Experience: Alien Isolation

Mr. Game here, to introduce a new feature into the CoopDojo Premium article set, a CoopDojo Experience.  Balancing personal, professional and/or academic lives is time consuming leaving precious few hours left in your schedule to get in quality game time.  We’d love to be running more raids on Crota and the Vault of Glass in Destiny but we only have so much time to squeeze in Bloodborne or finally see why everyone is freaking out about Five Nights at Freddy’s or commit the requisite hours leveling up our GTA V online character enough to take on heists finally.  We don’t want to say gamers have too many options, but it’s pretty easy to let quality games slip through the cracks and miss out completely on them. 

That’s where the CoopDojo Experience comes in.  Occasionally we’ll take a moment to celebrate an incredible game that you may have missed and call out some of the reasons why we enjoyed it so much.  First up, Alien Isolation.

We loved this game.  We raved about it in our review last November and still can’t fathom how both IGN and GameSpot seemed so put off by the experience both scoring the game 20 points lower than the average.  Developer Creative Assembly pulled something amazing off with this title with its fidelity to Ridley Scott’s source material and absolutely captivating survival horror experience that puts its release competition, The Evil Within, to shame.  After all of the less talented developers and filmmakers have had access to the franchise, I would have never thought anyone could make the xenomorph scary again.

We’ll save the story for the reviews but suffice it to say once the alien is introduced about two hours in you’ll be running for your life for nearly the rest of the twenty hour experience.  Creative Assembly created randomized AI design for the creature which is always in pursuit and incredibly hard to predict.  Which means you’ll frequently have moments like this:

For the record, no we didn't survive that encounter.

You’ll quickly learn staying quiet and in the shadows is the key to survival but, man, those moments where you find yourself holding your breath along with your character are palpable:

If that’s not enough of a challenge you’ll also have to contend with the resident androids (aka "Angry Joes") under the dominion of the Weyland Corporation eager to once again commercialize the alien. 

These jerks can take a beating:

Eventually you’ll find better weapons like shotguns or molotovs to help take on these droids but our favorite, by far, was the Bolt Gun. 

We just wish this thing had more ammo:

About halfway through the game you’ll suddenly, and thankfully, be able to jettison your relentless alien into space.  It’s a remarkable transition at that moment as you’ll no longer worry about blips on your motion tracker or noises in the vents overhead and instead go full Rambo on the violent scavengers still on the space station or feral androids.  Both of which really can't stand up to your vast arsenal by then. 

Everything seems to going well until you stumble upon this:

Yes, in the final hours of the game the xenomorph population of the game suddenly ramps from 1 to dozens or hundreds.  The ship is infested with them.  Which also means these guys finally make an appearance:

The game notoriously moves the goal posts a lot, especially towards the end.  Again, if you’re in a time crunch for a review or are getting exhausted from the pressure, this can be obnoxious.  We were so captivated by the experience though we couldn’t put the controller down. 

The final moments of the game is essentially an escape sequence common in scifi movies and games begins here:

As the space station collapses around you, Angry Joes engulfed in flames patrol the hallways, and xenomorphs lurk behind every corner, you’ll be so relieved by the moment you reach the end:

We’ll say we were a bit letdown by the finale and the odd choice to use a cliffhanger ending but that’s about the only criticism we have for this otherwise incredible survival horror experience.  We can’t wait to see what Creative Assembly takes on next.

Feel free to watch the highlights of our playthrough below.  We’ve grouped all of the videos together and condensed the 20 hour game into one hour long video.