Nintendo Switch Port Review: Alien Isolation
As with all port reviews, this is not a direct review of the game itself, more-so the quality of the port. If you want to read our full review of Alien: Isolation, you can find the link at the bottom of this article, that all said, this is our Nintendo Switch port review, which just might be the best version of Alien: Isolation to date!
Set in the year 2137, about 15 years after the events of the classic 1979 movie from Ridley Scott, you play as Amanda Ripley, daughter of the one and only, Ellen Ripley. Ellen has gone missing and Amanda has been searching relentlessly for her missing mother, to little success. However, Amanda has been giving a promising lead following a visit from Christopher Samuels, an android that works for the infamous Weyland-Yutani corporation. It is revealed to Amanda that a flight recorder belonging to the ship believed to be Ellen’s last known location, has been found on a space station by the name of the Sevastopol. Amanda reluctantly takes Samuels up on his offer and heads to the space station in the hope of finally being reunited with her mother, yet what she found was nothing short of a living nightmare and even if Amanda comes out of this expedition alive, there is no guarantee that her mother will even be there, but what choice does she have?
Whether its movies, a TV series or a videogame and despite scaring quite easily, horror and sci-fi are quite arguably my favourite genres, and when you throw those genres together, the Alien franchise is one of my all-time favourites. However, other than Alien Trilogy on the original PlayStation or maybe even Alien 3 on the Sega Megadrive, this franchise hasn’t had much success in the world of videogames, yet that all changed when Alien: Isolation released in 2014, which not only become one of my top horror games, but easily one of the scariest games I’ve ever played and six years on, that aspect remains intact. Not only is the Xenomorph one of the most sinister and scariest movie monsters of all-time, but in Alien: Isolation, this overgrown creature has a high level of A.I that will turn you into a nervous wreck from your very first encounter, right until the very end. Whether it’s being stalked in the corridors or the vents, the claustrophobic location of the Sevastopol is nothing short of a Xenomorph playground with an A.I that makes it incredibly difficult to predict. I often found that much of the tension in Alien: Isolation is waiting for something to happen, rather than the actual encounters themselves.
In recent times, outside of its first-party titles, the Nintendo Switch has been knocking it out of the park with some quite remarkable ports to a quite surprising level of detail that we thought wouldn’t be possible on a system often to be considered to be technically less superior to that of the PS4 and Xbox One, yet the quality of this Alien: Isolation is very impressive, so much so, that at least in terms of visuals, the Nintendo Switch port is arguably better then the PS4 version in my humble opinion. Even when playing Alien: Isolation on the PS4 Pro, other than a resolution provided by a 4K TV, this game is not enhanced and you’re pretty much going to get the same experience playing this game on a standard PS4 or a Pro. So in that respect, it puts it on somewhat of a level playing field when comparing to the Nintendo Switch at 1080p, but even when playing on handheld, Alien: Isolation not only looks fantastic, but it performs incredibly smoothly too.
To put it mildly, the developers at Feral Interactive who are responsible for this port have done an amazing job. One of the aspects that appear to be superior to that of the PS4 version, is the high degree of anti-aliasing and shimmering quality. This has resulted in some very smooth looking edges, not only to environmental objects at close inspection, but it also remains consistent at a distance. When I first heard that Alien: Isolation was being ported to the Nintendo Switch, I was somewhat sceptical, but also hopeful that we would get a decent port, but the work done here by Feral has far exceeded my expectations and now has me hopeful that this studio will develop even more ports. I know its perhaps wishful thinking, but it does make me believe that even a port of Resident Evil 2 or 7 might even be possible. After all, we’ve already had even The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt ported to the Switch and prior to its announcement, who really expected that one?
As an added bonus, Alien: Isolation on the Nintendo Switch comes with all previously released DLC, including the story driven Crew Expendable and Last Survivor which has you playing as the original crew and events from the 1979 Alien movie. This bundle also includes post launch DLC that was included in the games season pass which features five unique situational survival modes, Corporate Lockdown, Trauma, Safe Haven, Lost Contact and The Trigger. So even if some might consider this port’s RRP being £29.99 when compared to cheaper prices on other formats, I still believe that this represents great value for money, not only with all the content included, but also the incredible work that Feral Interactive has put in, which I believe would exceed just about anyone’s expectations going in. Then on top of that alone, Alien: Isolation is one of the best horror games of all-time and if you think that the horror, suspense and tension will be giving you a break on a Nintendo system, then think again! Whether you’re new or returning to this game, Alien: Isolation on the Nintendo Switch is the best version money can buy. Oh, and just remember, at home or on the go, everyone can hear you scream!
You can read our full review of Alien: Isolation here.