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Alien: Isolation


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#41 Frost

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 10:51 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 08 October 2014 - 03:28 PM, said:

I put a zVOX soundbase 220 in the bedroom too. I'm just old and tired. I literally have to dick with stuff all day for work, my job is literally dicking. When I get home and am not in a dicking mood I just want popsnizzle to work. 2 channel just works. zvox just works.  With damn good sound quality, no tin can speakers here.
How are you old and tired when you're four months younger than I am? This must be due to the prodigious dicking. You to stop with the dicks all day and get over here and Frosty's gonna run you through the real Mac Boot Camp where we do bicep curls with PowerMac G5s, use speedbags filled with the legions of failed Quantum Fireball hard drives, and feed you spinach till you're strong to the finish. Then we'll go icefall climbing using pickaxes made from old iPods until you're so miserable and tired you'll never admit to it again for fear of that sounding like a challenge to get worse.

View PostSmoke_Tetsu, on 08 October 2014 - 10:23 PM, said:

In terms of sound quality headphones can and do sometimes beat the sound quality of speakers. No doubt about that. Especially if you have a room with bad acoustics  and badly placed speakers as a large percentage of sound actually comes from your room rather than your speakers.
I think it's more from a positional audio and immersion level. A really, REALLY good HT system compares to or surpasses good (≥$250) headphones to me, but most systems never quite feel like I'm "in" the game. I used to abuse the fantastic audio in Mac Halo to "cheat" after a fashion and hear exactly where people were in relation to me using my headphones. That can be done with surround, but it's hard to emulate that level of crazy accuracy.

Granted, you're talking to someone who has spent the vast majority of gaming time on high-end headphones, so there's always the factor of "I like it because I'm used to it."

Headphones won't vibrate the room, sure, but sadly if I did that with any regularity I'd probably be kicked out of the building, concrete walls and floors or not.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#42 Smoke_Tetsu

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 11:00 PM

I'll have to admit even with two speakers or headphones with no processing you can still get an idea of where people are due to plain old panning and the natural deduction or brains do when you hear something but you can't see it on screen. Sometimes this is "good enough".. as I've used that for many years myself. Still for me it still doesn't match the level of directionality a true 3D sound or surround setup provides.. Like in Duke Nukem Manhattan Project I was surprised to hear stuff I didn't hear before with just plain two channel mixing when I finally enabled 3D sound out of it with my setup. Stuff like sounds from different planes coming from front or behind depending on relation to the camera.... or panning from in front of me to behind me when pressing up or down to make Duke traverse planes.. This is one of those times when sound felt truly 3D despite not yet having height or perhaps floor channels to do truly 360 in all directions around you type sound..

There's also some level of "If you don't experience it truly enabled then you can't miss it" going on in my opinion. I can certainly also relate to "I like it because I'm used to it." As that tends to be a factor as well. Some people don't like HD for example because it doesn't look like what they are used to seeing at home.

Also I have to admit I can relate to people not wanting to dick around with stuff to get it to work or deal with any defects a game might have with certain features. Those type of people can feel free to ignore my posts about sound or any other features one might have to add via modding or setting up additional pieces of hardware if they wish...

I fully am aware that stuff I talk about may not be everyone's cup of tea. I'm also used to being ignored on the internet. No need to reply to everything if it doesn't interest you. :) Personally, I keep posting the stuff I do because even if the vocal minority doesn't care there might be lurkers that benefit from it. Obviously my sound related posts aren't for die hard "two channels especially on headphones are good enough" people. Although again... with HRTF and 3D sound processing enabled even this might be improved! YMMV of course.

View PostCougar, on 06 October 2014 - 05:43 AM, said:

Haha. Let's be honest. For you, great multichannel sound is the main course, not the cherry. :P

I have to reply to this one more time because I thought of something else. To be frank I can actually forgive the lack of multichannel sound more than I can forgive low performance or bad graphics or most of all bad gameplay or terrible story. At least if all the latter elements are great I can still enjoy the game. If a game controls terribly and has broken mechanics and is an awful game I wont forgive it if it has multichannel sound. For example.. The Last Tinker was the first Unity game I've noticed to have it but they chose to only support PS3 controllers and wont let anyone else even remap the controls because in their opinion it's dangerous to let people remap the controls because they might remap them in a way they didn't intend it. I can't forgive this just because of their sound support. :bleedingeyes:

I just tend to talk about sound a lot because I'm in the position to.

