Alien Isolation has been around now since 2014 with the original release being on PlayStation 3 and 4, PC and Xbox 360 and One. I loved playing it the first time around and was even more excited to see a Nintendo Switch port of the game. I like the idea of seeing third party games come to the Switch and would like to see more companies do it as it will help the console massively while we wait for the anticipated Nintendo exclusives to come out. At first, I was worried to see if the Switch would be the right home for the Xenomorph and whether the console itself could handle the gameplay docked and undocked, at times the game had evident lagging and buggy issues but it was still a nice addition to my game library and felt natural while playing on the Switch.
For those that might have missed out but want to give Alien Isolation ago on the Switch, the game is a first-person survival horror game that is set fifteen years after the first Alien film and has the player playing as Amanda Ripley who is Ellen Ripley’s daughter. You learn that a flight recording from her mother’s ship has been found and you go aboard the Sevastopol Space Station to try and retrieve it and solve the mystery behind her mother’s disappearance.
The gameplay is basic, simply navigate your way around the space station while collecting various items and investigating certain things to help you progress through the story. Of course, it isn’t that simple as you will have other people, killer androids and the Xenomorph constantly on your tail trying to kill you. If that wasn’t bad enough Amanda is not prepared or equipped for any of this and you must do everything you can to try and survive.
While you progress through the story you’ll find materials scattered around that can be turned into different weapons and medicine that can make surviving that little bit easier, but for the most part stick to the shadows, hide and above all just pray to god that the Xenomorph doesn’t find you. Yes, you do have a gun but ammo is very limited and using it will draw unwanted attention to you. If that wasn’t bad enough while using your flashlight the battery will run out making things harder as you’ll need to find new ones.
The Motion Tracker is your best friend, you will find it quite early in the game and is key to survival and avoiding the many threats lurking around the Sevastopol. Though saying this you will become nervous every time you hear the ominous beeping when something is close, so make sure you are ready to find the nearest hiding place. Sneaking around a lot and relying highly on stealth is the best way to get around. You have a map that will help you get around the maze-like station and is filled with points of interest, this map can be expanded by finding various floor plans around. Use whatever you can to hide. Whether it be the vents, cupboards or even under the desks, it’s this edge of seat gameplay, where at any moment you might get killed that draws you in and makes you not want to put the controller down.
The audio for Alien Isolation is where the magic happens, with its tense soundtrack, eerie atmosphere and the nervous ambience that has been created makes it one hell of a scary experience. Personally I don’t think I have ever been as scared of a video game character in all my time as a gamer. Though what Creative Assembly pulled off with the Xenomorph not only captured its true horrifying nature but left you feeling terrified and wanting to go to your happy place.
The atmosphere that was created is truly spectacular and is a real homage to the original 1979 Film Alien. Graphically it looks fantastic and has captured the environment perfectly and above all the Xenomorph itself is graphically accurate and pleasing apart from when the tail glitches out on the environment, then it kind of ruins the whole spooky factor. For a game that was originally released five years ago, I would honestly say that it has aged well. Yeah compared to current games it might lack but at the same time still holds its own on the Switch.
Alien Isolation comes with all seven DLC packs which offer you more heart ranching gameplay and hours of hiding in cupboards to avoid death from the Xenomorph. Once you have completed the main campaign you can also enjoy the other game modes which are Crew Expendable, Last Survivor and Survivor Mode. Survivor mode gives you different timed scenarios where you have to try and complete a number of tasks while trying to survive and do it in the fastest time. This adds a whole multiplayer element to the game as it has online leader boards for the best times and best scores. Then the Crew Expendable and Last Survivor are recreations of the final segments of the original film reconstructed for the player to play through, so as you can see this port has plenty to offer.
Docked & Undocked
One of the best things with the Switch is having the ability to play games on the big screen or taking them on the go with you. On the big screen, Alien Isolation works like a charm and still holds the scare factor that it had all them years ago, with the added bonus of being able to play it on the train and in the staff canteen at work was super fun for me but maybe not as nice for my fellow workers that would have to put up with the whole screaming like a little girl when the alien kills me out of nowhere or is chasing me around the space station. I got some performance issue with playing the game both docked and undocked but nothing too major that would ruin my overall experience.
I’m a huge fan of the Nintendo Switch and even bigger fans of the Alien franchise. It might seem like a pointless port for this game seeing as it came out ages ago but it is a massive addition to the Switch’s line up and one that can hold its head up high. The port is fantastic and runs smoothly on the console, the controls can be awkward at times but that was like this in the original version. I have read articles online that state that the performance of this port runs better than that of the PlayStation 4, so you know that this wasn’t just a cash grab thing. Feral Interactive has done a fabulous job at bringing this game to the Switch and I have enjoyed every moment revisiting this game and have rekindled my fear for the Xenomorph. If you’re a lover of Alien and haven’t yet played this game for whatever reason you are missing out, but if you are looking for something different to play on your Switch I might just have found another item to add to your Christmas list. It’s truly a work of art and has you hooked from the very start, if you can deal with the constant fear of being killed at any moment lingering over you then Alien Isolation is worth every minute you put into it and for that reason, I’m more than happy to give it an 8/10.
Alien Isolation was reviewed on the Nintendo Switch
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, MORE
Developers: Creative Assembly, Feral Interactive
Publishers: Sega, Feral Interactive, SEGA of America
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When she left Earth, Ellen Ripley promised her daughter she would return home to celebrate her 11th birthday. She never made it. Fifteen years later, Amanda Ripley learns that the flight recorder from her mother’s ship has been recovered. Amanda enters Sevastopol space station to finally solve the mystery of her mother’s disappearance, only to confront an unknown menace. Engage in a terrifying quest for survival as you navigate the labyrinthine Sevastopol station. Unprepared and underequipped, you will need all your wits and daring to get out alive.
Product Currency: GBP
Product Price: 29.99