The plight of the film-to-video-game adaptation has been a difficult one. Historically, movie-licensed games have failed to live up to their source material due to a cavalcade of different reasons: clunky storytelling, bland gameplay, poor voice impersonations, the list goes on and on. But every once in a blue moon, a movie-based title comes along that completely turns this unfortunate stereotype on its head. Alien: Isolation is one of those games. Released in 2014 for Xbox 360/One, PS3/4, and Windows, Creative Assembly’s masterpiece showed us exactly how to create a beautiful film-to-game translation.

A key part of why this game is so successful is how astonishingly faithful it is to its source material. The world in which the game takes place feels straight out of the original 1979 Alien film. The retro-futuristic art design makes you feel that you are exploring a high-tech space station built in the 70s, complete with many flashing lights and overly complex control panels. Not only this, but the Alien itself was also given the same terrifying presence that it had in the films. This is not an enemy that can easily be dealt with; it provides a constant source of terror throughout the game’s extensive run time.

Image result for alien isolation

Not only is the game faithful to the source material, but a large part of what makes Alien: Isolation so successful is the amount of horror derived from the gameplay itself. Unlike other horror games that are content to throw cheap jump scares at you, Isolation finds fear in its core gameplay. Using your own wits and thinking on your toes in a first-person perspective as you make your desperate attempt to evade the alien is what this game is all about. Under-prepared and under-equipped, rarely will the player feel 100% safe as they traverse the halls of their spacecraft. At all times, there is a constant sense of dread knowing that something, somewhere, wants you dead.

The Alien’s AI is incredibly intelligent and will adapt to any situation that the player might find themselves in. The Alien is out for blood, in the same way, it was in the franchise. This requires the player to constantly be alert and think on their feet as the very unpredictable nature of the game unfolds before them. There are an innumerable amount of unique moments that the player will create for themselves as they desperately try to figure out their own process for outsmarting the Alien. The icing on the already-horrifying cake is that the Alien cannot be killed; it can only be briefly scared away with a flamethrower and various other contraptions that the player can create using different items obtained throughout their journey.

Related image

Alien: Isolation allows the player to jump right into the world of the 1979 film, and turns it into a game that somehow manages to capture that incredible atmosphere of the original. Of course, it’s not necessary for the player to have watched the original film before jumping into Isolation, but those who have seen it will definitely find a new level of appreciation for the sheer amount of effort that was obviously put into recreating the world and atmosphere of the original movie. The tense gameplay, tangible atmosphere, eerie soundtrack, and the remarkable sense of sheer style make it an incredibly immersive interactive experience. Isolation is a true gem of a game that will surely continue to find new ways to scare us for many years to come.

A dude who, like many of you, plays video games. He has a particular love and appreciation for story-based adventures, Metroid, and a good sandwich. If you appreciate any of these things too, then you and Nate will probably get along just fine.

Leave a comment below.

Latest Posts

MGM and Warner Bros./Time Warner Inc. have released the first trailer for Tomb Raider, which features Alicia Vikander as the iconic video game heroine.

NXpress Nintendo Podcast 110: How to Get a Job Writing About Video Games, Animal...

This week on the NXpress Nintendo podcast, a few of the editors from Goomba Stomp offer some advice for aspiring writers who are trying...
Mom and Dad

TIFF 2017: ‘Mom and Dad’ Reflects On Youth Through Brutality

It's easy to just enjoy the ride of 'Mom and Dad,' but there's an uneasy feeling at the center of the film that makes it occasionally difficult to wrestle with.

TIFF 2017: ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ Questions The Necessity Of Violence

'Three Billboards' takes itself to Hell and back in order to present a textured portrayal of grief and culpability in a small community.
super hydorah

‘Super Hydorah’: One of the Greatest Shoot-Em-Ups Ever Made

Locomalito has once again created an unforgettable experience that stands head and shoulders above the competition.

Walking Within Visions of Gothic and Cosmic Horror in ‘Bloodborne’

Via visual storytelling, Bloodborne writes the perfect epitaph for the world in which you now hunt; a world that is not yet dead but is instead in the process of dying.

AMC Releases ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 8 Key Art, Synopsis and a Special Featurette...

AMC has released the official key art for the highly anticipated eighth season of The Walking Dead, which returns Sunday, October 22 at 9:00 p.m....
light fall

‘Light Fall’ Coming to Nintendo Switch

Light fall has been announced for the Nintendo Switch, having previously been announced for Windows, Mac, PlayStation, and Xbox.
Final Fantasy IX

‘Final Fantasy IX’ is an Often Overlooked Classic

It seems like Final Fantasy IX was destined to be overlooked right from the outset. The game was released for the original PlayStation after the PlayStation 2 was out and selling like warm buns, and the high fantasy setting was in stark contrast to the popular cyber-punk and more realistic settings of FFVII and VIII (two of the best selling entries in the whole series).
  • Undoubtedly, Alien Isolation is THAT good. But I’ve read that its sales disappointed, and that is too bad, because it’s truly a masterpiece. I wish there was a sequel.

    • Joe Chase

      I would be really interested to hear the internal discussion at Sega about this game to date. It’s so impressive , even several years after its release it still stands out .

      There was rumour of a VR port , but I doubt Sega would put more money into a game they did not find successful monetarily (I’m guessing).

      Still, there has a got to be a group of developers who hopefully realize they indeed created a masterpiece with Alien Isolation.

  • Rob

    By far my favorite game of the gen so far. This game is a perfect example of why reviews are nonsense. Ign gave this gem of a game a 6 which is completely mind boggling to me. It had to have hurt sales a bit but didn’t deter me from still buying it day one and the game was even better than I was hoping it would be which doesn’t happen very often. It’s the alien game I’ve always wanted to play and I hope and pray to the gaming God’s that Sega and creative assembly can find a reason and good story to make a sequel or even just another alien game. Of all the shitty needless sequel’s we get all the time why can’t we get some good ones for once. This and dead space 4 are the ones I’m hoping to see again soon as that sci-horror sub genre is sareverly lacking especially on the AAA console market, there’s virtually nothing except prey anywhere in the future and prey looks more action than horror but I’ll still take it.

  • Michal Mlejnek

    You forgot about Linux and Mac ports 😉