Video Game Review: Alien Isolation

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Alright, I know it’s fairly common for those with blogs to do video game reviews. Heck, I read a lot of them and even determine some purchases based on the reviews I read. But some of the reviews are clearly written by someone who is a “professional video game player,” who had at least two thumbs sewed onto their hands in order to increase the amount of button mashing they can accomplish. So I am going to review the game Alien Isolation from the perspective of a nearing forty year old casual to medium gamer.

And, as someone with an undiagnosed ADD condition, I’ll be assigning ratings that mean nothing…seriously, they don’t even follow the same scale so don’t pay attention to them. I only put them there to make me “feel” like a real reviewer.

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Graphics: 14 clear pictures of alien saliva out of 17

Sega, you kind of cheated here. Yes, you stood by the same “retro future” that was used in the original Alien movie, but this let you slide a little bit with making things look super digital and mind bogglingly crisp. The Alien looks great and the first 18,736 times I died within 7 seconds of seeing the darn thing in a game environment looked wonderful and terrifying. The appearance of the Sevastopol Station and its interiors closely mirrors that of the movie version of the spacecraft and stays true to the technology presentation (or lack thereof in this case).

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Sound/Music: 84 broken earphones after being hurled to the floor out of 87.5

The music is terrifying. I personally went through four pairs of underwear simply by listening to the environmental music buildup to one of my unavoidable deaths. The music is written by the same composer (Jerry Goldsmith) that did the music for the movie is a huge plus. The sounds of the internal workings of the various tools and computer systems on board the station also do a great deal of making you believe you are trapped in a terrifying environment with something not of this earth (akin to being in a meeting with the owner of the Dallas Cowboys I would surmise).


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Controls: 4 broken controllers out of 5

Honestly there isn’t a lot of ways Sega could screw this one up. Yes, you have a gun, eventually, but if you fire it, even once, you are going to be eaten by the alien. So the presence of the gun in your hand is basically there just to taunt you, really. You have a fun little hacking mini-game that lets you open doors to new environments in which you can be killed brutally by the Alien, so that’s always fun. Outside of mashing your controls to turn on power or doing a close-to-QuickTime event (tsk, tsk, for they are bad) in order to stop Working Joe androids from attacking you, there really are no calls for any grand control scheme so you did okay.

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Old Fart Rating: 324 Glasses of Metamucil out of 500

This rating is how fun it is to an old fart like me. Frankly, it’s too darn hard. The Alien is faster at getting to me than my wife is after I microwaved a hot dog wrapped in aluminum foil inside a Styrofoam box. The save system is god awful. You have manual save points in the form of emergency computer consoles and, to date, I counted at least 234 other locations that needed them. They are too far apart and, despite my pleading, the alien refused to let me run to the nearest save point before making me dead and dinner. This game will make you mad. It will make you want to put down your controller and actually do something productive with your free time (okay, almost…but not quite).

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Overall Rating: Not Bad…for hour long sessions

As someone who is routinely schooled in video games and killed in most imaginative ways by twelve year olds screaming things into their headsets that I don’t believe are humanely possible, I can stomach this game for an hour or so before I have to move onto something else. But I seem to find myself coming backing to it, once I calm down a bit and forget that I will be killed in most uncomfortable ways with the slightest movement of my controller.

So that’s it, ladies and germs. My first review. Obviously, being a corrupt person I would have given the game a perfect rating had I been given the game for free, but as I wasn’t, so I had to mark it down a bit. Okay, kidding, but no, I won’t refuse any freebies either.

What did you all think? Like the review (which is supposed to be not too serious, so consider that)? Agree/Disagree with my findings? Be sure to leave your comments in the comment section.

Published by Alan Reese

Greetings blog wanderers and seekers of truth, or whatever truth appears to be from the mind of a warped individual. You have reached the inner sanctum of some guy named Alan. Having graduated college sometime shortly after the Earth cooled, he finds himself in his late 30's and working out in the real world. His humor is dry and his outlook not so serious and somehow has picked up the nasty habit of writing about himself in the third person. He is married with child and loves his family, sports and, of course, his beloved video games...likelihood of his growing up? Not good. Are you an established site or magazine looking for a writer? Drop me a line if you are interested.

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