breath you take, every move you make, every step you take, I'll be
That’s some scary stalker shit for a mega-hit
pop song, yet it could easily apply to stealth survival horror epic
Alien: Isolation. Actually, so could the term “some scary
Not that it’s shit – which is possibly the
biggest surprise considering the lame legacy left by most previous
sorties into Alien’s space horror, erm, space.
whole new story, plopped some 15 years after Alien and 42
before Aliens, you fill the boots of Ellen Ripley’s sprog
Amanda. She’s determined to find out just WTF happened to her
mother, so when informed that the Nostromo’s black box is
awaiting her on mega space station Sevastopol, she’s off
like a shot.
It isn’t necessarily the wisest move.
Through an almost fatiguing procession of levels
– some editing wouldn’t have hurt - you pursue a battle of wits with
the alien. Cat and mouse is the order of the day, as this sucker
isn’t all pre-programmed. Rather, it follows your cues. Make a bump
in the night and it’ll be onto you. Get torch or motion tracker
happy and it’ll be onto you. Fart in your spacesuit and, erm, it’ll
likely be smelly...
This is a true stealth outing, too.
There’s none of this running around all gung-ho like an Arnie on a
gun store bullet-sugar rush, hiding occasionally. The meagre
weaponry you find or craft can only be used on humans and humanoids
– this alien is indefuckingstructible! You’ll take cover behind
stuff, under stuff and in stuff, and sometimes even hold every
breath you’d otherwise take. Depending upon your scare threshold, it
can be terrifying.
Nailing the stark, tense atmosphere of
Ridley Scott’s original movie both aurally and visually, rather than
stinging fans with more heartachey crap, Alien: Isolation
is something we can truly embrace.