books

Alien Isolation – Lost in Sevastopol

This review is for the novelization of the video game, not the game itself. I’ve tried to finish the game before, the first time I didn’t get very far because I was terrible at stealth. Convinced that I would never finish the game, I watched streamers play it and saw how it ended while it also gave me an idea of how to beat the game myself.

Then, I tried playing the game again and got further by being stealthy and careful. I managed to make it to the part where you have to get to APOLLO’s core but when I saw that there were suited Joes down there and I had to put my weapons in a locked box, I stopped there fearing I would not be able to outwit more androids as I was already having trouble with them more than the Xenomorph itself!

With that being said, when I discovered this novel, I decided to give it a read because I wanted to experience the story my way if I couldn’t finish the game. It’s not the same when you watch someone else play it.

What can I say, there was a lot of dialogue and elements from the game but some sequences were cut shorter to match the book’s length. For instance when Amanda makes it to the lobby leading to Seegson comms and has to sneak past some armed survivors. The book makes it sound like she just hurried down the stairs without having to sneak past them. But if this book was as long as the game then it would probably be a thousand pages!

I also really enjoyed the flashback chapters, especially the first few revealing how close Amanda was to her mother and her friendship with Captain Dallas and how he would always call her names of animals that start with the letter A. It was so sad when I read to the part where Amanda stood waiting for the Nostromo on her 11th birthday only to learn that the ship wasn’t coming.

The flashbacks that follow give proof that Amanda doesn’t need the title of an engineer to prove that she is one in how she excels at repairing and modifying things. But now I see why she was reluctant at first to accept Samuels’ offer since she had been tricked in the past when she was trying to obtain closure.

The hospital chapter wasn’t as scary as it was in the game which disappointed me and as the novel went on I found it became less about horror and more about action. But the alien movies have always had a mixture of both those things to keep the fans engaged!

I never liked the character of Taylor, she was really whiny about how she didn’t enjoy cryosleep or spacewalks, but she definitely didn’t deserve the end she met.

The prime event that kept me from finishing the game was how after Waits used her as bait to jettison the Alien into space, the game turned into dealing now primarily with more androids, which I hated before we go to the nest in the reactor. Luckily the book makes it easier to get through than actually playing it as if the suited androids I’m afraid to face mean nothing. That pleased me.

Nonetheless, despite it whizzing by faster than the game itself, it was still an enjoyable read and even now, it might just inspire me to go back and finish the game. A great alternative for those who can’t finish the game for sure.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

👽Emily

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