In 1979,a schoolboy picked up a book titled “ALIEN”by Alan Dean Foster.Too young to see the upcoming (X rated)movie,he read the book from beginning to end and thus, began a love affair with a franchise that has spanned 40 years.
Four movies,Two prequels and the Two “Vs Predator”movies,have hit our screens over that period of time,with further talk of “ALIEN 5” currently in the works.Its life in Videogames,from 1982,has produced over 38 games for PC,Consoles and Handhelds,containing Alien,Predator,and Alien Vs Predator franchises.
Sadly,its been a “Hit and Miss”affair,with most of the games(possible exceptions landing on SNES,and Playstation 1(Alien3 and Alien Trilogy))and some “Unforgettable Forgettable”titles like COLONIAL MARINES.
In 2014,CREATIVE ASSEMBLY released “ALIEN ISOLATION”. Built back from scratch,and described as a “Survival Horror Game”,it brought back a return to the “Fear,Unpredictability,Tension”of the first “ALIEN”movie,and in a division amongst fans of the franchise,a distinct lack of weaponry,with more reliance on Stealth and quick wits! Receiving mostly Positive reviews,it was at least a step forward and gave “ALIEN”a new lease of life,and a possible brighter future.
Now,at present,the schoolboy from 1979,is sitting here writing a review on “ALIEN:BLACKOUT”,a new mobile game from D3 GO,and i couldn’t be more proud!
Built again from scratch,as a stand alone,unique mobile experience.”ALIEN BLACKOUT” casts you as AMANDA RIPLEY,daughter of Flight Officer ELLEN RIPLEY,the ill fated hero of the first “ALIEN”movie,and subsequent sequels.
Anyone who played “ALIEN ISOLATION”,will be immediately familiar with AMANDA,and her previous encounter with the ALIEN XENOMPORPH,on a stranded space station,complete with killer Android crew,and loads of objectives to complete in First Person Perspective. “BLACKOUT”casts her once again in a space station,with limited power reserves and her role,this time,giving out orders and instructions,solely in a secluded room with limited equipment.(Just a note to say as well,is that this game is NOT a sequel to “ISOLATION”,but a different story with different gameplay mechanics!)
The Storyline is set between ALIEN and ALIENS(some 57 years in fact!)and a docking rogue Spacecraft lands on the “Weyland Yutani” Space Station,in need of help and parts,in order to continue with their mission. Although the crew don’t initially believe your warnings of a dangerous Alien on board,what will materialise very soon,will be a suddenly realisation that everything they do on board,will be matter of Life and Death! A matter of Survival!
Map screen interface,linked to a short power supply,is all you have,and the only means of shutting the door! Should you have to shut the door(and you will need to keep an eye on that corridor!)the map will shut off briefly,before the door reopens and the power returns to the tablet.(Bear in mind,that this blocks all communication between yourself and your team.)
As Amanda,you will need to instruct the crew of the visiting crippled ship,to various points on the map,in order to complete objectives,like getting equipment,repairs etc,whilst keeping an eye on their life support systems,and keeping them away from a rogue ALIEN,intent on killing anything moving in its path,whilst its moving around rooms and through air ducts…
On the top right,is the “Available Power”which is limited to 5 Nodes.
Each Node is needed to Open doors,Look through Cameras,Activate Motion Trackers etc.(For those unfamiliar,Motion Trackers sense any activity by bleeping with a red dot,of anything close in its vicinity,and are useful tools in highlighting ALIEN activity.)
Map screen is on the bottom right,and by pressing each icon,(like camera),can activate the camera view, (door )to well..open and close doors,as well as each member of the crew can have a line “drawn”by you,to navigate them through the various rooms and corridors.
Bottom Left is each crews “instruction”menu,with instructions,to stop,move,run,hide,and come out. Finally,at the Top Right of the screen,is the Timer.You cant just hide in the cupboard all day,and every decision and instruction,will need to be carried out at the right moment of time,and at the safest! Let that timer run down,and its “Lights Out”and “Game Over”!
Sound is perfect,and needs to be played with headphones,to get that really “in depth”feel to the game.Characters voices will give to you,various personality traits,and more importantly,express Anxiety and Fear,if they hear.. “There’s something CLOSE!”
ALIEN:BLACKOUT is a unique,and a totally superb example of a game that exudes Terror,Fear,Suspense with a great amount of Tension,throughout..Its not a long game,at 7 Levels from Beginning to End,by any means,but what it does..it does WELL!Recommended with the Lights OFF and Headphones..ON!
Thanks to D3 Go! for the Game and the Code…