Is Alien Isolation The Best Movie Video Game Ever?
Considering how much it scared the living bejeesus out of us, we're going to go with a yes...
Video games based on movies should, in theory, be awesome.
Take your favourite blockbuster big-screen adventure, and then place yourself in the action. Instant funtimes.
Which is why the reality has been all the more gah-inducing, with literally hundreds of movie-related video games emerging as little more than terrible, tacky-tastic tie-ins.
Case in point, pretty much every Alien video game ever. Based on one of moviedom's most iconic, nerve-shredding and immersive sci-fi action flicks of all time, each and every FPS/side-scrolling shooter has been about as successful, enjoyable and logical as Alien vs Predator: Requiem (we're still not over that ridonkulous Alien/Predator love child hybrid thing).
Video game, movie and Alien fans can finally rejoice, because in Alien Isolation SEGA have finally made a game amazing enough to live up to the series' cinematic legacy. And here's why….
IT'S ACTUALLY PART OF CONTINUITY
The game is set in the same universe as the Alien films, plonking you in the erstwhile and somewhat perpetually unlucky shoes of Amanda Ripley, the daughter of the movies' superheroic action bad-ass Ellen.
Continuity-wise, things check out because of the cryo-sleep that Ellen went through between the first and second films. Amanda's now an adult, working for Weyland-Yuntani (boo), and whose very reason for ending up on the business lunch end of an Alien chomp is strictly down to plot developments involving her search for her mother.
In short, it all ties in, has an inherent emotional hook to tag you along, and is stuffed full of Alien easter eggs for fans to enjoy.
IT NAILS THE SHART-INDUCING ATMOSPHERE
While the quality control may have gone slightly awry in the series' on-screen incarnations in the last decade or so, the originals all had one thing in common - a truly unsettling atmosphere. Space was not a super-exciting, eternally optimistic frontier to voyage into - it was a dark, soulless, very murder-inducing place with a ton of danger.
Alien Isolation nails the delivery of evoking the 'classic' Alien atmosphere thanks to some savvy and darkly beautiful creature, level, character and score design.
LESS IS MORE
There may only be one xenomorph stalking the corridors, but Sweet Muppety Odin is it smart and lethal. It doesn't matter if you're running away, hiding in a cupboard, hiding under a table, checking your email, wandering to the toilet etc etc… it will find you, and it will pounce and kill you swiftly, brutally and bloodily.
This is a horror game through and through, and like all good horror games, you need to feel vulnerable to truly ramp up the scaresies. You're stuck on one ship, with very limited ammo, firearms and resources.
In a word? Eep.