14 people found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.6 hrs last two weeks / 279.5 hrs on record
Posted: Dec 2, 2014 @ 7:39am
Updated: May 10, 2016 @ 3:57am

From start to finish, the atmosphere of this game is superb, the set design is very detailed and interesting which helps to make the experience have some decent replay value which is good for a horror/survival game. Collectibles (some of which in this game are very worth looking out for) and achievements also invite you to play multiple times if you're interested in those.

Talking of replay value, the AI of the Xenomorph works on a random path meaning that it is different every time you replay sections which sometimes happens often, due to Alien/synthetic/human related deaths. The randomness of the AI really helps to push the game along and keep you playing. It can be so scary sometimes because there is no way of predicting what he will do next. All my time in-game and modding, I still get scared when the Alien drops down!

I love the idea of the save stations. It's a controversial game mechanic for some, but it makes the game a lot more challenging and really gives you a sense of achievement when you spot one lurking at the end of the corridor. The worst feeling in the world is being killed as you save though, so make sure to stay quiet!

I previously had this game on the Xbox 360 and have just played through on the Xbox One as well. The console experience of this game was great but the graphics were significantly reduced. One thing worth noting between the next-gen console and PC versions is that there are some differences in the game, worryingly with the next-gen console version getting some more in-game animated screens and interactive objects than the PC version. From a technical point of view, this is due to the fact that The Creative Assembly exported the final PC build incorrectly. It's set in the same optimisation group as previous-gen consoles meaning that these in-game effects that next-gen consoles get are disabled (even though the graphics options are better on PC). Not exactly a deal-beaker, especially how cheap the game is on Steam in the sales, but worth mentioning. Also worth mentioning that this issue is Windows only.

I love this game (not only do I have my Steam hour count but I've also played through on Xbox One, Xbox 360 and have done hundreds of hours of modding), although it's not all praise. The game, as everything does, has its downsides.

The synthetics are really frustrating at times and can almost ruin the atmosphere, they increase the difficulty so high at points that it takes your focus away from the stealth element since you are forced to sprint away from them, but sometimes this can then end in death by the Xenomorph. I wouldn't say that the game is ever too hard, things are pretty well balanced, but there are definitely some areas that seem unfair.

Alongside this, talking of other AIs, the humans can be quite useless sometimes. They seem to infinitely shoot towards your location even if you are hidden behind something that the bullets cannot penetrate through, their speech also seems to be very limited if you're around them for a while - I heard them repeat the same thing numerous times which really takes you out of the game. There are a nice range of animations for the humans though and some areas of the game give the humans some interesting dialogue (mission 7 for example) which really can help to build the game world.

There are some things that can be a bit immersion-breaking. For example, when you kill humans they drop their weapons however you can't pick them up. You do get weapons later in the game, but early on in mission 3 you have the opportunity to kill humans but you can't take their weapons. It's not a massive deal but it can be frustrating if you're in a bad situation.

Something that a lot of reviewers have complained about is the revising of areas multiple times. I never really found this to be a problem myself as when you revisit areas in the campaign, they're normally slightly different. You can choose to backtrack to get collectibles, but that's optional and you're not forced to.

Some level design problems can be found in-game like joins between models leaving gaps into space, but this is not a major issue and I've only spotted two or three in-game when purposefully looking for them. Although some levels can be repetitive in the models and designs, this is acceptable due to the setting and the detail is really quite awesome.

If they do make a sequel to this game (please!), hopefully they will explain the ending. I kinda like how it's open to your own interpretation at the end of Isolation but I think after such a long campaign centering on Amanda getting closure, it should really have been handled better.

Moaning over, this game is definitely worth a play - but you should have some kind of understanding of the Alien/Aliens films to get the connection between Amanda and Ellen for some emotional scenes to pay off. It's not needed, but definitely helps for some plot aspects.

9/10 - would most definitely of been a 10 if we had official mod tools!

TL;DR: Very good game, definitely worth a purchase if you enjoy survival horror, sci-fi or Alien.
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