Monday, 2 February 2015

PC Game of the Year: The Winner!!

It's that time! Time to announce the winner of the New Fairbank News PC Game of the Year 2014 Award!

Alien: Isolation

You all knew it was coming and here it is!

Released in the tail end of the year, Alien: Isolation had some tough competition to contend with but ultimately it's position as PC Game of the Year has been established for the following reasons:

Graphics & Audio
Make no mistake; Alien: Isolation is beautiful, however it does so with very modest system requirements creating extremely striking visuals without requiring a Goliath of a rig to run it on high+.
Largely I put this down to their in-house engine which has clearly been tailored from day one to do exactly what it needed to.
All of which ties in fantastically with their audio with music and sound effects that if they are not directly lifted from the movie are beautifully recreated for our enjoyment.

Alien: Isolation gets so much right! It provides you with a vast variety of difficulty levels and doesn't shove your face in the dirt if you are not particularly skilled at horror/survival games, but more importantly is it's pacing.

The game starts as you expect with a continuous high level of pathetic fallacy. The cast of the game may think that they are either in a certain type of danger, or possibly even completely safe, but as the audience we know what is eventually coming. The only question is when.

For a brief moment mid game it does begin to dip as we are spared from the relentless attacks from The Alien, but even then as an audience member; when the cast thinks they are safe, we know that the game is called Alien: Isolation for a reason, and it will once again only be a matter of time when you are reunited with your long lost friend; and when it does happen, you will remember that moment for a long time after!

The Same - But Different
Let's not forget, the first person horror survival game is nothing new. In the Post-Amnesia period we were bombarded by clones and copies which in my view peaked at the horrifyingly amazing Outlast, but Alien: Isolation managed to take this and make the genre it's own. It didn't break or even the rules, and it didn't break new ground either, it just did everything right.

Bringing everything to an end; Alien: Isolation is a brilliant game. I played it over multiple sessions and tried to share as many of them as possible via my Twitch and YouTube accounts and the game walked the wonderful line of tension. It kept you on your feet at all times, but never so much that the very thought of playing the game made your stomach do somersaults.

For these reasons I am extremely proud to give the New Fairbank News PC Game of the Year Award to Creative Assembly for Alien: Isolation!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

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