If you played or at least watched a YouTube video of others playing Alien: Isolation, you definitely felt some level of horror and dread. The game was highly anticipated and rightfully so since it turned out to be true to the franchise and a gem of the survival genre. Now, we have a new Alien game exclusive to iOS and Android mobile devices once again featuring Amanda, Ripley’s daughter from the Alien: Isolation. And although developers Rival Games and D3 Go! and publisher FoxNet don’t call it a sequel, it continues with the story directly after Alien: Isolation events.
Alien: Blackout takes place on a space station where Amanda Ripley was brought after the Sevastopol station and encounter with a Xenomorph there in Alien: Isolation. When she woke up from hypersleep, she discovered that this station is also plagued by a Xenomorph and that most of the personnel are dead. She hides in the duct vents and uses the scarce energy of the station in order to track the alien and stay alive. After a ship docks the station, Amanda must help the crew to find the part they need to repair their vessel and that way escape with them.
Since this is a mobile game, it is much shorter than Alien: Isolation and so the story is more of an expansion pack than a real sequel. Maybe developers didn’t want to make fans angry by calling it a sequel and then publishing it solely for mobile devices (remember the outrage because Diablo is going mobile). Whatever the reason, this title is a good fit for mobile gaming although when it comes to Alien franchise, I am biased and really like to see it on a bigger scale. Nonetheless, this game will keep you alert and even give you some good scares which are what players expect from this popular franchise.
The station is constantly malfunctioning and you need to help the crew members of the docked ship to move around and find what they need so you can all get out of there. The interface that you use to point the crew in a certain direction is simple and easy to figure out. Moreover, it looks a lot like the tech from the Ridley Scott’s Alien movie, so that makes it really cool. Your role is to give instructions to crew members what to do in order to navigate through the station and escape the Xenomorph which is hunting them. Unfortunately, this is not as simple as it sounds since your motion sensors and cameras have their limits.
During the game, you need to pay attention to power and decide on what to use it. This is another thing you need to keep in line as you have five power nods and you don’t want to spend them all before the level ends which gives you eight minutes precisely. So, the game not only features one of the most iconic characters of the horror genre – the Xenomorph, but you also have a limited supply of power and a timeframe of eight minutes for each of the seven levels. This all adds the pressure to the game which in turn can make you do something rash and stupid.
Now, just like Alien: Isolation, you should play this game with a minimum of lights and headphones on. The noises in the game make all the difference whether Ripley will live or die. You can open and close doors since the ‘swoosh’ sound they make will distract the alien or you can hear when the xenomorph is near and hide. Also, the sounds will get you right into the atmosphere and heighten the experience allowing you to get into the mechanics of the survival horror genre.
When it comes to visual aspects, you will be very confused. I say this because the graphics are amazing and obviously inspired by the quality of Alien: Isolation and visual art that was featured in the first movie. The atmosphere is spot on for getting shivers and feeling satisfied at the same time because you play a small, mobile game featuring Xenomorph which is looking like as though made for consoles.
You won’t find microtransactions in Alien: Blackout and that is the key for having clean and uninterrupted gameplay in games which rely on creating tension like this one. The game costs $4.99 and that is one and only payment you will make when it comes to Alien: Blackout.
Honestly, I was a bit skeptic when this game was announced. I don’t mind mobile games, but sometimes developers don’t make the difference and the game can easily fail to fulfill the expectations. However, in this case, developers knew what they were doing and did it in the best possible way that was respectful to the Alien franchise and its fans.