Whereas many of the “Alien” games descended into frenzied shooters, defanging the Xenomorph as familiarity bred contempt, “Alien: Isolation” took it back to the basics of Sir Ridley Scott’s original movie, making a single alien terrifying again.
A hide ’em up starring Ellen Ripley’s daughter Amanda fighting for survival on board the eerily deserted Sebastopol Space Station (well, deserted apart from her, some malfunctioning androids, and a certain creature with a love of dental hygiene), it’s a tense mix of resource management, navigation and sheer white-knuckle terror. Special mention must go to the designers Creative Assembly and Feral, as the production design is nothing short of excellent –- every inch of the station; every sign, computer, wall, door, and even choice of font — is clearly designed by fans of the films.
It’s a game where you’re not allowed to relax, being permanently stalked from start to finish. The A.I. of the Xenomorph hunting you down is convincingly well done, and –- much like “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard” in VR –- it’s a game I could only play in small doses, just for the sake of my poor nerves. Now excuse me, I’m just going to hide in a cupboard for a bit.