TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Alien: Isolation’
Feral Interactive are miracle workers. They have made a name for themselves by bringing full-blown ports of console and PC titles to mobile as premium experiences, even when it seems like some of those games would never be possible on a mobile device. Of course they didn’t make their name in the mobile space alone, and for more than two decades have been porting games to multiple platforms including the neglected gaming platform that is the Mac. I have no doubt that their work in that space in particular has really paved the way for us to be getting all of these awesome ports on mobile.
Their latest miracle is a mobile port of Creative Assembly’s critically acclaimed 2014 survival horror game Alien: Isolation. Similar to GRID Autosport, another 2014 title that Feral brought to mobile, Alien: Isolation feels like it has no business running on a tiny device like the iPhone. And not just running, but running near flawlessly at a nice crisp resolution. Sure, it may be a 7+ year old game, and mobile hardware of today is very powerful, but it’s still majorly impressive seeing it in action. And yes, it does feel pretty miraculous.
I won’t bore you with details on the game itself, as there’s no shortage of reviews for the console and PC release as well as Mikhail’s in-depth review of the mobile release. But what I will say is that there’s something very personal about playing a game like this on a mobile device. Giant screens and beefy sound systems are great, but there really is a next level of immersion playing Alien: Isolation on a mobile device. Throw on some good headphones, turn out the lights, and right there in your hands you have yourself a tiny little world of suspense ready for you to be absorbed into.
One other note is that Alien: Isolation is BIG, with a huge bulk of the game coming from an additional in-game download, but the way it is handled is extremely elegant. You have the option of downloading the main game or the additional DLC modes separately, as well as the option of downloading right away or in the background while you begin playing. A pop-up tells you exactly what is being downloaded and installed and how long is left to go. This is now the benchmark for how in-game downloads should be handled, and while it’s a small thing, I applaud Feral for doing it so well. And trust me, Alien: Isolation is worth all those GBs on your device.