I'm roaming around about the fourth mission into the game, and I have yet to see the Alien. Yet, the suspense of such an encounter, coupled with the game's very intricate sound design, make the inevitable a heart-pounding experience.
Then I see it. I'm searching through a room for a way to turn off a security lockdown system, when the damn thing comes crawling out of a ceiling air duct. My character (the daughter of Sigourney Weaver's Ellen Ripley from the movie) has just enough time to duck behind a desk as the heavy-pounding footsteps of the Xenomorph exit the room, disappearing without a trace.
I almost shit myself.
There have been a couple times already where I jumped out of my seat while playing Alien: Isolation (the XBOX One version), whether it be by the sudden run-in with a human searching to shoot my brains out with a gun or just the sheer anticipation of a "close encounter of the turd kind". Compared to previous games of the survival genre that I've played, this game is probably the scariest game I've played so far since the first Dead Space, and on par with the second Dead Space and F.E.A.R. 2. The game reminds me the most in atmosphere and still-air dread of the Dead Space series, in that the lack of music in the general gameplay makes for a very intriguing experience when you play the game on a good sound system. Every detail, every scratch, and every metallic bump while crawling around in the dark in a near-abandoned space station makes for a pants-pissing possibility.
I don't want to overhype the game, because there are a few little things that aren't perfect (they still can't seem to get the audio dubbed over the mouth movement properly yet in the majority of video games), but they are little things that don't take away from any of the gaming experience.
I've also briefly played through the "Crew Expendable" mode which allows you to play as one of three characters from the 1979 film, and also within the confines of the Nostromo. Nearly all the actors have returned to lend their voice talents to their 35-year old characters, and you get to play as one of three - Tom Skerritt's Captain Dallas, Sigourney Weaver's Ripley, or Yaphet Kotto's Parker (I chose Skerritt because every time I hear his name, I hear his line from Steel Magnolias: "Nothing like a good piece of ass."). This was the game mode where I actually first saw what the Alien looked like in game form, and also learned that about five ounces of flamethrower fuel will NOT back the creature down.
So far, I'm digging this game quite a bit. I'm playing on Normal difficulty, and already I ran into a spot that I died about a dozen times in before realizing that there are many, many different options to get through certain sections using the gear that you attain throughout your scavenging. I'm also looking forward to the mystery of the gigantic, immersive game, which takes places roughly fifteen years after the events of the 1979 film. As Ripley's daughter, you are searching for the clues to what really happened on the Nostromo, while experiencing the same shit in another ghost-town space mall yourself.
Highly recommended if you want the closest thing to a playable movie experience possible, with legitimate tension and attention to keeping with the "futuristic" details of the film (which of course seem outdated, but luckily were kept in touch with how the film looked without updating it to our contemporary standards).