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




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Alien: Isolation  




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

7:30 PM on 06.12.2014

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.





Very Quick Tips: Alien: Isolation photo
Very Quick Tips: Alien: Isolation
11:00 AM on 10.07.2014


I got chills from the music in this Alien: Isolation launch trailer photo


Yeah, that flamethrower won't do much to help you survive in Alien: Isolation photo


Review: Alien: Isolation photo
Review: Alien: Isolation
8:00 AM on 10.03.2014


Playing Alien: Isolation on a convention floor isn't the best idea photo


Something's stalking us in Alien: Isolation's television ad photo


Most of Alien: Isolation's Survivor Mode will be DLC photo


How not to survive in Alien: Isolation photo


Check out Sega's booth at PAX Prime and hop in an Alien egg pod photo


Alien: Isolation is haunting and uncompromisingly scary photo


Alien: Isolation Updates, Screenshots, & Videos







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Alien: Isolation



11:00 AM on 10.07.2014
Very Quick Tips: Alien: Isolation

That Xenomorph can be one tricky asshole in Alien: Isolation. One time it walked out of a room, waited a second, then turned back around to find me awkwardly climbing out of the cabinet I had been hiding in. What a dick. Here's how to avoid that situation and more.more



1:45 PM on 10.06.2014
I got chills from the music in this Alien: Isolation launch trailer

Man, there sure have been a lot of Alien: Isolation videos lately. I guess that's the rote cycle of triple-A games marketing. Here's one more. But, this launch trailer may be better than all the other ones that have rel...more



6:30 PM on 10.03.2014
Yeah, that flamethrower won't do much to help you survive in Alien: Isolation

In the days leading up to Sega's release of Alien: Isolation, it mocks us with the semi-question "#HowWillYouSurvive," because Twitter-speak is what appeals to the cool local teens. This video firmly suggests that a flamethr...more



8:00 AM on 10.03.2014
Review: Alien: Isolation

From the old school "20th Century Fox" opening to the first few seconds, Alien: Isolation wants you to know that it takes after the first film from the series it was based on. One alien, one spaceship, one chance at survival. This is the game we should have gotten from Gearbox.more



7:00 PM on 09.29.2014
Playing Alien: Isolation on a convention floor isn't the best idea

Demoing a game like Alien: Isolation at a convention such as EGX or PAX has always been problematic since horror works best when there's time for quieter moments between the scares. There has to be a period of tension buildin...more



8:00 PM on 09.26.2014
Something's stalking us in Alien: Isolation's television ad

The latest piece of media for Creative Assembly's impending Alien: Isolation prods "How will you survive?" It's a fair question. With that hulking Xenomorph nimbly crawling out of the airshaft, stalking its prey before terrifyingly ending its life, it'll certainly be a tough task. When the game releases on October 7, the most likely answer will probably be "There's a good chance we won't."more



1:00 PM on 09.17.2014
Most of Alien: Isolation's Survivor Mode will be DLC

Survivor Mode in Alien: Isolation, as described here in this video and further detailed in Steven's hands-on coverage, sounds cool. You'll have to complete certain objectives on a timer while being hunted, and factors like w...more



12:30 PM on 09.09.2014
How not to survive in Alien: Isolation

From everything I've heard of Alien: Isolation, it's best not to run around when you think the coast is clear much less when the Xenomorph is right there in the same room. See: the trailer above. Creative Assembly plans to put out more of these videos throughout the month, and I have to imagine most will end with the demise of Amanda Ripley. It's just like playing the game, then.more



7:30 PM on 08.27.2014
Check out Sega's booth at PAX Prime and hop in an Alien egg pod

If you're headed to PAX Prime this weekend, first of all, I'm jealous and you should take me with you. Second, you should hit up the Sega booth, where you can get friendly with hands-on demos of Alien: Isolation, Sonic Boom: ...more



8:00 AM on 08.13.2014
Alien: Isolation is haunting and uncompromisingly scary

Though it was initially seen as "Jaws-in-space," the legacy for Alien is certainly much more pristine than the one with the giant shark. Originally released in 1979, the first Alien would eventually become a much-loved horror...more




Survival Horror

5:00 PM on 11.18.2014
See Resident Evil's freakish bio-organic weapons in high definition

Capcom has uploaded new screenshots from its high-definition Resident Evil remaster for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. There's a greater range of scenes and mutated enemies in this batch, including a Crimson Head, Lisa...more



1:00 PM on 11.17.2014
Review: Five Nights at Freddy's 2

It feels like only a few weeks since Five Nights at Freddy's managed to completely ruin my childhood memories of family restaurants and dancing animatronics. The creepy horror/resource management game put you in the shoes of ...more



2:30 PM on 11.11.2014
I think I'll skip playing Five Nights at Freddy's 2

Nic was only just telling us about Five Nights at Freddy's 2 and now here it is, available on Steam for $7.99 mere months after the original game's release. The rapid development schedule might sound concerning but early user...more



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