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Alien: Isolation

Surviving In Alien: Isolation

In Alien: Isolation, surviving the deadly and relentless xenomorph is always your first thought. But there are other things that weigh on players' minds which help make the game a tense, gripping experience.

Amanda Ripley is a survivor on the Sevastopol space station, but she's not the only one. In a section in the first half of the game, Ripley encounters a band of armed looters as she makes her way across the station to reach a medical wing. They are another potentially deadly encounter she must avoid. The xenomorph is in the shadows, and having a bunch of other people making noise and possibly attracting the alien won't help her situation. Or will it?

The existence of other humans layers on another A.I. routine that developer Creative Assembly must juggle to ensure the game remains tense and believable. Getting into a firefight with the other survivors could not only get Ripley shot and killed, but the sound could attract the alien. Then again, the alien could take care of the looters for Ripley. And not all of the survivors are hostile. We met a frightened human who threatened us and simply wanted to be left alone. Creative Assembly says that much of the game is not scripted, allowing players to make their own way through situations like this and encounters with the alien.

In general, noise is a big factor. The Sevastopol is like an entity itself; creaking, booming, and shaking. It adds to the fantastic atmosphere and constantly keeps you on edge. Furthermore, while running might seem like the quickest way to avoid danger, it also make a lot of noise that can attract the alien. In one particular situation, Ripley must activate two generators, which not only make noise in their own right, but attract a less-than-friendly synthetic (but some are helpful or neutral, too). The first inclination is to shoot or run from it, but perhaps there's a way to get out of there without making so much noise?

Apart from the alien-attracting ruckus they make, weapons are no safety blanket. Ammo is scarce, and even the iconic flamethrower must be used in short bursts to avoid using up its fuel. Scrap and other found materials can be used to craft items like an IED, whose best use may be in its ability to distract as much as maim. The developer says that players can expect to always be underpowered in some way, even with a weapon in hand. Not what you want to hear when you're trying to survive against a xenomorph and who knows what else.

Alien: Isolation comes out on October 7 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC. For more on the game's intentionally anachronistic look, sound, and more of our hands-on impressions, click the highlighted links.

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  • Please be good. From what I've been reading and hearing this is sounding to give this franchise justice. Just have to play the waiting game now.
  • This is the Amnesia: The Dark Descent version of Aliens. Which is an awesome thing. I can't wait to be scared out of my mind by that Alien.

    And I'll definitely let it take care of those looters. Idiots deserve to die.

  • So many good games coming on October 7! :)

  • This Alien title is going to be good I just know it and I can't wait. That said, releasing in October is a mistake and will hurt sales of it I fear. In regards to the looters, make some noise in their area and hide and watch the fun begin.
  • I know I'm excited for this game, because I am a long time Aliens franchise fan. I just want to play it safe and wait for the reviews for this game first, before I go out and purchase the game, to then be possibly disappointed by the fact that the game is nothing like it was in the trailers and gameplay videos. I made this mistake with the last Aliens game. Hopefully, Sega has their act together this time. Getting the developers to release a quality game.
  • So excited for this!!!

  • I wanna wait and read reviews on the game before I decide whether to get it or not.

  • Sounds like a sound concept. Though at this point I kinds doubt anyone can make a good alien game. Luckily I'm not a fan of the movies so I'm not let down when these things fail.
  • I really am hoping this game will not be a big letdown like the previous alien game. Super excited for it to release and play it if it's as good as it seems.

  • Definitely want to hear more about the cast. The Alien(s) movies are always known for their great casts of characters, as well as the tension.