Alien Isolation (2014)
Cinephiles had been crying out for a considered adaptation of the Alien franchise for years, and yet when that slow-burn horror arrived in the form of Alien Isolation, it was criticized for being… well… too slow.
“The campaign drags on longer than it should,” Game Informer declared, while GameSpot claimed that it was four hours of ideas stretched to fit a longer game complete with “limp exploration.” IGN was particularly damning, praising its art direction but ending on this note: “Someday, someone is going to make an incredible Alien video game that checks every box. But, sadly, Isolation is not it.”
The principle issue – as IGN alluded to in its review – is that Isolation recommends you tackle the game on its hardest difficulty, which turns the Xenomorph stalking you through the station into an unstoppable force that seizes upon your slightest misstep.
A far better idea is to choose Easy, as then the escape from the Sevastopool becomes less a D-Day doomsday mission and more a challenge you can actually overcome. Turning down the difficulty will also shorten the time it takes to beat the story.
When you consider reviewers are under tight deadlines, it’s no surprise Isolation drew their ire, but tone down the challenge and you’re left with a survival horror game for the ages.