One of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen is Alien.
In fact, it is the scariest movie ever.
Hands down. Case closed. This is not a democracy, you don’t get a vote.
The scene when Brett (played by Harry Dean Stanton) dies? Walking into the darkened chamber, towards all the hanging chains, water dripping down?
First time I saw that, I hit pause every half second, did a little circuit around the room, then watched another half second.
Keep in mind, up to that point, the big alien hadn’t been revealed yet.
And I was watching the version edited for broadcast television.
Aaand to this day, eleven months later, I still hit pause every half second when I watch it.
Things went downhill (for me) from there.
That viewing also launched a deep-seated fascination for the Alien genre.
As well as a recurring nightmare.
So when I found out about the new game set in that universe, Alien Isolation, I knew I had to check it out.
This is my review of that game.
First off, full disclosure: I haven’t played the game.
How can I write a review if I haven’t played it?
I look at it this way: having no knowledge of other subjects hasn’t prevented me from having strong opinions about them, so why should a computer game be any different?
Speaking of which, I have a few suggestions on how you should vote in the upcoming mid-term elections. Leave me a comment with your voting district, and I’ll be happy to tell you how to cast your ballot.
Besides, I may not have played Alien Isolation, but I’ve seen it.
I watched the entire play-through on YouTube.
I love YouTube. You can watch any game play-through you want on the service.
It’s like Netflix, but with better selection.
And it’s free!
So, now that my review credentials have been established, Alien Isolation.
Terrifying. Jumped countless times. Held my breath longer than I should have. Dropped my tablet at one point. Shattered the screen.
That scream? Nothing compared to the shrieks triggered by the game.
When you hear the alien stomping towards you, the pounding footfalls getting louder and louder? Unmitigated trepidation.
I do have to say, however, game play seemed rather straightforward. The video I watched, the player got through everything without any mistakes or going down any dead ends.
Point A to point B in a straight line. It was almost as if she’d played the game before.
This is also, I am saddened and shocked to report, a violent game.
People are getting killed left and right, front and center. By each other, by aliens, by androids.
Gruesome, and honestly, a totally unnecessary component to Alien Isolation.
That’s what’s wrong with kids today: they are playing way too many games with double-jawed, chest-bursting antagonists in them.
We’re teaching our youth to kill anything even vaguely foreign, even when all these foreigners want is to hug (our faces).
How is the next generation ever going to learn the art of negotiation, of reaching détente, if all we ask of them now, during these formative years, is to skulk about and kill things?
Plus looting. You also have to loot bodies, shops, supply depots, if you want to survive this game.
I can almost forgive the violence, but never the looting. Property rights never get enough respect in these games.
So in the end, I have to confess I’m glad I didn’t buy the game.
Playing would have been far too stressful for me.
In horror movies, the sheer terror comes in brief moments, followed by lulls where the audience gets its breath back.
This games doesn’t have that. It’s decidedly lull-free. And while that might be sustainable for a few minutes, I can’t take it non-stop for hours.
Besides, I have kiddos. I couldn’t possibly play a game this scary while they’re around, and I sure as hell wouldn’t play it after they’ve gone to bed, alone and in the dark.
I asked the Missus if I could have the kiddos sit on my lap while I played in the dark, but she just frowned and muttered under her breath.
That’s her way of saying no. I don’t have any evidence to that end, but I’ve got a gut feeling.