View PostFrost, on 07 October 2014 - 04:09 PM, said:

Only 79 on metacritic, but Steam reviews are hugely positive... good sign. Regardless, I bought it. Oh Em Gee... the graphics! Holy crap. THIS is what I got a Titan for.

Actually, Alien Isolation isn't that much a graphically demanding game. You don't need a Titan to max it out. Of course though as far as performance goes more is always better.... but from Alien: Isolation – PC Performance Analysis:

Quote

As already said, Alien: Isolation does not require a high-end GPU to shine.


Quote

All in all, Alien: Isolation performs amazingly well on the PC platform. This game is easy on its CPU and GPU requirements, meaning that it can be maxed out by a wide range of PC configurations.

Something that sticks out to me though is "real-time radiosity via DirectCompute"... if a Mac port happens we'll most likely have to do without. I don't think there's any chance Feral would wrap or substitute that with OpenCL or CUDA or anything. Actually I don't know if lacking DirectCompute might hurt the performance in the game. If anything I could see them stubbing out the feature that requires it. But perhaps DirectCompute lighting is what makes it light on the resources? Who knows...

On the other hand Alien Isolation from what they say seems to have mostly baked in shadows and such which might explain it as well.
--Tetsuo

Alex Delarg, A Clockwork Orange said:

It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.

the Battle Cat said:

Slower and faster? I'm sorry to hear such good news?

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#43 macdude22

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 06:32 AM

View PostSmoke_Tetsu, on 08 October 2014 - 10:23 PM, said:

In fact Next Gen surround sound is going to have ceiling channels for stuff that goes overhead.... it's called ATMOS. :cool:


Buhhhh you sound like Scott Wilkinson. Excuse me while I go listen to NPR on my mono speaker Tivoli Model One like an audio hobo.

FYI, I have nothing against surround. I'm just super uninterested in the work to do it right.
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#44 macdude22

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 06:59 AM

View PostFrost, on 08 October 2014 - 10:51 PM, said:

How are you old and tired when you're four months younger than I am? This must be due to the prodigious dicking. You to stop with the dicks all day and get over here and Frosty's gonna run you through the real Mac Boot Camp where we do bicep curls with PowerMac G5s, use speedbags filled with the legions of failed Quantum Fireball hard drives, and feed you spinach till you're strong to the finish. Then we'll go icefall climbing using pickaxes made from old iPods until you're so miserable and tired you'll never admit to it again for fear of that sounding like a challenge to get worse.


Work an hour from home (get up at 5 to shave, shower, feed cats, give dum diabetic cat shots). 2 kids. Do all the house work, do all the cooking, get up with all the fussy kids, possibly still not sleep from 10-12 PM when I should be as the lone time there isn't a kid awake and/or fussing. Also contrary to popular belief I do occasionally go outside and do a little hiking, geocaching, ride my fine fine trek 7000 around.

I also have an unhealthy obsession with board games and I am an Amateur Radio Operator (which also requires an unhealthy amount of dicking, pretty much building a dick ship there)

I don't like to do things if I can't do them right so when it comes to audio I can easily do 2-channel really good. (or that sweet sweet mono Tivoli, nothing like a cup of tea and some late night warm AM Coast to Coast ariens) If I had multi-channel I would want no cables strung around so I'd have to fish popsnizzle through the attic, install wall speakers, etc... Also I used to live in an apt so I always gamed with headphones. After we had kids bought the house well there's kids so I still game with headphones.

I do have a set of Plantronics GAMECOM 788s but maybe my head is broken. I've never found the 7.1 surround emulation to be all that fantastic, plus the USB audio is still only 2 channel under OS X and is really fidgety to adjust the audio level under OS X or Windows. Analog turtle beach set, just spin the dial on the wire. :cool:

I probably have enough iPods to make pickaxes.
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#45 macdude22

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 07:09 AM

View PostSmoke_Tetsu, on 08 October 2014 - 11:00 PM, said:

I fully am aware that stuff I talk about may not be everyone's cup of tea. I'm also used to being ignored on the internet. No need to reply to everything if it doesn't interest you. :) Personally, I keep posting the stuff I do because even if the vocal minority doesn't care there might be lurkers that benefit from it. Obviously my sound related posts aren't for die hard "two channels especially on headphones are good enough" people. Although again... with HRTF and 3D sound processing enabled even this might be improved! YMMV of course.


Please, do go on. The fact that I know who Scott Wilkinson should indicate that I do find the topic fascinating. I'm just uninterested in the work required to do it right.

