The terror of Alien Isolation comes to Nintendo Switch, and it looks spectacular! Analysis

Alien Isolation
Written by Kamran Haider

One of the best horror video games of recent years suits Nintendo Switch, and the result is spectacular! In Alien Isolation’s analysis, you will see that this survival horror of the authors of the Total War saga remains years later a great quality videogame ideal for survival horror fans.

When you start a game in Alien Isolation for Nintendo Switch it is hard to believe that this fantastic horror video game looks, at times, even better than the PS4 and Xbox One versions. It is simply spectacular even in its portable mode, which allows you to enjoy wherever you go from one of the best survival horrors of recent years. The Feral Interactive team has taken full advantage of the Nintendo console so that not one of the graphic details that made the original game one of the best exponents of today’s terror is lost. And it is worthy of praise. As it happens, not many months ago I completed the adventure of Amanda Ripley on Xbox One X, and I have barely noticed differences in the visual section. It is a pleasure to get lost in the gigantic ship Sevastopol !, And much more to feel the terror in the palms of your hands; Run for shelter while the fearsome creature designed by HR Giger pursues you tirelessly.

Following the style of the Amnesia saga, but giving you a few weapons with which to protect you from the threats you will find in the Creative Assembly game, Alien Isolation builds its horror story around Amanda Ripley’s desire to find answers that explain the disappearance de la Nostromo, the mythical ship that we met in the classic Ridley Scott, and in which the mother of the protagonist was traveling, played by Sigourney Weaver. A perfect excuse to move from one place to another through facilities that, you can imagine, are a real nightmare because of a xenomorph which is as scary as you might expect from this grotesque creature. The best? In his jump to Nintendo Switch, Alien Isolation is accompanied by all his DLC, with one starring Ellen Ripley herself !, which will allow us to explore some of the most remembered scenes of the original film.

Alone against the World

With abundant winks to the original tapes, and some of them capable of getting a nostalgic smile or even putting goosebumps to the most veteran, Alien Isolation is divided into chapters that are exceeded linearly, and although the objectives are often about activated the current of a certain part of the ship or do some survivor a favor, the truth is that the fact that new instruments, gadgets, and resources are incorporated with certain frequency, helps the experience to have occasional breaths of freshness when it seems that he is about to end up falling into the routine.

Most of these instruments are far from being designed for combat. The program splashes its different chapters of mini-games or challenges to think about, handle electronic instruments or carry out some kind of skill challenge. They are simple activities that are resolved quickly, but that help injects a plus of diversity into other types of actions, otherwise quite similar, that we will carry out throughout the adventure. Of course. Get the idea that you will almost always feel the pressure of death behind your back, so you will never feel calm while solving these simple puzzles. Something that of course, I love. An oversight, simple overconfidence … and ZAS !, you are dead. In addition to the most horrible way possible.

The environments we are going to travel are often labyrinthine and sometimes even somewhat chaotic, however, their neat respect for the style of the tapes and their ability to offer stays that you want to explore keeps us glued to the screen to see what will be following. The ability of a world to immerse ourselves in it and make us feel anguish is fundamental in a game of these characteristics, and in this sense, the work of the British study is a triumph. Badly lit corridors will force us to use flares and flashlights(both of limited use), with the already legendary ventilation tunnels to be able to cut routes and with other tricks such as underground passageways that we must use to move whenever we do not want to expose ourselves to kick corridors. The map and its consultation interface in the first instance are somewhat confusing, however, in the short term we will get acquainted with it and it will end up being a very useful tool not only to locate the missions but also to know how far we have a save point. What is another detail to consider?Building Detroit

The Feral Interactive team has made the most of the Nintendo console.

There are no checkpoints here, so the relief you feel when saving the game and knowing that we have stored our progress is not known until it is experienced. Why so much restlessness? Because we are sold at all times. A face-to-face confrontation is not a challenge, it is directly death and it doesn’t matter whoever it is. The main antagonist, how could it be otherwise, is the extraterrestrial beast that gives its name to the title, an Alien that is immune to our weapons and that we will have to try to avoid as much as possible. We will achieve this by being unusually cautious, listening carefully to all the sounds around us and using the tool of motion detection that we remember from the movies and that will be of fundamental importance throughout the entire adventure. With all the instruments and gadgets that we have at our disposal, a lot of situations are created that give us the best moments of the game since they allow different strategies to carry out some situations that we can always achieve that are different.

A Universe of Challenges

Except in the scripted moments when the creature appears in certain sequences, and that is necessary to tell a story, the alien is usually patrolling the areas we travel. With autonomy and random movements that guarantee that reloading a checkpoint does not have to be in the same place, which means that the path that was previously safe may not be now. That factor, so seemingly harmless, further charges the oppressive atmosphere that oozes the videogame, since at the enormous distance that sometimes exists between checkpoints it is necessary to add that we do not know what will wait for us … not even when we have died half a dozen times in the same section. The behavior of the monster sometimes attracts attention because of its intelligence and speed of reaction, and in others, because it is somewhat clueless or erratic, however, it is a villain at the height of what we expected.

Maximum suspense and infinite anguish, for a release that may not be scary in the pure sense of the word, since there is nothing unknown in its formula and the Alien we have seen in movies, comics and video games once and a thousand times, but that does manage to shoot our pulse and put our hair on end, always taking us to the limit, in a campaign in which there is only room for restlessness, restlessness, and nervousness in our slow movements. Hiding in closets, under tables and in small comfortable, stooped, will be a constant in the title, a dynamic that may even be something repetitive for certain palates in the medium term. However, even within those places we have some autonomy, we can lean to the sides to observe from different perspectives through the grilles the movements of those who stalk us, and we must also take note of their proximity to lean back or even hold our breath so as not to be heard.

