Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Alien: Isolation

Is-elated: Alien Isolation surpassed my expectations, approached my wildest hopes

7:30 PM on 06.12.2014 // Steven Hansen

Weaver? I hardly even know her

I've been treating Alien: Isolation coldly. If I don't let myself get invested or excited, I can't be hurt. I think Alien is a perfect piece of film making. That doesn't need, should never have been, a franchise.

I played one of Alien: Isolation's challenge maps. I don't know if the entire game will end up being this good, but as a slice that demonstrates the mechanics and tone, it completely won me over and I'm dying to play the full thing.

I also died a lot in the challenge map. I played for about a half hour without getting to the end. I'd died as early as 30 seconds in. I'd survived as long as eight minutes. I was stressed out with a racing heart. I took the headphones off to wrest myself from Isolation's constricting, horrible world and struck up conversation with one of the developers to try and calm my nerves. 

I mentioned reaching and turning on a generator, which opens an elevator. Have I just been floundering hopelessly? Actually, I had almost finished, he told me. I actually did better than most people. Only about 14 people had made it to the end of the demo all show. That was encouraging. I did one more run and finished in around 1 minute and 57 seconds. A few seconds off the best time.

I'm bragging, but not (just) because I'm an egotistical fishsock. It's a challenge mode, not the main game, but I love how hard it was. How stressful it was. My first time through, I alerted the alien, freaked out, and tried to run away. A squelch and I couldn't run. The camera panned down a bit to the spiked tail that pierced me. It retracted, leaving a a blood red hole. A hand crept in front of my face and the screen faded to black. It was chilling and oddly calming. Some of the alien kills were much more brutal.

There was so much to like here. The map gave you a flamethrower at the onset, but I quickly learned it had as much gas for one, maybe two blasts. And because of the short range, you need good timing as the alien charges you. A well-timed blasts of fire will get it off your case for a little while, as it retreats into vents.

Entering a vent to get around? Terrifying. Initially, I tried sneaking around in vents to make my way through the demo, but the idea of being cornered in the vent or turning the corner and it being there freaked me out. The alien is huge, occasionally lumbering if you see it walking the halls, but also wicked fast, prone to disappearing and horrifyingly reappearing somewhere else. The motion tracker is invaluable. 

When I took my reprieve, I also asked the developer for some tips, maybe something I wasn't doing well. Use the motion tracker to see which direction the alien is going and go the other way, I was told. Sometimes it will sit in a vent, unmoving. It won't show up on the motion tracker. You'd only know it's above you by a thin line of spit hanging from above. Walk under and it will get you.

I love that Isolation has thoughtful, idiosyncratic mechanics. The tracker is one. While you're holding it up (R1) and focusing on it, you lose depth of field. If you tap L2, the background will come back into focus. If you're hiding in a locker or box and the alien is looking for you, you can hold L2 to hold your breath and use the left stick to lean away from the front of the door. Sometimes he'll still find you. 

The alien is on point. It cuts an impressive figure. It moves fast. It kills quickly. The tone is right. You are constantly under extreme pressure. The sound design is excellent. Alien: Isolation has the potential to be the second best piece of media in the series. Ten minutes after my heroic 1:57 run, after 30 minutes of intense failure, terrified "oh f**ks," my hands were still a little shaky. My adrenaline was pumping.

Please be as good as this demo.

Steven Hansen, Features Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dtoidsteven Tips
Steven watches anime & sports, buys meat out of trucks, dates a Muppet, and is only good at cooking. He stands before you bereft of solace and well on the road to perdition. ('^ω^) more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Alien: Isolation

  Jun 07

Sega promoting Alien: Isolation with scary eels

Would you eat this to maybe win a copy?

  Mar 04

Creative Assembly reveals inital pitch video for Alien: Isolation

See the never before shown video that started development

  Mar 04

Never seen Alien: Isolation third-person footage shown at GDC

Gameplay showing abandoned alternate camera set-up shown during panel

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

To editorialize or not to editorialize: An editorial

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons REVIEW - The Pocket Metroidvania

Cblogs of 11/24/15 + Big Ass Fort

Primal Carnage: Extinction Review (PS4)

Belated Spoiler-Free SOMA Review

Friday Night Fights: The Blackest Of Fridays

Super Destructoid Community Interviews Hyper Encore ##Reload

So I Got a 3DS

Negotiations are over. Rainbow Six Siege is a no buy from me as of now.

Cheat Codes Podcast - Ep. 72: Sexy Dog

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
What? Wonderful 101 on eShop is $19? NO EXCUSES.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Robin secretly controls the boobs of Nintendo characters. She stole the Xenoblade boobs and took the Fatal Frame lingerie for herself. #DammitRobin [img][/img]
Matheus Railane avatarMatheus Railane
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I was just playing Skyrim and wondered if anyone has come up with Fallout 3/New Vegas weapon mods for Skyrim? Fighting dragons with assault weapons sounds almost necessary. [img][/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Just bought Fallout: New Vegas. Throw me the best mods there are that AREN'T Total Conversion mods. So now Who Vegas - yet.
Parismio avatarParismio
Oh this Undertale summaration flipnote is so good:
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
For an early Christmas present I got my girlfriend Wooly World to go with our new Wii U. I've gotten more joy out of how adorable all the character designs are than I'd like to admit.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Hey Dtoiders ! Steam just destroyed my wallet ! Share here what you bought in this sale !
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
And so I purchased not just Hyper Dimension Neptunia, but also its sequel and Grim Fandango Remastered in the Steam Sale, and it isn't even the end of the first day. God damnit. At least refunds are thing a now.
Samsneeze avatarSamsneeze
I'm currently writing a review for a mobile game, but only because I'm enjoying the hell out it. I'm honestly enjoying it far more than Puzzles and Dragons.
Zer0t0nin avatarZer0t0nin
Damn, I think I'm Bruce Willis from Unbreakable. Just fell of a 12-foot ladder and all I got was a little scratch on my finger.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
After I finish Fallout 4 I'm thinking of 100%ing Skyrim and then installing a TON of dinosaur mods on it.
voex avatarvoex
4 hours into Hotline Miami 2 and I'm finding it just as fun as the original. So far it's a good balance between frustration and satisfaction. Still have no idea what the story is about.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
1. Start playing Ocarina of Time again. 2. Start having fun. 3. Discover fishing area. 4. Stop having fun.
AvtrSpirit avatarAvtrSpirit
A 2-d hovercraft platforming exploration game just came out today. Have fun collecting the coins! My record so far is 140.
Occams avatarOccams
Holy shit the new David Bowie video/song is just lovely.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
So many people angry at Play-Asia right now. Totally not exactly the kind of backlash Tecmo were trying to avoid by not releasing the game here in the first place.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
If you're a UK kid there's a Wii U 32 GB Wind Waker Premium Pack on Amazon for £240. It says sale... I dunno how much of a saving that is. You tell me.
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Not strictly speaking video game-related, but screw it. Team Captain America or Team Iron Man?
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -