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    dkirschner's Alien: Isolation (PC)

    [January 9, 2019 10:54:40 PM]
    Just finished. This is a long game for its genre. Horror/Survival games usually don't last me 25 hours. I could have done it shorter (I recall texting while playing a fair amount), but I doubt it would have been any shorter than 20 hours. While I enjoyed all its content, it did begin to overstay its welcome. The worst thing about the length wasn't the eye-rolling Murphy's Law in action that kept extending the campaign, but that the longer the game went on, the less scary and intense it became. The longer the game went on, the more you realize that you spend the majority of your time slowly walking or crouch-walking from place to place, and when a xenomorph comes, you learn that you can just hide and wait for it to leave, then resume your walking. It becomes more of a nuisance than a threat.

    But the later-game leveling intensity aside, I thought the game was brilliantly done. It recreated the atmosphere of the original Alien film wonderfully. Very authentic. The story was excellent, telling of Amanda Ripley, Ellen Ripley's (Sigourney Weaver) daughter, traveling with a crew to collect the Nostromo's (Ellen Ripley's ship) flight recorder from a space station named Sevastopol, which is going to hell. Therein, Ripley learns of her mother's fate, gets double-crossed a lot, deals with hostile human survivors and androids whose controlling AI has been instructed by Weyland-Yutani to protect the alien, and, of course, there are xenomorphs.

    Another brilliant part of the game that received a lot of attention is the xenomorph AI. It really feels like you're being hunted, especially if you crank the difficulty up a notch. Turn it down, and the xenomorph doesn't seem all that smart, wandering around and rarely finding you. But on hard, it seems to sniff you out, takes longer to leave, and comes quicker at less sound. A lot of the game was a white-knuckle situation, silently pleading with the alien not to turn around and see me. When I was playing earlier on, I'd spend an hour cautiously trying to get from Point A to Point B and died a lot.

    The sound design added immensely to the alien's realism. You hear it stomping when near you, breathing and making its raspy growl. When it's in the vents above or around you, you hear it moving. You can press spacebar to pull out a motion tracker, which beeps and blips, showing you where any moving thing is...if it's close. But its beeps and blips will give your location away. Any time you make a loud noise, you want to have a plan to hide immediately thereafter. Want to shoot a human? Find a locker to hide in first, then kill him. Want to sprint? You better hope there's a hidey hole or that you're sprinting to a checkpoint, because the xenomorph will hear you and head your way. Need to trigger a generator, use the plasma torch to open a door, anything that makes noise? Here comes the xenomorph. It makes nearly everything a potential death trigger.

    The game has a rudimentary crafting system. Find components scattered here and there, and use them to make molotov cocktails, noise makers, EMP bombs, and so forth. I so rarely used any of these (mostly just to get the achievements for using them), and the component collection and crafting seemed like filler. I maxed out my inventory maybe halfway through the game, always had plenty of ammo, and was never at risk of running out of health kits. I'd still open up all the containers and check desks and stuff for ammo and to replenish components when I'd make a thing, but the crafting didn't add to the experience.

    That's all I've got off the top of my head now. Definitely worth playing if you like Alien or a good survival horror game.
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    [December 13, 2018 09:20:38 PM]
    Holy moly I am terrified of the xenomorph. I hide in lockers. It rips the door off and eats me. I hide under tables. It eventually spots me and eats me. I creep around a corner. It also creeps around the corner and it eats me. I open a door. It is casually walking by and oh hey it eats me. I turn the difficulty down from hard to medium and learn how to use the scanner, which detects movement. It eats me less. I startle a human in the med bay. He shoots at me. The alien eats him. An NPC has spent more than three minutes with me. The alien eats them. I'm fiddling with re-wiring. The alien eats me. I'm reading a computer screen. The alien eats me. I'm saving my game...the alien eats me.

    The alien does not care what you want or what you do. All it wants to do is kill you, and it will succeed because it is a perfect life form. I cannot play this for more than a couple hours at a time because my nerves can't handle it. I haven't used any items yet except melee weapons and medkits, but I've been crafting them as I become full of supplies--flashbangs, smoke bombs, pipe bombs. I'm sure these will come in handy in the future. But for now, I'm just trying to find a trauma kit to patch up my crew mate who, let's face it, is going to die one way or another. The alien will probably eat I'm applying the medkit.
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    dkirschner's Alien: Isolation (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 11 December, 2018

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 9 January, 2019

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Played an hour forever ago on PS3. Come on scariness. -------------- Definitely scary. Great game.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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