10 Minutes of Alien Isolation Gameplay = Death and Swearing

By Leon Hurley on at

The AI in Alien Isolation can be temperamental but when it works this nails that traumatic sense of tension perfectly. I'm six hours in and so far it's been about three parts flinching and cussing to one part watching the alien completely miss me out in the open. These are the edited highlights.

I'm not reviewing the game unfortunately but my experience of it so far is that it's a lovingly constructed tribute to the film. I played the PS4 version which looks great, and the attention to detail in recreating 70s sci-fi tech, sets and costumes is fantastic. It's the kind of game you can lose time to just looking at stuff: inspecting rooms, noticing old retro calculators on desks or smiling at big clunky push button control panels. It's a shame there isn't a mode that simply lets you just explore.

That twitchy AI I mentioned is more of an annoyance than anything else because it can break the illusion the rest of the game so artfully creates. When it works you'll be cowering behind boxes swinging the motion tracker wildly, trying to weigh the risk of another dash through the open. When it doesn't, the alien can walk right up to your face and then move on without apparently seeing you.

The creature can also fixate on a certain areas occasionally - I spent 10 minutes trapped in a locker because the thing apparently decided it lived in the room now, patrolling between two doors but never leaving. Terror faded to confusion, confusion to irritation, irritation to checking twitter. In the end I snuck out and we did three loops around a table together until it 'saw' me and pounced. By that point it was a relief. I also saw him clearly teleport once - with an unobstructed view of the creature, 100 yards down a corridor I turned on the spot and opened the door behind me to find him on the other side. S.O.B.

That's from 6 hours worth of playing so far though and otherwise it's been a positive experience. The few errors feel glaring only because they stand out from the rest of the polish . I particularly like the way the game isn't rushing. It luxuriates in building atmosphere and tension in a sharply designed, beautifully visualised world - it feels like I've only just started. My capture files tell me otherwise.

The NDA's strict for video so I'm only allowed to post 10 minutes of gameplay. I've kept it as spoiler free as possible, so there's no plot stuff, just me being chased/killed/eaten.