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Alien Isolation


Obsttorte

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I thought I could open a thread for this game.

 

I'm not completely through yet, but thus far it is a really good game. And it is quite close to a stealth game, as sneaking is actually the only way that leads to success.

 

The only thing I may have to mention is that this game is definetely not suitable for all players. It uses a checkpoint system, and encountering the alien means insta-death, which means you may have to replay the last 5-10 minutes. I'm currently at the hospital, which shall be the most difficult part of the game according to what I've read. And what shall I say, the Xenomorph already got used to the taste of my flesh :)

 

People who may like this game should have the following qualities:

  • You should like games that challenge you, and sometimes kick you in the ass really hard
  • You need a very high frustration tolerance (really, very high)
  • In stealth games you should prefer the ghosting approach or a clever use of tools, although you have weapons in this games using them isn't really an option

In reviews there were ai errors reported, but I've read that playing under the highest difficulty levels avoids that, and it seems to be true. Thus far I did not had any ai issues. Sometimes the hud on non-critical electronical systems don't work, forcing you to reload the last save game. But it seems to always be the same, so you can avoid them (but still, frustrating).

 

It is definetely no perfect game, but it is challenging and provides a high tension, especially due to the fact that it uses a checkpoint system. If you could save all the time this game would get pretty boring relatively soon.

 

So everyone who likes such features and can deal with some frustration should really enjoy this game.

 

And as I've already mentioned the engine is top. It is not the best looking game, but in regards to the graphical quality it goes easy on resources.

 

I am playing on a Core2Duo E6600@3150MHz and an ATI Radeon HD5770, and it runs fluidly on 1280x1024 with everything set to ultra and AA disabled (I disable this feature anyways in games, as I don't see ad difference and it is a pain in the ass performance-wise).

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FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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Making it a more confined Metroidvania was a great idea with regards to saving and death. It's incredibly tense but not necessarily scary: the real fear is of losing my progress and having to do the last part again. I only made the mistake of neglecting to overuse save stations twice, which was

in the hospital's security office where I ran away to hide as the alien dropped in and that vent exploded in front of me. I got trapped between immolation and evisceration and hadn't saved in a while, was so cruel. Another time I died later on in the same area, running away from the power plant after activating the evacuation protocol and getting decapitated by the Xenomorph hiding in the roof vent. I learned my lesson with regards to alien goop dripping from a hissing ceiling vent though, so all's well that ends well.

I've been having an easy time of it elsewhere: I've been smacking walls with the jack or firing my revolver around people then running to hide and letting the Xenomorph kill them off for me. The best part is that it's made to climb back into the vents after a round of killing, and only patrols at length when it can't find things to bore holes into. I'm near the end as far as I can tell, and the objectives have become really arbitrary. Beyond the slight repetitiveness and inevitable loss of scary factor through experience, it's a really solid stealth game that looks wonderful and plays with more freedom than I'd expect from high-budget games of late.

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If you could save all the time this game would get pretty boring relatively soon.

 

This doesn't sound too good to me. The game is only working because of the checkpoint game system?

 

I have a question regarding the AI of the Alien. Reading the comments on Metacritic some people claim it's behaviour is scripted, at least in critical places, although the AI is supposed to be the best feature of the game. So what do you say? I suspect any TDM veteran should have a good feeling whether the Alien AI is genuine or cheating...

Edited by wesp5
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This doesn't sound too good to me. The game is only working because of the checkpoint game system?

That's not what I am saying. I just said that it would not work without it imho.

 

Regarding the ai: All individuals (alien, bots and human) behave similar like they does in Thief, TDM etc... The main difference is that the alien is much more sensible and can move through the airshafts. There are only a few scripted sequences involving the alien, but normally it is like dealing with a guard in TDM, just that it is more deadly and freaking fast.

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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I suspect any TDM veteran should have a good feeling whether the Alien AI is genuine or cheating...

And here it comes the famous "TDM veteran test" for AI, after the normal Turing Test :ph34r::laugh:

Edited by lowenz
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Task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen but to think what nobody has yet thought about that which everybody see. - E.S.

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The Robot AI is easily the most boring, in that it hears something, goes for it and attacks if it finds you or shrugs and walks away if it doesn't. Humans have a tolerance level for threat and proximity and, unless they're already out to kill, won't attack you unless provoked. The Xenomorph AI methodically searches rooms from where it last heard you, or just wanders around if you're an absolute mouse before getting bored and doing whatever in the vents. The only cheatsy things about it are A) the fact that it follows you in the vents even if you sneak everywhere and B ) always checks the locker/cabinet/crawlspace you're in if it's next to where you made a noise. The first is purely so that you see the thing. The second isn't unreasonable, given that it'd so boring if it checked all the empty hiding places in every room you made a noise in. If you were still in there it'd take forever before you were free to go, and if not you'd never see it because you'd be miles away ticking off objectives like there's no tomorrow as it flipped tables in rage. The fact that it checks your cabinet doesn't mean you always get caught if you cheese it into the nearest hiding place, it just means you have to input commands to hold your breath and push back into the cabinet you're in (no such luck if it's a crawlspace or you're under a table: it just kills you). I've definitely never felt cheated, and had a laugh when I held my breath for too long, passed out and most likely got brained for my trouble. Bottom line is that the AI's fine, searches as you'd expect and then wanders off, and is great at sprinting around the place for no reason, making everywhere a possible deathtrap. Once it sees you you're basically dead until you get a certain werfer of flammen.

Edited by Airship Ballet
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I think the low review scores for the game are probably because the reviewer treated the game as a first person shooter, and died a lot.

