I’m only a handful of hours in, but the game that’s been taking up most of my imagination lately is Alien Isolation. And damn if it isn’t brilliant. I’ve been playing it “Co-Op” with my girlfriend, meaning that when one of us gets too stressed out we just hand the the controller off to each other. It’s actually a really great way to play a tense, stressful game like this and also works well because I think Isolation is just about as fun to watch as it is to play.
There’s been a lot of talk about how “Bold” this game is, and frankly, I think it’s well deserved. The restraint that the developers show (and expect you to show) is really impressive: I’ve had a gun for a few hours now, but I haven’t even shot it once. I’ve spent most my time creeping around, peeking around corners, and hiding in ridiculously tiny boxes. It’s just about the antithesis of a big, blasty shooter.
And since the world design is so stellar, it’s easy to just want to look around and soak everything in. All the actions you perform feel great (leaning, hacking doors, breaking locks), and the small contextual mini games you play to get through the obstacles serve two purposes: Further convincing you of the reality of the Sevastopol station, and making you incredibly anxious when you’re just trying to open the damn door before the alien gets around the corner.
If you’re looking for a horror game, with some really fun stealth mechanics and some of the best atmosphere in gaming, Alien Isolation is definitely the way to go.