Alien (1979) and Alien: Isolation (2014)

I am anxiously waiting for Tuesday to arrive because that is the day that I will be able to walk into Gamestop and pick up my reserved Nostromo Edition of the new game Alien: Isolation for the PC. This is the nerd side of me taking control. I used to be a big PC gamer back when I was rocking the old Windows 98 hunk of machinery, playing countless hours of Roller Coaster Tycoon and Titanic: Adventure Out Of Time with my siblings, and also, when I could, trying the more terrifying games like Doom 3.

It’s those scary, horror titles that I love the most when I turn to gaming. As much as I enjoy the good, old-fashioned RPGs like Neverwinter Nights 2 and The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, there is nothing that compares to that feeling of intense terror and dread as I move my character through the halls of some haunted place where monsters will jump out at any time and kill me, or, if I’m lucky, I will be able to kill them first and run.

My history with the Alien franchise goes way back to when I was very young and impressionable. My family had just gotten cable hooked up, and I found a new love: AMC. This was back when the channel legitimately broadcast old classic movies as well as specials on their making. One glorious afternoon I turned on the channel and found myself sucked into the broadcast of Ridley Scott’s Alien.

These were the rare afternoons that I didn’t have things to do, when my homework was finished and I could just turn on the television and experience a new film that I knew absolutely nothing about. I was hooked from the very first minute. How terrifying it was to watch Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley and her crew mates trapped in this enclosed ship, being hunted down by a terrifying and very crafty alien! But, I couldn’t look away! I wanted more.

Of course, I remember the sequel, Aliens, more vividly because that was about the time that I had a love for all things action. However, in preparation for playing Isolation, I bought the DVD of Alien (shame on me for not already having it be part of my collection) and I gave it a watch with the lights out and the surround sound on.

I’m pleased to say that this film has aged extremely well and that all the tension that you would expect from a horror film is there, and it is very effective. Space in general is a subject that fascinates and scares me. There are so many ways to die, and they all seem horrible. And that’s without the alien in the mix! That alien is truly a masterpiece of monster cinema, and I am anxious to try to stay out of its way once I start playing the game. Needless to say, I expect to die a lot.

So, count me giddy as I wait until Tuesday. I have plenty of work to do between then and now in order to earn my gaming time, but the anticipation to experience this world is taking over my mind. Will it be worth it in the end? I sincerely hope so. This is the first time that I’ve pre-ordered a game since Final Fantasy XIII. Not many games get my attention, but this one succeeded in tapping into my nostalgia. Space, here I come. I will be shaking in my boots!

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