 

a bit like the first reviews for thief:the dark project, where reviewers treated it as a first person shooter cause you got a sword, and went in swinging it, and ended up dead a lot.

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So the AI seems like a real deal. I've seen the beginning now up to the scene with Axel and everything was scripted and so obvious that I never felt surprised. Why didn't he leave his gun ;)?

Almost every game has a simplistic, scripted, linear opening to set the mood and teach you the controls. Even T:TDP did that at the start of Lord Bafford's. Isolation is the most open I've had thus far, giving you the controls but telling you nothing about line of sight, how likely you are to get seen, nothing. It simply puts people in a room and Axel tells you to sneak past them, presumably allowing the player to get killed by them if they're that dense. The route is obvious but not restrictive, and it soon picks up anyway, so no complaints from me. It annoyed me that I couldn't pick up the revolvers of the first few people I stealth-brained with the maintenance jack, but I was given one for free in the next room over so again, not so bad. Then again, I've had no use for guns aside from areas the Xenomorph doesn't loiter in because firing one will have it dropping from the nearest vent before the smoke clears.

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I'm 21 hours in. Almost done. It's definitely my favorite game released this year and also one of the best games I've ever played. Earns a spot in my top 20 games.

I'm going to write a very lenghty review of the game after I'm done.

Edited by skacky
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Really looking forward to this one! I've had it on my shelf for about a week, just haven't had a chance to play it. I've always loved the Alien universe (Alien, Alien 3, Predator, Predator 2) and played avp2 a lot back in the day (especially the multiplayer maps where the alien could be played stealthily). Sounds like the exact kind of game I want to be playing right now.

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It's strictly line of sight. Different enemies react differently, faster or slower. Their reaction time also depends on the difficulty level.

Sound does have an impact though, creeping is almost completely silent while running makes a lot of noise and attracts attention (and using weapons obviously makes a racket). Sound propagation and spatialization is actually very good.

Edited by skacky
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It's pretty much completely line of sight but there are plenty of tables to crawl under and you can use the lean to hide behind low cover. There's no light gem or noise indicator: if you can see their eyes they can see you and an invisible suspicion meter is ticking up the longer they can see you for depending on the distance. Darkness counts for nothing, basically, and you can obviously tell how noisy you are by your stance and speed. The alien has the highest sensitivity of the lot, and will typically spot you a mile away and sprint straight to where you are if you make a noise in the same zone.

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I'd leave it a little while first: the ending

put a seriously sour taste in my mouth.

 

 

 

 

Is this because of the gameplay or the story? Don't tell me you die in the end which would not be consistent with what Burk tells Ripley in Aliens! Also it makes no sense for him to lie to her there, because if her daughter would have been killed, she would have come much easier with them to take revenge on the Aliens.

 

 

 

On another issue, I'm a little disappointed on how the ship and the station look from the outside, because it's clearly just the Nostromo and her hanger from the first movie. That's like sending a truck on such a mission and the space station being a procession plant. I know they wanted to copy the look, but it still seems wrong!

Edited by wesp5
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Is this because of the gameplay or the story?

 

 

 

Story's alright but the pacing picks up like crazy towards the end, with problems being created in the last 20 minutes and left unresolved by the time it fades to black. It ends like every Alien film: the xenomorph gets launched out of an airlock and Ripley ends up floating in space unconscious when a ship off-screen pulls up to pick her up. Whoohoo, so many questions left unanswered and such a cliché, anti-climactic ending.

 

On another issue, I'm a little disappointed on how the ship and the station look from the outside, because it's clearly just the Nostromo and her hanger from the first movie.

Not quite, since the ship you're on (and spend about 10 minutes of game time on) is explained to be the same class and make as the Nostromo, but it's just the general aesthetic that's copied. Sevastopol is again a completely new place just made with Giger's awesome VCR-future aesthetic. It's mostly new stuff, but made in keeping with the look and feel of things from the film with a few direct references around the place. Since it's the same time in terms of technology, it makes sense for it to look similar but different.

Edited by Airship Ballet
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Higher FOV is generally better to a certain point: I tend to stop when my view starts to resemble that of someone stuck in the trap room in dm_pressure, i.e. really damn stretched. You want it to widen your field of view, rather than make everything look silly, although most games don't let you set it too high. Higher FOV generally means less motion sickness, more liberated view to your side, freedom of movement and also a neat look at the entirety of your weapon model, rather than just the tip...

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Be honest now, how scary is this game? :D

 

I happened to get it for free along some other titles when upgrading my GPU, and I'm antsy to play it. However my nerves are shot up enough as it is with my current schedule, and I'm not sure if I want to wind down with something that pumps even more adrenaline in my bloodstream. Should I give it a go, or should I save it for a week off?

 

For reference, my personal tolerance for terror is around the level of original Condemned: Criminal Origins. Usually can't stand games that don't give you any means of defending yourself.

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It's not really scary, but the level of tension is pretty high. Similar to Doom3 at the first levels (if you play under the highest difficulty level ;) ).

 

I mean there is no real danger, as it is just a game and you have plenty of checkpoints to save at. But the sound and the ai of the alien can drive you nuts at times.

 

However, the frustration level is even a bit higher than the tension level, so you should like frustrating games. But as you have it anyways, give it a go.

FM's: Builder Roads, Old Habits, Old Habits Rebuild

Mapping and Scripting: Apples and Peaches

Sculptris Models and Tutorials: Obsttortes Models

My wiki articles: Obstipedia

Texture Blending in DR: DR ASE Blend Exporter

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For reference, my personal tolerance for terror is around the level of original Condemned: Criminal Origins.

->Outlast + Evil Within

Task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen but to think what nobody has yet thought about that which everybody see. - E.S.

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