Alien: Isolation gave players an incredibly tense outer space horror game that successfully invoked the essence of the movie it's based on. But, if you stopped and thought about what happens, not every thing makes sense. Some of it is downright silly.
Like a lot of horror fiction, Isolation needs to keep pushing players into uncomfortable situations quickly, violently trampling any possible thoughts about more logical actions underfoot. Playthroughline— a blog that looks at how story gets told in video games—offers a movie-script breakdown of things that might have made you scratch your head during Amanda Ripley's adventure:
Spoilers follow so read at your own risk.
My name is Samuels and I work for Weyland-Yutani. Please don't peg me as abhorrently evil by association right away.
Well, your delivery is quite flat and lifeless, which leads me to suspect you're an android. That can make you either unerringly helpful or a dangerous wildcard. Could go either way!
I'm here about your mother, Ripley. I know you're still looking for her after the Nostromo was lost fifteen years ago.
Which is why I'm working for the same company she did and in the region of space where she disappeared, but let's not make a big psychological thing of it.
Nobody wants to call in the military heroes of Sega's previous Aliens game:
We're currently approaching Sevastopol Station. We've tried to hail them, but all we're getting is harried static. We're also seeing some significant structural damage, even though it's nearly impossible to make out on this VHS camera feed. The Torrens won't be able to dock, so you'll have to put on space suits and cross over yourselves.
Isn't that a bit rash? There's obviously something seriously wrong at Sevastopol. We're just gonna spacewalk right the fuck out there?
Or we could sit tight and call in the Colonial —
No. NO! Let's suit up and get out there!
The script also calls out the convoluted nature of some of the game's quests:
The generator is behind that nearby panel, which can only be opened with a cutting torch.
Gnaaah, this is getting worse than Condemned: Criminal Origins! At least I've already acquired a torch.
That's an ion torch. You'll need a plasma torch.
This part makes me wish the Alien was a Borscht Belt-style stand-up comedian:
RIPLEY enters the GEMINI LABS and is immediately hounded by THE ALIEN.
I'm so unpredictable, ha cha cha!
Bet you weren't expecting that, were you?
Bet you weren't expecting a face full of fire!
Joke's on you, I'm completely fireproof! This is more like a minor nuisance to me. Be right back!