Plus, most people haven't heard a good 2-channel setup. Or good audio in general. Even the radios scattered about my house are high end, Tivoli in the kitchen, Sangean in the basement, Sangean in the bathroom. If I did 7.1 I wouldn't do it right, I wouldn't calibrate it right, and I'd be mad it sounded terrible.

Headphones are the easiest way to get faux surround because your ear positioning relative to the speaker doesn't change so it's easier to get the phasing right. Just, you know, the work, the extra boxes, the extra software, the figity USB audio (though I fully admit I don't think the Plantronics 788s are the best faux surround headphones).

The ZVOX 555 I have does have a DD decoder and everything runs into it via TOSLINK from the TV, which everything is fed to via HDMI. I did make sure to get a TV that actually passes 5.1DD via the TOSLINK port (many just downsample it to 2 channel) so if you click on the Phase Cue on the ZVOX it does make an impressively wide soundstage. Are you wrapped with speakers. No, but if you feed it high quality audio it will spit out high quality sound accordingly.
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#46 Smoke_Tetsu

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 07:17 AM

I must give you some kudos because you realize that the sound bar isn't giving a true "speakers are all around you" experience but rather a wider sounstage over a traditional two speaker setup. There's actually a sound bar that provides a couple of sattelite speakers for the rear but you'd be back to having to fish or route wires to them as wireless speakers aren't a thing..*

Well, there are some.. like the subwoofer on that sound bar is wireless... but you still have to route power cables to them... so they aren't really wireless after all.... :cool:

And yeah, in theory headphones should be able to emulate 3D sound especially with special processing like Head Related Transfer function which is supposed to be able to emulate the way we hear with two ears. But perhaps like you and the 7.1 surround emulation in your headset my head is busted because every time I tried that it only sounded like agressive panning from left and right to me... There's a famous virtual barber shop demo sound file on the internet that... when you close your eyes is supposed to sound like you are having a virtual haircut.. I tried it and it didn't work for me.... and I have some circumaural headphones.

Personally, for me right now it's simply easier to know and notice if 3D sound is working over multiple speakers (5.1, 7.1) etc. than to hassle with trying to get HRTF with headphones to work.

*The sound bar doesn't have HDMI input so it wouldn't be a solution for enabling multichannel on the Mac sadly...

View Postmacdude22, on 09 October 2014 - 06:32 AM, said:

Buhhhh you sound like Scott Wilkinson.

I actually watch his podcast\show on youtube sometimes.. Good stuff...
--Tetsuo

Alex Delarg, A Clockwork Orange said:

It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.

the Battle Cat said:

Slower and faster? I'm sorry to hear such good news?

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#47 macdude22

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 07:47 AM

View PostSmoke_Tetsu, on 09 October 2014 - 07:17 AM, said:

I must give you some kudos because you realize that the sound bar isn't giving a true "speakers are all around you" experience but rather a wider sounstage over a traditional two speaker setup. There's actually a sound bar that provides a couple of sattelite speakers for the rear but you'd be back to having to fish or route wires to them as wireless speakers aren't a thing..*

Well, there are some.. but you still have to route power cables to them... so they aren't really wireless after all.... :cool:


I have some halo sound test file I use for testing sound. Works pretty well. In fact if you are in the sweet spot for the faux surround my TV has built in that file presents some pretty convincing surround. That's the problem with 99% of soundbars out there. They are all we have SRS faux surround it's so amazeballs. Well two problems. First, 60 dollar Maxell sound bars have popsnizzlety speakers. But second, that faux surround phasing breaks as soon as your out of the correct positioning. Zvox's technology just sort of broadens the soundstage. Makes things a little brighter and wider without having to be exactly between the speakers and 3.78 feet from the TV. Most soundbars have barely better audio than your TV, and their faux surround breaks if you're not in the zone so to speak.

Wireless speakers......That sounds like an easy path to low quality. Plus I've got so much RF in my house from wifi, from bluetooth, from Ham Radio, I can't fathom them not having issues.
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#48 the Battle Cat

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 07:52 AM

View Postmacdude22, on 09 October 2014 - 06:59 AM, said:

nothing like a cup of tea and some late night warm AM Coast to Coast ariens

Wait wait wait.  You make tea with malt liquor??  That's genius.  I'm putting you in for a Nobel Peace Prize.
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#49 Frost

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 03:38 AM

I finally actually started Alien: Isolation and I'm about 7 hours into the game. I'm not sure at what point it's supposed to turn horrible, but it hasn't happened to me yet. In fact, this frakking game is scaring me like I haven't been scared since when I first played Pathways Into Darkness. Maybe a little Silent Hill 1 and "OH SH--" moments from Dead Space as well.

