Instead of writing individual reviews of products, I thought we could use this thread to point out games we see on sale this holiday season that are worth the money.
For this year's sale, I see Alien Isolation is 50% off (it will probably hit 75% at some point) http://store.steampowered.com/app/214490/
.For Alien fans:
If you're a fan of the first movie at all, walking around Stevastopol is an amazing experience. They took a 1970's prediction of the future and ran with it, things from the movie like technology, architecture and general aesthetics are pulled straight from the movie. Also, the feeling of outright terror when you first meet the alien is really an experience. It took me about an hour to get comfortable enough around the alien to "play" with it's senses and see what I can and cannot do in tight spots. It makes you really appreciate the terror of the first film, as well (before all the novelty was stripped away from the garbage AVP movies). The story isn't A+ writing material, but I really don't think it's awful, either. The bread and butter of this game for Alien fans will definitely be just exploring the ship - I enjoyed everything from reading the past inhabitants emails to the old school switches to activate things.For survival horror fans:
As far as the gameplay, this is an old school survival horror. I thought it was hilarious that several negative reviews of the game essentially state, "hard mode is too hard" and "the Alien is unpredictable" ... DUH! The game was designed to create a single alien threat that was smart, relentless and there to KILL YOU. Of course unpredictability is part of the equation. It literally has senses and if you make noise, use the motion tracker or jump in its line of sight, it will hound the area until it finds you. It's fast, scary, unpredictable, invincible ... essentially, the exact same characteristics of the Alien in the first film. If it just patrolled and was predictable, it would get boring fast because there's no fear of failure. The only way to save progress is to get to a telephone and insert your card (you have to wait six seconds, so you can't just run to a save point if the Alien is near). It's really similar to the typewriter situation in the first couple Resident Evil games. Downsides:
Personally, after beating the game I don't know if I'll ever play it again. It's fun, but also stressful and frustrating. There are certain parts of the game I was able to get through and think, "I'm never doing that shit again (hello medbay!)". I chose the hardest setting, so playing it on a harder level isn't an option. Also, the game kind of drags on towards the end, there are a lot of points in the game where the Alien is nowhere to be found and you end up battling with survivors and androids. To be fair, I rarely replay games I've beaten, so replay value never ranks that high for me.
Overall, I'd give it a 9/10 and call it a must own for Alien fans or survival horror fans. If stealth, limited resources, a smart, relentless monster and limited save points sound terrible to you, don't play it.