Welcome to Sevastopol, where no dark corner is safe and the last sound you may hear is a 7 foot tall alien running up behind you with its (many) teeth, readied for the kill. That’s the world of Alien: Isolation, Creative Assembly’s new addition to the world of Alien video game tie-ins, in which players take on the role of Amanda Ripley in a quest for answers and a struggle to survive.
Alien: Isolation is about more than just scares; it also rivals Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon when it comes to its love of nostalgia, right down to the development team recording the opening logos on VHS tape and scratching it up (plus playing it back through a twisted CRT cable) to get the desired effect of a fuzzy home video. With in-game environments that were specifically designed to recreate the feel of a 1970s sci-fi movie set, it should come as no surprise that Creative Assembly threw in a few classic pop culture references as well.
Since the game was only released this week we can expect plenty of small details to be discovered in the future, but for now there are two Easter eggs of note (or perhaps only one and a half, since one of them may simply be a coincidence). The first is the paper unicorn from Alien director Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner, which can be found lying around at various points in the game that are detailed in an above video from Eurogamer. Apparently somebody on Sevastopol is an origami fanatic.
The other Easter egg, discovered by Reddit user THE-WARD3VIL, is a magazine that appears to contain a picture of Aliens director James Cameron. It’s either Cameron or just a random bearded guy that happens to look like him. Check out the screenshot below and decide for yourselves.
The reviews for Alien: Isolation frequently cite the game’s tense atmosphere and the unpredictable AI of the alien, which combine to make it a frightening experience, and a demo of the game with Oculus Rift at E3 2014 made things even more terrifying by making it impossible to look away. It was disappointing, therefore, when Creative Assembly later clarified that the Oculus Rift demo was only a prototype.
Since the consumer model of Oculus Rift hasn’t yet been released, this won’t make much of a difference to the vast majority of people who bought Alien: Isolation. For those few who are lucky enough to own the development kit, however, a thread on Neogaf explains how to turn Oculus Rift support for Alien: Isolation back on. Here are the instructions, courtesy of modders popcorncrackle, hagg87, and Wookiee81:
1) in ENGINE_SETTINGS.XML (found in the DATA folder) change the stereo options to:
<Setting name=”Stereo Mode”>
<Quality name=”Rift” precedence=”4″/>
<Quality name=”Off” precedence=”4″/>
2) Set the Oculus to extended mode.
3) In the oculus configuration utility pause the service.
4) Start the game.
5) To play the game normally, reactivate the service by opening the display mode and set it to “direct to rift.”
That’s how to play with Oculus Rift; actually managing to do so for more than 15 minutes might be another matter, since even playing the game without Oculus Rift is a nerve-jangling experience.
Alien: Isolation is available now on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.