In fact, Dead Space is probably the best comparison there is. That monster that's unkillable without dumping liquid nitrogen on it and then dicing it to pieces? Yeah. That guy. Except he's hunting you regularly and is twice as deadly and there's no liquid nitrogen to dump on him. But, you can actually evade him unlike Isaac, who was stuck running/fighting.

This game is channeling Dead Space and Doom 3 with a huge helping of well-done stealth like crazy. I've only died to the Alien once so far, and that was before I got my motion tracker (before you get the motion tracker that thing is hard as frak to avoid). But oh boy, it's been RIGHT UP MY ASS a couple times, including once where I had to make a mad dash for a transit car and slammed the door in its face right as it was about to catch up to me.

I'm also not sure what the whining about terrible voice acting is either. The voice actors aren't going to win academy awards, but the reviews made it sound like the voice acting is on the level of some crappy CoD game. It's more along the lines of Mass Effect. Hell, Amanda Ripley's actress delivers her lines better than ManShep 90% of the time.

It has been fantastic so far. I don't know what IGN was smoking. PC Gamer's experience is closer to what mine has been. I think gamers have just gotten so used to being a one man army and never leaving their couches that they've totally forgotten their human survival instincts and are incapable of reengaging them. Frankly, I'm trying to play this like if the alien kills me, some guy behind me is going to shoot me in the back of the head and I will really die. It is immensely tense, but it's also keeping me from focusing on the objective more than focusing on staying alive. There have definitely been points where I was just trying to get to the next room because that thing KNEW I was in the area and wouldn't give up. Nevermind the larger overall goal.

But. Stop. Look. Listen. Advance. Have an escape plan in case of an oh popsnizzle moment. Have something crafted and on hand to hopefully distract the bastard if necessary (I actually haven't used a distraction device yet on the alien, just against the malfunctioning androids, but I've had them at the ready many times). Study the rewiring consoles and create some activity a ways away from you before moving. Watch the tracker. Don't be afraid to go back and make another attempt in a minute.

Like I said, I have only died to the alien once, and that was in a big open area with limited sight angles, nowhere to hide effectively, and I hadn't gotten the tracker yet. Plus one near miss. Yes, this game is hard. But it's not that hard. It also has NOT been after me every single second of the game like IGN made it sound, either. There have been long stretches where it was off in another part of the station and I could run around making all the noise I wanted and started to feel safe before our paths crossed again.


EDIT: And immediately after posting this I got ripped out of a locker and died three times in a row. Not sure what I was doing wrong.

EDIT 2: 7 times. Including one time where the alien was out of the room and the instant I stopped holding my breath the locker door got ripped off and I died. WTF.

Okay. Now I'm getting what people are bitching about. Clearly there's some mechanic to using lockers to hide that I'm not understanding.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#50 the Battle Cat

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 10:23 AM

You need to roll in crusty old gym socks and jock straps in order to successfully pull off the ol' locker escape.  Otherwise the alien is all like "Hey who put tuna in their locker???"
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#51 Frost

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 04:06 PM

View Postthe Battle Cat, on 24 November 2014 - 10:23 AM, said:

You need to roll in crusty old gym socks and jock straps in order to successfully pull off the ol' locker escape.  Otherwise the alien is all like "Hey who put tuna in their locker???"
A-ha! Brilliant!

I forgot, you play as a woman. You can't just stroll into the men's locker room and disappear. You need extra camo.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#52 the Battle Cat

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 06:37 PM

View PostFrost, on 24 November 2014 - 04:06 PM, said:

A-ha! Brilliant!

I forgot, you play as a woman. You can't just stroll into the men's locker room and disappear. You need extra camo.

My gosh this is so demeaning and offensive to cats.  I thought this society had come past thinking "All cats are girls" but there are still some throwbacks like you gumming up the works.  I mean, cats have come so far since the Eat My Rats days of yore.  We've made such progress and found much understanding but still the speciesist underbelly of the humans stinks up the gene pool.  I sir am not a stereotype and we don't all trail rainbows nor do we monorail or monitor you from the ceiling.  I thought we had come so far since those days.  I guess I was wrong.
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#53 Frost

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 08:51 PM

I actually meant "you" as in "a player of Alien: Isolation" since the player character is Amanda Ripley. But now I feel ashamed that I missed a golden opportunity to be intentionally speciesist.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#54 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 12:51 AM

I need to play this game on my HDTV so I can scare the wits out of my girlfriend. Maybe even get her to try it. I hope my 2011 Mac Mini can run it....
"They're everywhere!" -And now, time for some Legend of Zelda.

