Let's Make A Little List
When you start playing Alien Isolation I really want you to do something. Start writing down all the reasons you are enjoying it. I'll assume two things, you are a fan of Alien and you can deal with stealth. Assuming those two things your list is gonna grow quite quickly. In an hour or two look at that list and think about it. You'll have items like "Incredible Atmosphere" "It really feels like the films" "The sounds are very well implemented" "I'm feeling quite on edge". Right, now put that list away and finish the game like I've just done. Finish it. Play the whole goddamn thing. Then look at that list and ask yourself one question, are any of the things on that list worth how you are feeling now it's over. In fact I'll make it an even easier experiment, just see how long it takes till you grab that list and cross off your good points and start annotating it with things like "The enemies know all things and I have no way to stop them INCLUDING HIDING" "If this feels so much like the films why don't I just burn my computer and go watch the goddamn films""I'm not sure why this is all still happening" "I haven't been scared now for at least 13 hours" "THIS ROOM IS LIKE EVERY OTHER ROOM. Actually wait this is the same room, where am I in relation to anything ever".
No, I didn't like the game but oddly I still have odd positive feelings now and then. In fact I really wanted to say horrible things about it now as a sort of therapy but what it boils down to is that this game can't support it's runtime. It's just can't, anyone who says otherwise just sees something in it that I can't comprehend. It actively hurt a part of me finishing this. It drags in ways you right now just can't even think of. The alien as a foe at first feels erratic in a good way but quickly you'll find yourself hiding for 5 minutes, walking out of the pipe, walking 2 feet then hearing it slam down behind you trying to run knowing it's pointless. Then you'll remember the last time you were at a save spot was 20 minutes ago and this section feels unwinnable. Unlike other greats that have this kind of challenge (Dark Souls comes to mind) Isolation doesn't teach you anything, You really can't learn much and just when you feel like you have one section sussed the Alien just shows up right in front of you and it's game over man. It feels like running into a brick wall over and over and over just waiting for a crack to appear and trying as hard as you can to slip though hoping that you don't get a spike through your sternum but even then the next wall is only two foot past that last one and the save point is about six walls away, or maybe it's one, how would you know.
Maybe you are reading this thinking "Who is this fool who uses speech marks all the time, I'm sure he just sucks at games" Yeah maybe that's true, maybe you can crack the code. maybe you have more time and patience than me. MAYBE just maybe I'm wrong and this game isn't frustrating and terrible. So yeah, go ahead play it and prove me wrong, but promise me you'll write that list cause trust me, you'll want something to burn when it's all over.