and buy you some time if you’re lucky.

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The motion tracker is back and gives you a rough, but imperfect idea of where you are in relation to the alien and other people. You don’t always know what you’re going to deal with — some people might be kind, while others could be out to get you so you need to slay them to survive. Killing do more harm than good though, as it can draw attention from groups of humans or even the alien. Being stealthy is advised if you don’t want to risk being detected. Paying attention to your environment is key, as you’ll sometimes need to turn power back on and trace wire locations to get generators turned on and see your surroundings. You want to make sure to only do this when enemies aren’t around or else you’ll definitely be detected. Should that happen, you can repair some damage with a health pack. These aren’t just found in the world though — like The Last of Us, you’ll need to cobble it together with an item-crafting system.

Alien: Isolation seems to be doing a lot of big and little things right so far. After a disastrous Alien-franchise game years ago, Isolation looks to combine the scares experienced in the original Dead Space with the terror of the original Alien movies. You definitely get a sense that you’re up against insurmountable odds, and the addition of humans to the game adds another layer to things. Some are friendly, but they could also be dead or dying adding to the body count of the alien. As that rises, so does your panic level. That’s bad for your character, but good for you. From what’s been shown off so far, Alien: Isolation looks like the best Alien game of all-time. It’s the only one that sets out to immerse you in the world of the films, and should be a must-play when it comes out on October 7 for PC and all Sony and Microsoft consoles. While a release date closer to Halloween would make a bit more sense, going with an earlier release date allows them to fine-tune the game if it’s needed just in time for some Halloween marathon sessions.