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

Monday, January 12, 2015

Alien Isolation (Walkthrough)



Our Alien Isolation Walkthrough is up and ready to go!

Check it out on our Youtube Channel!

Tips to Ward Off Your Inevitable Death (Your Trusty Survival Guide for Alien Isolation)


Survival in Alien Isolation can be a tremendously difficult gig. Xenomorph are trying to rip your face off, looters want to turn you into swiss cheese and androids take no hesitation in squeezing your neck until your spine snaps like a wishbone. With death lurking around every corner its easy to see how some might need a helping hand at deep space longevity. Thankfully, Glory to Gaming has your back. 

Below I have taken it upon myself to compile some helpful hints for beginners and those still working out the kinks in their strategy. With a touch of perseverance these helpful hints should help to turn any terrified space engineer into a bona-fide badass.

Getting Started / Early Game:
Starting out in Alien Isolation can be a bit intimidating even for veterans of the survival horror genre. Staples of the genre usually place their difficulty in careful combat and a dire need for ammo conservation. Though all this can be found in Isolation, it's important to understand that survival should be your primary concern. Everything and everyone encountered in Isolation is extremely proficient at killing and since you are playing such a weak and defenseless roll, I cant stress enough how important it is to avoid combat at all costs - this is especially the case earlier on in the game. 

Sticking to the shadows:
Throughout the first few missions players will find themselves with little to nothing to aid them with defense and survival. At this time it is of the utmost importance to stick to the the shadows. Isolation is littered with  places to take refuge. Lockers, cabinets, air ducts and hiding under tables and desks are some of your more obvious choices. Quietly hiding in these places usually provides safety when needing to break line of sight, but staying on the move is critical if you want to get the job done. Alien Isolation features some very complex AI that is seemingly unscripted. Due to the AI's unpredictable nature, observing the patterns of your enemies is of little use. Obviously it's important to watch and wait for an enemy to take a corner or have its back turned, but this is only reliable in the moment and cannot be relied on in the long run. Every time a game is loaded the scenario changes. You may find that walking underneath an air duct provides an easy meal for the alien only to reload your save and go ten minutes without encountering it. Since these scenarios prove to be so unpredictable, your best bet is to keep moving at a quiet, steady pace, only taking refuge in a locker or under a table when something is lurking near by. Of course when on the move there are times you will find yourself out in the open with nowhere to run. Thankfully even though the game has some very complex AI, your enemies are not particularly intelligent (and thank god for that). When faced with danger in a situation with inadequate hiding places you will find that crouching behind a crate or half-wall can be sufficient. Some times you may feel that the alien is looking at you or maybe a looter is staring in your direction. In such a situation, do not panic, do not run! If the alien notices you, that's game over. If a looter or android has spotted you, they will try to communicate with you. Your best bet during these uncomfortable moments is to stay low and try your best to avoid line of sight. 


Walking VS Crouching:
When games require you to stay on the stealthy side, sometimes it can be a bit difficult to determine at which speed you should move. Though many stealth games require you to crouch the vast majority of the time, Isolation is a bit forgiving in this department. The only time crouching is really necessary is when you are close to an enemy. Walking doesn't seem to generate any more noise than crouching and since Isolation often requires you to cover a lot of ground and such little breathing time is provided, crouching proves to be too slow for travel. There are plenty of times I managed to walk behind the alien when it was going down a hallway and not facing me. Though making distance in a timely fashion is recommended you should absolutely keep running to a bare minimum. Sprinting is extremely loud and will alert the alien of your presence almost immediately.


Crafting & Searching For Items:
There is significantly less focus on crafting in the early stages of Alien Isolation. Aside from the medkit, many of the games crafted items will serve you little to no good. Keep a stock of medkits handy and if you find you are full up on stock feel free to craft something here and there just to make use of what you have collected. Because crafting is of such little use, it's hard for me to condone any serious exploration. Keep an eye out for things such as flares and blueprints, but avoid unnecessary travel. The longer it takes to get from point A to point B, the higher your chance of meeting an untimely end.

Items of Interest:
Though a lot of the crafted items prove to be obsolete, there are a few items in the game that can be extremely useful. Below I have put together a short list of items that could save you in a pinch.

The Motion Tracker -
It goes without saying that the motion tracker is going to be one of your best friends throughout Alien Isolation. The motion tracker is going to help tell you when enemies are close by and the little line that moves around the screens parameter like a compass constantly guides you to your current objective. When you notice a blip moving at a rapid pace toward your general direction put off everything you are doing and get to the nearest hiding place. An enemy quickly closing in on your location is generally a sign that the alien is heading your way. It's best to lay low and stay quiet at this time. Though the rate of the motion tracker's blips can be handy at identifying how close an enemy is, this sound can also alert your foes and give away your location. For this reason it is important to put away the motion tracker when danger is near. Instead listen for sound ques (such as the alien noisily climbing back into a vent) in order to better identify when you are safe to be on the move.

The Flare -
If the motion tracker is your right hand, then the flare is surly your left. Being the tremendously useful item that it is, it is very important that you do not use the flare frivolously. Unlike other games within the Alien universe, the flare is not used as a light source, but a distraction. When thrown the flare will attract the attention of all enemies in its vicinity, this includes the alien and androids. A flare on the ground of nearby foes will call them over to stare at it inquisitively. This moment of distraction will last for quite a while and can provide you with a much needed opportunity to get past an otherwise unavoidable enemy.

