Alien Isolation, with Oculus Rift, is the most terrifying thing ever

I’ve stopped running. Why have I stopped running? I look down towards my stomach and see the dark, blade-like tail of a Xenomorph sticking out from a gouge in my mid-section. Oh shit. I look back up just in time to see the spindly hand of the alien closing in on my face. I’m dead.

This might sound like some kind of awful, Stilton-fuelled nightmare, but it’s real. Ish. Let’s rewind a few minutes. I’m playing Alien Isolation using Oculus Rift, the virtual reality headset that has thrust me into the horrific heart of the Sevastopol space station. As the developer gingerly pushes the goggles onto my head, and places noise-cancelling earphones over the top, I’m essentially transported inside the game. I am Amanda Ripley. And I’m scared.

My mission is simple: reach the exit. In between the exit and my starting location is a massive, blood-thirsty Xenomorph that’s hunting me with all its finely tuned senses. I scan my environment by… well, just looking around. I crouch behind a crate, and I’m able to use my actual head-movements to peer over and round it. I pull out the motion tracker, and physically look down at it in my hand and… oh shit. It’s beeping.

The alien is… somewhere. I can’t see it, and I start looking around in a panicked way, craning my neck to get a better look down oppressively empty corridors. I inch forward using the controller, all the while scanning my environment. Back in the real world, I’m pretty sure the developers are laughing at my twitchy head movements. Not that I’d know--this is total immersion, and it’s an utterly amazing experience.

There’s a split in the corridor--I can go left or right. As I’m making my decision the lights start to go out. Thud, thud, thud-- the silence is punctured as a wave of darkness sweeps towards me. I pull up the motion tracker again. The alien is to my right. Probably. I peer around the corner and… yup, it’s there. And yup, it’s seen me. Shit.

I panic, and run into a small room that offers nowhere to hide. I’m going to die. I look down at the motion tracker again and… nothing. Did I lose the alien? I use my head again to peep around the doorway. Nothing. I sigh. Suddenly there’s a crash, and I’m thrown to the floor, as the alien explodes out of a vent behind me and tackles me to the ground. The slavering jaws speed towards me and… darkness. I survived for about 2 minutes, and I’m actually shaking a little.

Keen to stay terrified, I restart the demo and plunge myself back into the nightmare. I’m a little bolder this time--I want to reach the exit before backing myself into an easily-killed corner. I reach the junction and cautiously head left this time (because hey, maybe the alien AI is a creature of habit) without even looking. I round the corner and there it is--looking straight at me. And then I run. I sprint wildly away from the alien desperate to break its line of sight. Then I stop running…


  • alllifeinfate - August 23, 2014 9:48 a.m.

    When the game is finally out, it would be fun to read well-written experiences (such as this) of other players on the site... :D
  • tedoarigato - July 3, 2014 8:50 p.m.

    can you guys stop it with the narration? I really like it if there was some actual footage of the gameplay and PLEASE without commentary :< it ruins the game's first impression on the buyers... still though This is one sure buy for me,,, xD
  • Timstertimster - July 3, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    Now where is that kickstarter project that's building an exoskeleton I can strap on and start playing VR the way it's meant to. I want to physically run. At least do the actual leg motion and everything. Cuz yea I'd be panting gasping for air if I had to literally run for miles.
  • StylishHero - July 4, 2014 9:52 a.m.

    I wonder how much that add on would cost hmm
  • animefur - July 8, 2014 11:38 p.m.

    There was development of a sort of bowl type circle around your feet and waist that allow you to walk.
  • Shnubby - July 3, 2014 7:51 a.m.

    I really love the Alien franchise and I really want to experience this game! It sounds so good! But I just can't help but think that I'm gonna be waaaaay too afraid to get very far in it xD
  • Ketherx - July 3, 2014 6:23 a.m.

    This sounds so good!
  • jduanej - July 2, 2014 5:02 p.m.

    Man I really hope this isn't just fluff, and that it's actually a heart stopping masterpiece.
  • rxb - July 2, 2014 3:54 p.m.

    I don't want to sound like a wimp but I think this actually sounds too scary. Enough to make you have a fit or seizure. I know it's not real but I really don't want to be that scared.
  • shawksta - July 2, 2014 2:02 p.m.

    NEAT Still bummed about no Wii U version
  • db1331 - July 2, 2014 8:32 a.m.

    This kind of shit is just not for me. I still haven't even gotten to the first monster in Amnesia because I keep quitting every time I get a little further in the game.
  • PerhapsTheOtherOne - July 2, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    Well, if the way the Alien's A.I. in this game is being advertised remains true in the final product, you'd be even less likely to finish this game.
  • PerhapsTheOtherOne - July 2, 2014 7 a.m.

    Sounds good! And I like that we're actually getting real feedback about how things are going with this game, unlike Colonial Marines, where things pretty much changed for the worse right after players got a chance to play.

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