Alien : Isolation - Critique
Thanks to a well-made opening that includes a nostalgic narrative and damaged VCR-style visuals, the first five minutes of Alien Isolation are far better than the woefully disappointing Alien: Colonial Marines released last year. But at the end of the 15 to 20 (!) Hours of play I spent in this horror and survival xenomorph show, I regret that I didn't stop after the first half-dozen. This doesn't mean Isolation is close to the wrong level of Colonial Marines, but its crime is just as huge: the concept of the game of hide and seek is a great idea that, in practice, not only spoils its introduction, but also grows. stretches over so long that it almost completely erases any sense of fun. A completely different form of horror than I expected.
Isolation impresses from the start not only because of the intro mentioned above, but because its artistic direction and sound design dutifully sticks to the vibe of the original Ridley Scott film in 1979. I can't stress this enough. . From “futuristic” DOS computers and their cathode ray tube screens to the screeching violin band-orchestra designed to raise fear, Isolation does its job resolutely well in terms of audio and visual. My favorite aspect of the presentation is the atmospheric use of fog. From fumaroles that escape air vents to clouds of white mist that obscure your vision as you rewire an area's essential systems to pursue your stealthy goals, Isolation really does have the sounds and looks. of something that clearly belongs to the Alien universe.
Considering the fact that this is a horror survival game, it took a little longer than I expected for the Alien to appear and cause some trouble. I forgot the fact that I didn't feel threatened for the first hour, however, as it's okay to give Alien Isolation time to lay its foundation and set its setting, tone, locations, and locations. characters. Amanda is likable, with a well-defined tough personality, worthy of that of her mother, the famous Ellen Ripley played by Sigourney Weaver.
Once the xenomorph really begins to stalk you through the dark and terrifying Sevastopol space station, Isolation takes another leap. It is an especially stressful game to play by design. About 99 percent of your predator's movements and actions aren't scrypted, so you never really know if they're going to leave you alone for several minutes at a stretch, crawl through the ceiling vents and then stumble upon them, or if he's going to sniff in the room you're hiding in for three minutes, forcing you to wait, hidden, for it to pass. The smallest noise or the smallest source of light will unleash the murderous madness of the creature which will charge at you and kill you. She's immune to your weapons - whether it's a pistol, shotgun, flamethrower, or crafted items such as Molotov cocktails and homemade bombs. In fact, only the last three weapons can hinder the Alien enough to force him to temporarily leave the area.
A slower, quieter, squat walk from a locker to a storage cupboard and then to a desk is often the safest method of progression, but as you will learn, the Alien's unpredictability is in order. both Isolation's greatest strength and its most crippling weakness.
The typical encounter in Isolation goes like this: You receive an alert pulse from your laboriously reconstructed motion tracker, and you hear the ominous sound of the Alien coming into the area from an air duct at the- above your head. You hide in a cabinet, storage cupboard, or under a desk, stare at your motion tracker until the creature completely leaves the area, then continue as quietly as possible towards your next objective.
And during the first hours of play, this formula works well and gives a satisfying tension effect. Yes, you're going to die - a lot, if you're like me - but on this honeymoon, Isolation effectively keeps the pressure on. Manually activated wall phones are the only way to save your progress. So reaching the next goal is truly experienced as a small victory in itself, and getting impaled by the Alien before you can land the backup handset is a dramatic defeat. The Alien's footsteps, the low, low noise it makes as it slips through the air vents above you, its angry screams and hissing, or having to bend down back and holding your breath as he sniffs as he searches for you while you hide in a locker, all inches away from his sour saliva - makes Isolation very good at ensuring that you are never out. feel comfortable trying to escape Sevastopol. Finally, the handful of timed hacking mini-games to perform while the creature can hide anywhere, also helps increase fear.
Unfortunately, the campaign mirrors Sevastopol itself: the longer it lasts, the more it crumbles. Ripley's nightmare has become mine: Isolation pushes its objective points so often to maintain the tension that it's almost comical. First, parts of the game are done without the alien, throwing you in the middle of aggressive androids instead of letting you fight organic terrors. Fortunately, these bots can be killed, through well-placed headshots and the help of guns which are not at all convenient to reload. Then, the fear disappears without the singularly lethal force (the alien) that stalks you. It's not a first-person shooter, though, although it does appear to be from time to time.
Worse, I firmly believed I had completed Isolation twice. And even more so the second time around when I completed Ripley's original quest: Get Info About His Missing Mother. It turned out, in fact, that I was still a long way from the end of the game. Indeed, I had a few hours left to play, but from there for no real reason. Your goal boils down to simply trying to escape the station for an easy eight hours, but with so much to do along the way - not to mention the incessant trips around the ship - that Isolation becomes repetitive and never never manages to change that.
Rather than offering you new gameplay, Isolation, like so many games before it, simply spends hours running (without creating fun) through a maze of corridors and throwing in your face lots of incongruous events, including brawls against human, android and alien enemies. Fright dissolved into frustration when I got killed from behind for the umpteenth time - even as I was crouched motionless and out of sight of the creature in an air duct. The pleasures of true survival horror gameplay discovered in the early hours of the campaign were then erased forever. Even when finally - finally! - you really come to the end, the conclusion is disappointing and does not adequately reward the 15-20 hours you just spent trying to survive.
And looking back, playing at the “hard” level - which I did because the menus say it is “the best way to enjoy the game” - was a very bad decision. In fact, playing hard means that Xenomorph can grab you anywhere, anytime, without giving you any chance to avoid death if he hears even a single pin drop to the ground. Sure, a flamethrower shot or a Molotov cocktail can keep him away for a little while, but the ammo to do so and thus repel the Alien is extremely rare. Don't play hard, don't make the same mistake I did.
Note, Isolation offers a survival mode based on the ranking, which challenges you to complete various scenarios with the highest score, which is obtained by obtaining the best times and reaching bonus objectives. It is recommended not to try it until you have completed the campaign, but after this endless marathon, I didn't even want to take a look (I did though, so I could tell you so sure it wasn't worth it.)