So if you’ve been following us for awhile, you’ll know how much of a Alien fan I am. My first dip into Audible was Alien: River of Pain (audio drama) and while it was a fun experience, as a writer I was curious how a novel would read. I chose the novelization of Isolation, curious how the terrifying game translated into literature. For a brief synopsis, check out my review of Alien: Isolation because this is strictly on the book experience. So did it live up to the game?
I’m sorry to say the game excels at being a gem of claustrophobic sci-fi horror while the book spends too much time on side plots and putting too much emphasis on Amanda Ripley’s abandonment issues and sulking nature on her life without Ripley. While I had no issue finding out about Amanda’s drunken step dad, her mom thwarting a mutiny at her last job, or the succession of bullshit and deception Amanda had to go through before that meeting Samuels, I did take issue with how much the book lingers on this and how little I feel was put into the actual story from the game. A few times I felt promise of the game’s terror but it’s either wiped away by a overly long flashback or Amanda starts an internal pity party instead of being truly scared as she was in the game. Also. I didn’t much threat from the Alien but more so the Working Joes. Another vital thing that bothered me was how every chapter ended with a audio log or transcript from the game that were frequently jarring at times. In the end, I just say play the game for a more intense, fulfilling Alien experience. May the gaming gods bring you glory.
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