Technical Issue!

AsperJosh has suffered a heavy impact. Every picture on every post before the Africa one has been lost due to an album online becoming corrupted.
I have almost every picture stored across 2 laptops and will slowly begin to re-upload them to my posts over a long period of time!
I will be starting from latest posts and work backwards to re-upload the pictures.
Thank you for understanding!
Joshua :'(

UPDATE - Fixed Posts

2015 posts fixed so far:
- Tough Mudder 2015 - MCM Expo 2012 + Past Experiences - Telling People, I Have Aspergers - 5CPS - Marvel Phase Three - Attack On Titan - MCM Oct 2015 - Interstellar - Star Wars VII - Star Wars Original Trilogy - Star Wars Prequel Trilogy - Star Wars Battlefront - The Fault In Our Stars - Chronicle - Evans Night Out + Winter Wonderland 2015 -

2014 posts fixed so far:
- A Year's Progression At The Gym - 5CPS - The Land Before Time - X-Men Premier - X-Men DOFP - Halloween 2015 - Online Dating - Macbook Pro -

House MD, 3 Years Driving currently in progress.
More to be mended

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Alien: Isolation (Game Review)

Stranded on a desolated Space station where no one can be trusted, you must Run, Hide and Survive. Stealth and silence is the key to survival as you avoid encountering the most terrifying creature in Sci-Fi history... the Alien Xenomorph. Beware the Alien isn't the only threat on this station. Take a look at why Alien: Isolation is a one of a kind game and how The Creative Assembly (those guys I met at the midnight launch) have really outdone themselves.

I've finally gotten round to playing my most challenging and tough not to mention thrilling First-Person Survival Horror Stealth game ever, I don't know if I can compare it to Slender even. Compared to my experience when I first played Dead Space and wrote the review on Alt:Mag, this is nothing compared to it. In Dead Space, I was armed and had the potential to kill those necromorphs that came for me while in this game I can only hide and even if I have a firearm, it's useless against the Xenomorph (I don't see how seeing as it's not indestructible, but that's just how the games been programmed).
Alien: Isolation is the game where we play as Amanda Ripley who of course is investigating the disappearance of her Mom Ellen Ripley (the badass chick from the Alien films). Amanda is assigned and transferred to the Sevastopol Space Station to look for the flight recorder of the Nostromo (the space ship from the first film) but to Amanda's shock and horror, an Alien is onboard the ship and has made a mess of the majority of the crew. Now Amanda must survive this horrific game of Cat and Mouse against an unstoppable being and trust no one if she is to survive.
Technically this game is part of the Alien film series, it takes place in the year 2135 (which is 15 years after the events in Alien and it's 42 years prior to Aliens).

As I began the game, the first thing I get is a retro version of the 20th Century Fox opening intro and the graphics look like VHS quality which was a nice touch like it's trying to follow up to the time when Alien was first released back in 1979.
So anyway, skip the long story short, after Amanda reaches the Sevastopol space station and lands onboard (after a freak accident incident with her teammates) that's when tensions began to rise already. Now I knew that from then on, I was onboard the last place I would ever want to be if this was real or actually in her shoes.

My first encounter with the terrifying Alien was a good one. I witness in a cutscene that my fresh and crazy acquaintance is impaled by the Alien's tail and dragged into the ventilation shaft, classic. Perfect technique besides all the other powerful and frightening methods the Alien kill's with. Imagining being in that situation is what haunts me to this day thanks to it's dark reputation and unstoppable kill streak. All it does is Kill and Replicate. Ugh I can't imagine having one of those spider-like Facehuggers come for me and then soon give birth from my chest another Alien itself and die or even worse be the victim to it's killer tongue or sneaky and silent pounce.

