January 13, 2015

Highlight: Alien Isolation

Back to some more Alien Isolation this week.  This middle of this game can feel like a long slog, but it starts gaining steam again after about the 12th mission.  I captured video of some great moments in the game from last night.

Here there be spoilers

If you do not wish to see videos of key moments in Alien Isolation,
please simply enjoy this photograph of a cake and then walk away:

The cake is a lie.

I've started to agree with reviewers who say the actual alien drags down the gameplay.  I dread the sequences when it is stalking my character.  There are a set of missions that occur after the alien is no longer on your ship and I found myself enjoying that time.  The game becomes about interacting with the ship and the designers find many ways to ratchet up the tension without the lurking threat of an enemy that can instant-kill you at any time.  

Take this horrifying scene for example.  I just made my way through a Working Joe (read 'android') show room and bolted the door behind me as they came to life.  They were pounding on the door to break through, so I ignited a gas leak just outside the door hoping to burn them all to death as they poured into the room.  Turns out fire only hurts them a small amount, doesn't really slow them down, and sets their terrifying factor to 11.  

 Here was another fantastic sequence from last night.  The androids are controlled by a central AI they call 'APOLLO'.  If I wanted the android threat reduced, it was time to communicate with it.  What I wasn't expecting was that the sequence would lead me to a device exactly like MOTHER: the Artificial Intelligence Dallas used in the original movie.  When Tom Skerrit communicates with MOTHER in the film, the scene begins in the chamber.  Creative Assembly expanded on the device by imagining some lovely architecture around the central chamber.  These are the parts of the game that keep me coming back.  

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