There is less than a month to go before the 2015 BAFTA Games Awards. The ceremony cover 17 categories, with a total of 51 games recognized. Well known titles such as Far Cry 4, Monument Valley, 80 Days, Mario Kart 8, Destiny, Middle Earth – Shadow of Mordor and Call of Duty have all been nominated in more than one category. However, one game has received six nominations and seems to be dominating the awards – Alien: Isolation. So what is it that has made this game feature so highly?
A Closer Look at BAFTA’s Favorite – Alien: Isolation
Alien Isolation is based on Ridley Scott’s 1979 Sci-Fi movie Alien. The game is set in 2137, 15 years after the events of Alien. The player adopts the role of Amanda Ripley, searching for answers to the disappearance of her mother. In order to do this she has to retrieve the flight recorder from the Nostromo, which is on the space station Sevastopol. Unfortunately, on arrival at the space station, Amanda finds most of the crew dead from an Alien.
A Survival Game with Lots of in-game Surprises
The game is designed to be a survival rather than a shooter game. Skill and tactics are instrumental to locating and killing the alien. The same alien is present through the majority of the game; it cannot be killed with traditional weapons. The idea is to avoid the alien whilst figuring out a way to destroy it using non-lethal methods! Through clever programming the alien appears to learn from each of its encounters with Ripley. This makes each encounter more dangerous.
Ripley arrives unprepared to find, yet alone face an alien. With a lack of weapons or appropriate tools, a player must locate any resources which may be useful in your fight. Each situation develops differently, each room is accessible via multiple doors; you will truly need your wits about you to survive. The tension is high throughout the game. There is a lack of music; players can hear the ambient sounds as though they were on board the space station. This makes it a more real experience and allows the alien to be tracked by the sounds it makes – the same way it tracks Ripley.
Ultimately, if you succeed in destroying the alien you will find the androids on the space station turn on the remainder of the crew. Further investigation will lead to the discovery of potentially hundreds of aliens at the base of the station’s reactor. From this point on the station becomes overrun with aliens and you will need to seek the Torrens assistance.
In total there are eighteen missions which need to be completed, each one critical to your ultimate success. High priority is placed on observing and noting where pieces of equipment are; they may not be useful on this mission, but they will be needed for another one!
The developers have worked hard to ensure that the game is as authentic as possible, only items available when the film was first made are available in the game. The alien in the game features a semi-transparent head, the same as the original film. The emphasis has been on creating a genuine horror game, not a shooter game.
There have been many reviews of the game, most of them positive. There has been some criticism of the long story campaign and some poor acting from the voice actors, but, there has been far more praise. The lighting and design are superb, the environment is compelling. The game will really make you feel that you are Amanda Ripley, fighting to survive. It should provide you with the best horror game moments you have ever experienced. The unpredictability of the alien, thanks to the intelligent AI, keeps the game fresh and the tension cranked up. This game is a must for all serious game players. It deserves to dominate the Bafta Games Awards.
This is the guest post by Jason Phillips and Escape Games 365!