The controls for Amanda seem limited but they are what make the gameplay intense. The A button is the confirm button, the B button allows us to select from the wheel of tools that she can use after discovering/ building them. The left Analog stick makes her move forward and when pressed down will help her sprint but it could attract enemies. The right Analog stick when pressed down allows her to crouch (this is a vital method for playing the game as it emits less sound) and when crouched down, by holding down the LB button we enter a Peek mode which can be tilted with the right-trigger (this realistic action really does add tension to the atmosphere like we are actually hiding for real and don't have to expose ourselves so easily) and in a cool way, with the Kinect we can actually use our head movement to do the controls along with activating the noise option which means any Screaming or loud breathing you do for real actually emits in the game too, this choice could lead to your downfall. Oh and the Left-Trigger aims tools we are holding like a Flare or weapon and of course the Right-Trigger fires or throws our weapon/ tool.
We also have a flashlight which can be used with the Y button but can the power drains slightly quickly without batteries and can be a big "Hello, I'm over here!". Our most precious tool is the Motion Sensor which helps us keep track of the Alien's movements but is quite loud when beeping.
Hiding is one of the best strategies because we can hide in Lockers, Air vents or under tables. But we have to becareful, if enemies come near it we may need to react with a button to hold our breath otherwise we're f***ed. When my butt was compromised by the Alien, I actually gave a loud scream as I was so into the game that I actually felt I was there. It even found me in the air vents once, the light was off and when I fired my Revolver, it made a tiny light which showed faintly the Alien heading right for me (like a classic last stand  in a horror film). Only when I get in a locker I can't really kid around like this is one of those classic bully moments on a TV show where they get stuffed into a locker though this is probably what it looks like.
Our display on screen can become crowded and fairly limited like we can't focus on some things at the same time, for example, when we use the Motion Tracker it actually take up a chunk of our left sight of the screen and we have to juggle between looking at what's in front of us and what the tracker is picking up (it's not like a tiny display on the bottom left of the map like in Call Of Duty and it only works if the Alien is moving).
The environments are quite realistic, when I saw videos on YouTube of Creative Assembly playing and talking about the game before the release. They mentioned how they tried to follow the same layout as Alien looked with it's retro computers despite being in the future (cause computers used to be green screens with code) and the padded white walls on some of the areas made it look all sci-fi like. Even the blood stains on the floor and walls add the spine-chilling touch to making us feel we are being stalked and that there truly is something dangerous onboard and is picking off people. They really studied Ridley Scott's work and make this follow up the film look identical, good job guys.

Even when I was on I think Mission 3 and just picked up the Hacker tool, I was stuck for a while and had to figure out how to either sneak past or kill 4/5 humans who were all armed with Revolvers. But as I was thinking up solutions, I actually had to overcome my own war with myself. You see, I'm a perfectionist and seeing the challenging Achievements for the game made me swallow in fear. Some Achievements involved "not killing an humans or androids at all" or "completing the game on the hardest difficulty" and "not dying at all throughout the game". Now I don't know about you, but isn't this quite the challenge? Over this week, I've now calmed down and realised that this game will require frequent playthroughs and on different levels of difficulty (I'm already playing it on Medium difficulty) and once the 20 missions are completed, then sometime I could play again on Easy difficulty and may have a better chance of acquiring several of those achievements but the Hard difficulty completion... that will take patience and a long time to wait and see if anyone has tips or walkthroughs online ha ha.
It seems clear that The Creative Assembly have based this game on Ridley Scott's Alien making it more terrifying that we are helpless and and feel it's impossible compared to the more action based atmosphere in James Cameron's Aliens, seeing as firearms and other tools are useless against this monster.
This game is super unique because The Creative Assembly team have done what's hardly been done in video games these days, they've made the Alien CPU so advanced and programmed with Artificial Intelligence making it a quick learning hunter that will find you through Sight, Sound and Smell. And over the course of the game, it'll learn from previous encounters and won't be so easy to trick, manipulate and avoid so easily.
This game really tests your wits and improvisation because it's not a set path like if you die, you can't just expect the Alien, other Survivors or Androids to follow the exact methods as they did before! No! You must change tactics as well because nothing works the same way twice.
The Alien itself showed interesting actions which proved this A.I. theory, it actually checked lockers that have been opened before and reacted with specific sounds or screams to indicate it's feelings at the moment. The fact that it gets tougher and changes it's hunting strategy as the levels continue is a good illusion while in reality, more complex coding has been edited to the creature to help make it look smarter and add a real-life feeling to it.
It even feels as if we are unknowingly playing against another player or if we're playing against the developers themselves somehow ha ha.
Knowing that this game has outdone the last Alien game that tried to be as cool as Aliens which was the sadly and poorly reviewed game Aliens: Colonial Marines. The game took place after Alien 3 and was sadly filled with bugs, poor A.I. and not well balanced gameplay though it was praised for it's detail on weaponry, the ability to customise characters and the level designs and had a thrilling soundtrack. Plus the mulitplayer co-operative mode was poor and the graphics were low-quality in the single player and multiplayer. When I saw a YouTube video back in 2013 to see if this was worth getting, of course the layout and trailer had me hooked for it's swarm/ hoard like playthrough and it was a heavy shooter but seeing that it took almost one magazine/ round of bullets to kill one made me think something was wrong and put me off it.
I will admit that the front cover for the game did look pretty cool though.

So overall this game is truly worth a playthrough if you think your smart enough, tough enough and can handle it. I thank Creative Assembly for doing so well on this smash-hit horror game (well done everyone!) but don't thank you for given me a lot of goosebumps. Why not go and buy it for yourself, it's available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and 4 and on Microsoft Windows too. See just how thrilling and scary this is for real. I'd go for the Ripley Edition cause you get 2 extra missions or DLC that extend your fun. Oh and I recommend not playing this game in the dark cause it sounds tough and fun... It was't for me ha ha.
Next post will be all about MCM Comic-Con and how wonderful, thrilling and overwhelming it is every year. Oh and on a special note, AsperJosh has reached over 5000+ total views! Whoop Whoop.

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