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e3 2014

Oculus-Powered Alien: Isolation Stabbed Me Through The Chest

by Mike Futter on Jun 11, 2014 at 04:15 AM

If you've been following our coverage of virtual reality innovations emerging throughout the industry, you probably suspected that Oculus VR would be here at E3 in Los Angeles. Despite that crystal ball-like foresight, you might not have anticipated that Creative Assembly's upcoming Alien: Isolation would be playable in virtual reality this week.

I got to go eyes-on with the latest addition to the Oculus Rift demos and, well, it was great for me, but not so much for Amanda Ripley. Alien: Isolation is a return to roots for the Alien franchise. As you move through the creaking Sevastopol space station, you'll need to avoid a lone xenomorph hunting you.

In my demo, we needed to move through a claustrophobic area with a few corners to peek around. The motion tracker was a useful way to find out if the alien was nearby, and lockers were perfect for hiding in.

I was impressed by the fidelity and the presence of the experience in virtual reality, though due in large part to the Alien experience we've been upbeat about since the title was announced. It soon became clear that this demo was designed to kill. I could see no way past the alien further down the corridor, and as I searched for a way to circumvent its path, I made too much noise.

The alien was on top of me quickly, and as I looked down, the spike of its tail protruded through my chest. I fell to my knees and looked up to a jump scare as the alien's hand filled my field of view. As the light faded from my eyes, I was reminded of the original BioShock trailer, which featured a big daddy thrusting a drill through the torso of its victim.

It was a great, if brief, virtual reality experience, and one I'd be delighted to have again. If the team at Oculus can woo more top-tier development like this and create its own studios under new head of worldwide publishing Jason Rubin, I can see core gamers being won over.

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