Towards the second half of the program we will obtain the flamethrower, which can keep the creature at bay for a few seconds but that will not end it, but its use is very limited and it will be more useful to use the rest of the mills that we will elaborate and that will serve as a distraction This is not an action game, it must be clear, the pace is slow and Creative Assembly gloats building with slow tempo fascinating environments in which there is always the shadow of the beast stalking us with its thunderous noises in the ventilation ducts or their Slow and stalking walks through the rooms.

In his jump to Nintendo Switch, Alien Isolation is accompanied by all of his DLCs, with one starring Ellen Ripley herself!

But there are also other opponents to face in Alien Isolation. In the adventure, we will find survivors harmless that try to get ahead in such difficult circumstances. Sometimes they are just there trying to flee, and at other times they are only cannon fodder that we will use to distract the creature and be able to progress. Others, the most dangerous, are armed and hostile, so you should avoid them or deal with them violently. We can overcome the game without killing anyone, it goes without saying, but in some circumstances, it will be really difficult and, as cruel as it sounds, it will compensate to give a headshot in the back to some unsuspecting armed to the teeth and take their possessions. The best if they patrol an area that we are interested in exceeding? Avoid direct combat and use some ingenuity as the sound emitter to attract the xenomorph towards them and let it do the dirty work for us.

The conclusions are somewhat similar in terms of characteristics with androids, but its way of unfolding is radically opposite. In the first instance, they are also harmless, in the first stages of the adventure, but when we begin to venture into forbidden stays, the “Working Joe” begins to show threatening behaviors that we will have to deal with. Neither of them, human or androids, are particularly intelligent or savvy and it is the weakest part of the game, so it is relatively easy to deceive and avoid them; However, although the former have guns and can open fire on us being a danger in the distant range, synthetics are only harmful in the near and in corridors, since in somewhat larger rooms it is easy to avoid running.

Hostile Atmosphere

Between confrontation and confrontation? We will find a lot of information to collect in the form of recordings, or of texts that we can read in the old computers that we are going to find. Everything helps to gain weight from the narrative part of the work and to give us more context about everything that is happening. You also have to make sure to explore each and every room well, because every object we collect counts. Inventory management has only to do with the manufacture of our tools and resources, so it is appropriate from time to time to find a safe place and start manufacturing useful because the number of elements with which we can load is limited and even there we have a more micro part -management within the title. Why do we talk about the need for a safe place to do all this? Because the time of the game never stops, just consulting the map, which means that we are exposed to the creature whether we are manufacturing as if we are consulting a computer or even if we are saving the game. You can never lower your guard.

The same conclusion can be extrapolated to survival mode, which is the other playable alternative that walks hand in hand with story mode. Here we have a series of quick and fleeting challenges to overcome, and in which we fight both against the xenomorph and other enemies, and against the times of other players around the world in a monumental counter-clock in which we must debate between the slowness that our movements demand not to be detected by the creature and the need to fulfill the objectives quickly. It will not be the only bonus, also obtaining points for different factors such as overcoming it without being detected, without killing anyone and other considerations.

That said, it is hard not to mention the phenomenal adaptation work carried out by Feral Interactive because the audiovisual section of Alien Isolation is one of its hallmarks, because of the fidelity with which the aesthetics of the original films have been emulated, creating scenarios of enormous appeal full of details like those computers that look as is in the classic Ridley Scott. The Nintendo Switch video game bets on a dynamic resolution range between 1080p and 756p on the TV and help to show its action at 30fps more stable. Thanks to improved antialiasing the image looks cleaner, finding here new options to reduce noise or chromatic aberration; This last option was not in the original. It is true that the shadows do not have the quality of the game on other platforms, and that some latency is felt in the response of the controls, but it is not something that affects the gaming experience.

The sound is the definitive section to consolidate the extraordinary production values ​​that this work presents. The music, with the majority of scores rescued directly from the original film, is fantastic and with its minimalist style, it contributes formidably to consolidate the already brilliant visual ambiance of the product. The sound effects are equally well achieved, and in fact, you have to pay close attention since they are often a tool as useful as what our own eyes can see. The voices, ultimately, are in perfect Spanish, dubbed into our language with a great level. This includes the additional content, which, as I said, is a fantastic addition that only rounds off an exceptional job.

The authors of the Total War saga signed with Alien Isolation an impressive work that highlighted, above all, to perfectly capture the essence of the mythical Alien: The Eighth Passenger. This port of Nintendo Switch does not lose an iota of that spectacularity, taking to the palm of your hands and with all the graphics quality intact a game that is worth trying shortly when you are passionate about horror adventures. Whenever we talk about this kind of adaptations we tend to focus attention on graphic cuts, on what is lost along the way, that is why it is so meritorious that we speak here of just the opposite; how good a game looks that will not disappoint fans of the Aliens saga.

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Although the final stretch of the adventure feels artificially elongated, and sometimes it is a bit of repetition, Alien Isolation is one of those horror games that you must play. Creative Assembly elaborates with great taste a title that not only worships the fans of the film with a perfect game in the formal and, finally, respectful of the IP; It offers enough playable dynamics to keep anyone glued to the screen.

  • The lamentation. Simply amazing and unbeatably recreated.
  • You never know where the Alien will appear, and that enhances the sense of terror.
  • Fantastic adaptation to Nintendo Switch, with a graphic section that does not lose quality.
  • Despite attempts to provide variety, some situations can be repetitive.
  • The artificial intelligence of humans and androids is not up to par.

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Kamran Haider

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