Sunday, November 9, 2014

Twist Street on Alien Isolation:

I like the bits of games where you can wander around spaces and look at production design (which is pretty top notch in the game, being based on pre-existing designs that I really dig) and interact with dodgy AI characters and see how the people who made them try to solve narrative challenges in a medium that’s in many ways not suited for traditional narratives. The Alien game just made doing that the most unpleasant experience possible— even though they did kind of have something with their main character. There’s a dissonance inherent to the game where you know as a player, having seen the movies that like… Don’t trust robots; don’t trust the corporation; that spaceship you’re trying to get to— the alien’s going to be on that spaceship; etc. So when you’re playing the game, you’re basically having to role-play a story as essentially an idiot.