Alien: Isolation Review: A (Near) Perfect Organism

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Published by 6 years ago , last updated 2 years ago

Posted on October 3, 2014, Phil Hornshaw Alien: Isolation Review: A (Near) Perfect Organism

Hiding is only ever a temporary solution.

The creature stalks past me and rounds a corner, and I quickly step out from my place inside a locker. This is the San Cristobal Hospital aboard Sevastopol Space Station, and I’ve just located the keycard I need on the dead body of a doctor, who I tracked down by following his rounds.

Now I just need to wait for the alien to lose track of me for a second….

I duck under a gurney, then slowly slip into a vent shaft set in the nearby wall. Just in time, it turns out, because I can hear the creature stomping toward me. I pull up my motion tracker and check its location on the staticky screen, which flickers with interference from the shaft. It’s outside. It’s stopping. It’s hunting me.

I move a little down the shaft, and then there’s a muffled rattling behind. I turn — and the creature is tearing through the vent toward me.

In space, no one can hear you scream, but in my apartment, I wake my sleeping wife and both the cats.

Alien: Isolation
Platform: PC (Reviewed), Playstation 4, Xbox One, Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Developer: The Creative Assembly
Publisher: Sega
Release Date: Oct. 7, 2014
MSRP: $59.99


Up ahead is a group of humans, all of whom are carrying guns — a damn good indicator that they’re not friendly. They’re marauding around, ostensibly scavenging or staking territory or just being paranoid that at any moment, a sleek black demon might descend from the ceiling and eat them, or worse.

I try to cross the room ahead of them, but one turns and sees me. Instantly the guns come up, and they threaten violence if I don’t shuffle off. Trouble is, there’s nowhere to go.

Quickly, I consider a fight. I have a revolver and a few rounds, but I’m outnumbered and out-positioned, and I have a single molotov cocktail, but there’s not time to build another one to deal with any stragglers while I’m standing here. I might be able to lose them, and maybe sneak up behind one or two and brain them with the maintenance wrench I’m carrying, but it’ll be nearly as loud and nearly as dangerous.

And these desperate survivors don’t know it, but we really don’t want them firing those guns.

There’s a loud banging somewhere off to my left, in the ceiling. Oh hell, it’s here.

Somebody fires. They miss me, but it takes only a shot or two to put me down. I forget about them and duck behind a table.

Their panicked shouts and useless gunfire pick up a second later, overcome by an inhuman shriek and the pounding footsteps of something huge, but the distraction lets me hurry down the hall. It’s a momentary reprieve bought with the lives of other humans.

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