Alien: Isolation is relentless. It has no respect for you, your nerves, or whatever watered down, weak-sauce ‘horror’ games you might have played before. It is intelligent, it is calculating, it is even beautiful in its own way, but it absolutely will not stop until it has horrified you into a coma. It’s nigh impossible to relate the experience to someone who hasn’t played it, being so unlike any other survival-horror game in its methods, emotional impact, and sheer, invasive sense of terror. But once you do play it, you’ll have trouble looking at the genre in the same way again.
The truly intelligent, unpredictable, decision-making Alien is essentially alive. There are no easy, video game-y ways to manipulate it. It wants to kill you, and without a consistent, flawless display of improvisation, tactical evasion, and so, so much hiding, it will do exactly that. And the stark, oppressive, ink-black ‘70s sci-fi interiors all of this plays out in are nigh indistinguishable from the film in both look and atmosphere. Fear it.