Tony Carnevale plays Alien: Isolation

, | Features

The Alien film series never got a good video game, unless you count Alien Vs. Santa Claus Vs. Bartman Vs. Punky Brewster, which I don’t. Sega (and, I guess, a developer (?)) aim to change that with Alien: Isolation, which follows Ripley’s daughter (?) whom we never knew existed before (?) as she attempts to find out what happened to Ripley (?). Honestly I’m about 90 minutes in and I’m not sure what happened or is happening, and I’m a huge fan of the first two movies. There’s no manual, and the opening cutscenes don’t make it clear, so maybe I was supposed to get the backstory from reading reviews? I haven’t dug deep into any Alien: Isolation reviews because, like Tom, I try to avoid reviews for things I know I want to experience. (Tom plugs his ears, closes his eyes, and chants “I can’t hear you I can’t hear you” during movie trailers! Did you know that? Fun Tom fact! But did you also know that if YOU don’t do that, you’re cheating yourself out of experiencing art the way it was meant to be experienced? It’s true! Never watch movie trailers, and you should probably avoid game trailers too!)

Anyway, the point is, obviously WE know what the alien is, but I don’t know whether the protagonist knows what it is. She should, right? Because it’s been 15 years (?) since her mom tangled with the beast, and don’t they have e-mail in the future? Or are they still on microfiche? This is a very ’70s future, after all. It seems like the alien is a big mystery to her. Maybe I’m supposed to have watched Alien right before playing this game. I’m not asking for MORE exposition per se — there’s plenty — just BETTER exposition. I’m a writer, hire me for the sequel.

The game is stylish and creepy and so far I’m digging it. I just give the exposition zero stars. I’m not sure what that works out to on Metacritic, but I know it’s under 50%.

Anyway, enjoy my comments on the opening.