Alien: Isolation, iOS and Android review of space survival horror



Seven years after its release on PC, PlayStation and Xbox, Creative Assembly’s survival horror is now available on iOS and Android: Alien: Isolation review.

The review of Alien: Isolation for iOS and Android gave us a chance to experience again in the extraordinary atmospheres of the officially licensed 20th Century Fox survival horror, developed by Creative Assembly and originally published in 2014 on PC, PlayStation and Xbox.

Seven years and not hear them, someone would say. Welcomed at the time with the almost hysterical enthusiasm of those who have finally found themselves in front of a tie-in inspired, passionate and thick after a long wait and countless disappointments, the game produced by SEGA has aged well and it is amazing to see it in motion on mobile devices.

History

Alien: Isolation, the first stages of the campaign before leaving for the space station

From a narrative point of view, Alien: Isolation is a true sequel to the first episode of the saga starring Sigourney Weaver and puts us in the shoes of Amanda, her daughter, who fifteen years after the disappearance of the Nostromo is still desperately searching for the truth about what happened to the crew.

A search that could finally find a conclusion: it seems that the Nostromo’s black box has been found and brought to the Sevastopol space station, and it is there that Amanda decides to go, in the company of a team commissioned by Weyland-Yutani. She doesn’t know, however, that in the meantime something has happened inside the station and that in the darkness of its powerless corridors a lethal Xenomorph is hiding.

Gameplay

Alien: Isolation, contrasts between light and shadow help create a great atmosphere

Halfway between traditional survival horror and the so-called “passive” ones, in which it is only possible to run away and hide in front of possible threats, Alien: Isolation uses a first-person view to lead us in our exploration sessions on board the Sevastopol, which as mentioned has quickly ended up in chaos after the arrival of the Xenomorph and has been abandoned by most of the crew.

The people left on board are often not very recommendable, and together with them there are androids that will help to make life even more difficult after we find ourselves alone, without any equipment in an attempt to resume communication with the ship that led us there.

Alien: Isolation, the box at which to make saves

We’ll have to collect objects and resources, build tools useful for our survival and obtain weapons that we could choose not to use. The Xenomorph is in fact moved by a brilliant intelligence, it knows how to move and hide from sight, but above all it perceives lights and sounds that can lead it to the next prey.

Between environmental puzzles, frequent save points, proximity detectors and high-tension sequences, escaping from Sevastopol and not getting killed by the dangerous alien will take at least twenty hours, but the mobile version of Aien: Isolation also includes the DLCs Sacrificial Crew and Sole Survivor, as well as the Survival mode.

Technical realization

Alien: Isolation boasts excellent visual effects, although it's been seven years since the original release

The British studio Feral Interactive has now to his credit several projects for iOS and Android that have been able to impress with graphics and sound, see for example the review of GRID Autosport and the review of XCOM 2 Collection. It is also the author of the excellent conversion of which we told you in the review of Alien: Isolation for Nintendo Switch.

That’s evidently where the project of reducing the game for mobile devices started, although depending on the terminal you can enjoy advantages that were not present on the Japanese hybrid console. On the iPhone 12 Pro, for example, the options allow you to choose between a mode focused on resolution at 30 fps or one that focuses on performance and runs at 60 fps, while on the third-generation iPad Pro you only travel at 30 frames.

The game supports cross-save, so it’s possible to continue the game on a smartphone, perhaps while you’re away from home, and continue it once you’re back on a tablet to take advantage of the larger screen and controller support, which dramatically changes the quality of gameplay and allows you to play very well even at low frame rates. With the touch controls, in fact, fiddling around at 30 fps gives a general feeling of poor responsiveness, but luckily the options on the sensitivity of the controls improve things a bit.

Specifically in the graphics, Alien: Isolation is certainly amazing on mobile. It seems that assets and effects have not undergone any particular cuts, and so you can explore the space station that serves as a backdrop to the adventure appreciating the play of light and shadow functional to the atmosphere, the volumetric lighting and the excellent rendering of the fire. The character animations and their appearance appear dated compared to the latest productions on PC and consoles, but on iOS and Android still stand out, especially the Xenomorph. The sound is also enriched by a good dubbing in Italian.

Comment

Alien: Isolation proves to be a classy survival horror experience on iOS and Android, with a technically outstanding conversion that nevertheless requires a high-end device to work properly, preferably a tablet with a Bluetooth controller. The touch controls work well but give a certain “fatigue” during the exploratory phases and your terminal may get hot, so it did not seem to us the best way to engage with the game. However, having to put the mobile nature of the product in the background, one wonders how much sense it makes to play it on these platforms instead of on PC or consoles, where it’s often available at lower prices or even for free.

PRO

  • A survival horror of great depth even today
  • Technically excellent conversion
  • Excellent art direction and rendering of the Xenomorph
  • Touch controls well done but the controller is something else
  • It’s a little hard to play it on the go
  • Artificial intelligence of humans and androids is confirmed deficient
  • Have you noticed any errors?
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