Sunday, January 18, 2015

Snag a Sneak Peak at Evolve Gameplay!

Check out Evolve before it's even released over at Glory to Gaming's Youtube channel!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Evolve Closed Beta

Stay tuned for Glory to Gaming's coverage on the Evolve closed beta, launching 1/16/2015!

Alien: Isolation Review


The industry has seen many games based on the Alien universe, and it's all to easy to see why. The Xenomorph are a terrifying race. They are quick, agile, quiet and terrifyingly deadly. The alien's mortifying nature is splendidly matched with a dark and dismal sci-fi universe. A vision that impeccably fits the bill. Unfortunately, as well received as the franchise is, most titles fall short of expectation. Developers continue to fail miserably at capturing the terrifying nature of these sinister creatures as fans continue to be let down time and time again. The surprising thing about these developers' persistence is their utter lack of imagination. Every studio that gets their hands on the Alien franchise attempts to copy one another, resulting in a maddening circle that has left fans of the movies burnt out. Dev teams are hell bent on recreating their vision of the second film in the franchise while greatly overlooking the very film that started it all - Alien. Some thirty-five years and countless failures later, dev team The Creative Assembly pieced together a game utilizing director Ridley Scott's vision of the Alien universe in an attempt to recreate the terror that oozed from the 1979 classic.

To any diehard fan of the cult classic, Alien: Isolation will be a dream come true. Every inch of the world The Creative Assembly has crafted appears to have been plucked straight from the brain of Ridley Scott himself. From padded walls and octagon corridors, to murky darkness and foggy walkways - Alien: Isolation is as authentic as it gets. Manuel computers hum and blip, steel floors echo with every step, and metal piping which seemingly lines every surface hiss as they bellow steam into the ships interior. Textures in Alien: Isolation are not spectacularly detailed, but that's okay seeing as the Nostromo featured in the original film was not exactly an art gallery. Isolation holds true to the cold, unwelcoming vibe that one gets from watching the film it's based on.


The story in Alien: Isolation is well orchestrated and not nearly as predictable as one might initially expect. The tale that is woven holds some semblance to the film it is based on, but the game is careful not to tread too close to plagiarizing the original story fans know and love. All dialogue in Isolation is masterfully voiced, with acting that one would expect from a Hollywood film. Lines are powerfully delivered. The game's music and sound effects are met with equal admiration, greatly adding to immersion and enhancing the suspense that drives Isolation. 

Alien: Isolation differs from other AAA survival horror titles in the sense that combat is immensely unadvised. Amanda Ripley, the game's protagonist, is clearly not a hot headed space marine, but a terrified civilian. This vulnerability is the lifeblood of Isolation and helps to create some of the most horrifying gameplay experienced in recent memory. When first hearing that Isolation was nearly void of action, I was skeptical to say the least. To me, this approach seemed better in theory than execution. Fortunately, my preconceived notions of Isolation's mechanics were nothing short of a stab in the dark. Alien: Isolation is a shining beacon in the world of survival horror and every enemy passing by a table you have found yourself cowering beneath will have you holding your breath in terror. Isolation does not embellish in cheap thrills. The game provides a genuine survival horror experience, driven by your utter defenselessness and fear of the unknown.

For a game that lacks substantial amounts of combat, Alien: Isolation has some very rich gameplay. Isolation features some remarkable AI that feels impressively unscripted. This level of unpredictability forces the player to rely on themselves for survival, rather then banking on a specific pattern that eventually reveals some form of easy out. Furthermore, the game's scenarios never play out the same. You may find that walking under a vent will bring about your untimely death, but after reloading your save you are faced with empty corridors for a straight five minutes. Isolation always holds an element of uncertainty that encourages the player to constantly be on their toes, ever on the lookout for potential hiding places in case the going gets rough.


As amazing an experience Alien: Isolation is, it is not without it's imperfections. The game has a fair bit of padding and suffers greatly from pacing issues. There were numerous missions that left me feeling that the end was around the corner, only to smack me in the face with yet another mission. This is not stay that the game's pacing was so atrocious that it ruined the overall experience, but Alien: Isolation would have greatly benefited from a little trimming. Though Isolation features brilliant AI that is seemingly unscripted, some of the story sequences feel quite ridged. NPC's tend to react in a very specific manner each time, as if always expecting the player to stand in a certain place or to be carrying out a specific task. This is really a minor issue that treads dangerously close to nit picking, but was enough to pull me out of the moment from time to time. Yet another minor issue lies with the game's action prompts. I often found the need to frantically bob my camera around in order to make an action prompt appear. This was not a game breaking issue, but was still a slight annoyance when the situation arose.

When all is said and done, Alien: Isolation has proven to be an amazing and refreshing experience. With heart pumping suspense and genuine thrills, Isolation will have you on the edge of your seat for hours on end. Whether you are a fan of the Alien franchise or just along for the ride, this is a horror title that will steal the hearts of all who love the genre. Only suffering from pacing issues and a few minor set backs, Alien: Isolation is truly one of the greatest Alien games of all time.



Pros:
- Innovation
- Authentic Visuals
- Superb Sound
- Genuine Horror

Cons:
- Poor Pacing
- Minor Bugs

Score:
8.4