The Stun Baton - 
The stun baton is actually found a bit closer to mid game, but is obtained early enough to warrant a place early in the guide. The stun baton is not a weapon you want to swing at every enemy that crosses your path, but in the right situation, this weapon can be a life saver. The stun baton should be used exclusively against enemy androids that are unavoidable. One charged whack to an artificial enemy stuns them momentarily allotting you enough time to lay into your foe with the wrench until they are rendered harmless. Beware, stun baton batteries are extremely rare and one use will completely drain the battery of all charge. For this reason the stun baton should only be used as a last ditch effort for survival.

The Revolver -
So you've acquired your first fire arm, the revolver. Awesome, right? Now you have some means of defending yourself. Unfortunately, it doesn't take long for reality to sink in. The revolver is useless. This is not to say that the revolver does not pack a punch - I assure you it does. A shot to the head of an oncoming looter will certainly stop him dead in his tracks. The problem is the revolver is very loud and where there are loud noises there is an alien Your best bet is to forget the revolver (and for the most part all fire arms) even exists and stick to the shadows.

The Molotov - 
Though the molotov is not particularly useful against looters or androids, until mid-game it is your only chance of driving off the alien. Because the molotov is so useful when the alien has you cornered it should not be wasted. You can only carry three molotov's at a time and so like the stun baton, the molotov should only be used as a last resort. The molotov does not deal massive amounts of damage to enemy androids but can be useful when you are forced to take on more than one at a time. When faced with multiple androids and nowhere to run, the molotov can be used to deal small amounts of damage over time while you use other methods to deal more substantial damage. This can greatly assist in thinning out crowds when time is against you and multiple foes are closing in. Since the molotov is the only way to drive off the alien, it is best to reload your save if you have found yourself in a situation where the molotov is your only hope against androids.

Moving on to Mid-Game and End-Game:
Later in the game survival gets a lot easier as a few key items find their way into your hands. Sticking to the shadows is still heavily advised and is by far the safest approach, but when push comes to shove you should be able to handle yourself with more confidence. Once you have gotten about half way through the game you should have a fair number of blueprints. At this point, stocking up on supplies and ammunition becomes much more important. Scour every crate and cabinet that crosses your path. If you find yourself maxed out on supplies, fill up what item slots you can to ensure salvage is not wasted.


How to Deal With Armored Androids:
One of the more frustrating enemies you will encounter in Isolation is the armored android. I call them armored because they are quite resistant to most offensive options, but really they look like they are wearing a half concocted hazmat suit. These enemies are very aggressive and as mentioned above - quite tough. When you have alerted one of the armored androids its important to keep your distance as it does not take a whole lot to trigger their melee animation. Melee attacks will do you little to no good and the shock from your stun baton will be utterly useless. Your best bet here is to not be seen by them whatsoever as combating these foes will usually generate some unwanted attention. In the event that contact has been made and escape is not an option, the EMP Mine, Bolt Gun and Shotgun is your best bet. Though fire is not incredibly effective against these androids, a molotov can help whittle down the health of a large crowed, dealing damage to the group as a whole while you work on taking them down one by one.

Items of Interest: 
Now that you have progressed further in the game, there are a few items that tremendously increase your chances of survival. Below are the most valuable items for end-game.

The Flamethrower -
The flamethrower is without dispute the very best weapon in the game. This weapon will not prove very useful against human or android enemies, but is nothing short of a blessing when faced with the alien. Flamethrower fuel is the most precious commodity in the game and after you have acquired this beautiful little beast you will constantly find yourself in search of it's lifeblood. If used properly you should have just enough fuel to make it through the rest of the games missions. In order to conserve flamethrower fuel be sure to stay hidden when the opportunity arises. When being attacked by the alien use the flamethrower in short controlled bursts. It is extremely important that the flamethrower's fuel is not wasted. So long as you have flamethrower fuel, you should be able to press on at a considerably faster rate.

The Bolt Gun -
Though your trusty flamethrower will be your favorite weapon in the game, the bolt gun is a very close second. Much like a bow in most games, to use the bolt gun you will need to hold down the trigger button. Over time the gun will charge up and when the trigger is released it will deal damage according to how long the trigger was held before release. Holding the trigger down too long will make the weapon fire on its own so be careful with your timing. The bolt gun is your ultimate weapon against androids. Whether the android is a working joe or an armored asshole, one well primed shot will drop any robot in one clean shot to the head. You should never waste bolt gun ammunition on humans.

The Shotgun -
The shotgun is not the best choice in weaponry, but can be handy in the right situation when you've found that you are fresh out of bolts. The shotgun is great at dispatching human enemies even if they are wearing riot gear. With an empty bolt gun and an oncoming android, the shotgun will prove quite effective. In most cases you can kill an armored android with three well placed shots to the head at close range. Unfortunately, the shotgun is also very loud and since it takes multiple shots to dispatch foes it is best used as a last resort. Three shots to kill an android doesn't sound all that bad, but firing off those shots takes time and while you are unloading shells into an enemy you are ringing the alien's dinner bell. 


The EMP Mine - 
It's not often you get much use out of the EMP mine, but in certain situations it can be a life saver. The only purpose the EMP serves is to stun enemy androids. When only faced with one or two androids, using an EMP is generally a waste, but when faced with say - three to five, it is immensely helpful. It is not recommended to use the EMP as an actual mine, instead you are better off using it like a grenade. When overwhelmed, throw an EMP into a crowed of androids to stun them for a short duration. Using a molotov before an EMP can also be an incredibly handy trick. Once your enemies are stunned, use what precious time you have to escape or pick them off one by one with your weapon of choice. Using both the EMP and molotov allows you to dispatch your enemies with a less powerful weapon, such as the shotgun or even the revolver.


Using the tips I have provided you should find deep space survival is significantly easier. For help on specific areas, feel free to check out Glory to Gaming's video walkthrough featured on our youtube channel by clicking the link below. Happy bug hunting!

Alien Isolation Walkthrough