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#55 Frost

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 01:01 AM

From what I've heard, they did an exceptional optimization job and it runs pretty well even on low-end systems. You might be able to run it. If not, if you have a PS4 around or plan to have one, reportedly they got it looking almost as good as a high-end PC. Although I would be EXTRA scared to play this game with sluggish controller agility!

I progressed some more in the campaign and it's gone back to being like the first 7 hours. I don't know what it was about that one area that gave the alien super-aggressive omniscience, but once I got past it (after dying over and over for like an hour), the challenge curve went back to normal. Although I did learn the hard way while escaping from a fire to watch for saliva dripping from vents. That son of a bitch sometimes lies in wait for you in a vent and waits for you to pass underneath if he knows you're close by.

This game is a horror masterpiece, I don't care what anybody says. The alien's AI could've used a little more refinement, but just the fact that it delivers the experience it does while being totally unscripted is the most amazing thing I've seen in AI since Halo 1 debuted enemies that retreat, maneuver, take cover, and flank. Hell, it literally learns from you. You can distract it a few times by throwing a flare, for example... but it'll work it out that the flare is a distraction and instead start heading to where it thinks the flare was thrown from. If you knock things over when running from it it'll notice objects that are still moving and follow the trail. And various other things like that.

Really, my only point of criticism is the gaps between encountering it should be a little longer (ironically, the opposite of what most other reviewers said, I know), and spots like that one area where it just kept killing me no matter what should be intentionally toned down. If the alien kills you over and over and never stops being there, the scare starts wearing off. Probably the best moments in the game for me scare-wise have been when the alien has been gone for a good while and I feel like I can breathe... and then I hear noise in the vents.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#56 Janichsan

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 03:09 AM

View PostFrost, on 25 November 2014 - 01:01 AM, said:

This game is a horror masterpiece, I don't care what anybody says.
I haven't actually seem that many (by and large) negative reviews for that game. Most reviewers seemed to like it a lot, mostly only complaining about a bit too much padding. Even Yahtzee had a positive opinion, and that should count for something.

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#57 macdude22

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 08:05 AM

View PostJanichsan, on 25 November 2014 - 03:09 AM, said:

I haven't actually seem that many (by and large) negative reviews for that game. Most reviewers seemed to like it a lot, mostly only complaining about a bit too much padding. Even Yahtzee had a positive opinion, and that should count for something.

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#58 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 09:12 AM

Sooooo is this game worth getting? I'm in for a good scare game. Is the second half of the game as good as the first half?
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#59 Janichsan

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 09:37 AM

View Postmacdude22, on 25 November 2014 - 08:05 AM, said:

Just Cauuuuuuuuuse




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Part 3 is announced. :D

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#60 Frost

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 07:49 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 25 November 2014 - 03:09 AM, said:

I haven't actually seem that many (by and large) negative reviews for that game. Most reviewers seemed to like it a lot, mostly only complaining about a bit too much padding. Even Yahtzee had a positive opinion, and that should count for something.
Well that's good! I haven't looked at reviews since the initial batch with IGN, GameSpot, and so on savaging it. I'm still not convinced Alien: Isolation didn't get mauled along with Destiny as a way to try and get back the appearance of hard-hitting integrity after the whole GamerGate fiasco. If other game sites are giving it positive reviews, that's awesome.

View PostSneaky Snake, on 25 November 2014 - 09:12 AM, said:

Sooooo is this game worth getting? I'm in for a good scare game. Is the second half of the game as good as the first half?
I'll let you know. At about 10 hours and I don't think I've even crossed the halfway point. AND THAT IS TOTALLY COOL! I'm tired of finishing games in a few hours only to be pushed to play the crappy multiplayer for the rest of the time.

Frankly, this is one of the times where I bought a game at full price totally on faith and thus far my faith has been rewarded. Unless it seriously goes downhill in part 2, I'm not seeing my opinion changing. Think Metal Gear Solid-style stealth, combined with Dead Space 1 and the non-combat parts of Doom 3. That's the best way I can describe it by way of comparison.

I really hope Alien: Isolation gets a Mac port.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.