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E3 2014 Hands On: Alien Isolation

E3 2014 Hands On: Alien Isolation

Alien Isolation

While At E3 I Got To See Alien Isolation In A More Intimate Setting Than Just The Trailer. Here’s My Take On It

So this is more of a two-for-one instead of just hands on for Alien Isolation at E3. There was a nice long showing of the game in a demo driven by one of the developers at Creative Assembly but then shortly after there was a bit of a challenge map that let us all experience the horror of Alien Isolation first hand. In fact it was a demo that was all about the stealth and escaping the Alien not trying to hunt it down. I’ll dive into the driven demo first then explain how it actually felt to drive it all myself.

The demo that was shown for Alien Isolation looked to be near the beginning of the adventure for Amanda Ripley. Right from the start you can see that the environments for the game look just like we hopped right into the first film. Almost to the point where it felt more like it was filmed location and not just a game anymore. That was at least until the first human body showed up on screen at least.

Granted this look only seemed to happen for the dead bodies strewn about the ship but the character models just seemed to not fit all of the other visuals that Creative Assembly brought for Alien Isolation. This was particularly weird as the survivors and other active characters looked fairly decent compared to the dead. Maybe the focus was on the Alien more as that has to be one of the best looking creatures that has been shown thus far.

Back on the environment side of things. It looks like they will all play a much larger role in Alien Isolation than assumed before. Like along the lines of how we could use everything in Outlast to survive it is about the same here. The bigger twist though is that the Alien can hear you breath and will randomly still burst into the locker you are hiding in. You will never be truly safe but there is a mechanic that will help and that is holding your breath; in the game that is.

It looks like this will be key to surviving the Alien throughout as if it even catches a hint that you are around it will attack and destroy. Much like every other breathing mechanic, you only have a small amount of time that you can hold your breath so you have to time it perfectly. This adds to all kinds of tension as there were a few times that the Alien lingered just bit too long and it looked like Amanda was going to have to loudly gasp for air or pass out where she was hiding. Under a bed is not a good place for that as I am sure the Alien would look there first.

Speaking of the Alien, it has been boasted that it is a truly unique AI for the game that can’t be fully predicted. While I couldn’t confirm this during this play through on the accuracy, I’ve seen the same demo with similar results elsewhere, when I played through the demo personally I can attest to just that. In fact I had to play through the demo at least three times and each time the Alien was completely unpredictable once the initial “jump scare” in the demo.

So what was it that I played for Alien Isolation? Well this was more of a challenge map more than an actual level in the game. I was challenged with trying to escape the ship with nothing more than my life form scanner in hand. This is where the tone of Alien Isolation was truly set for me. If you didn’t plan ahead or act with the swiftness then you might as well restart the mission. Everything handled like a traditional FPS but with the horror and stealth play more in mind than just shooting. In fact I tried just shooting one play though and I might as well have been pissing in the wind.

Alien Isolation set out to make up for the lackluster titles that have been coming out and sullying the franchise’s name and I for one say they have made a good showing here. As the game is still slated for an October 7th launch as long as this wasn’t a whole bunch of smoke being blown up our asses I think Creative Assembly is on the path to bring the love and horror for the franchise back with Alien Isolation. Hopefully the lower quality character models will get polished up before the final version hits home.


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