[PS4 Review] Alien: Isolation - Survivor and Salvage DLC
Creative Assembly and SEGA have included the toughest mode to their Alien Isolation Collection in the form of Survivor/Salvage mode. This mode includes five DLC maps with ten missions per map, and your primary objective is to survive all ten missions without dying. You need to think on your feet and plan your moves, but most importantly you have to be very stealthy – you never know who or what lurks around the corner.
It is not just the Xenomorphs you have to worry about since you have looters who are out to kill you since whatever you have they want for themselves! Use your tracker as often as you can to detect unwanted guests. As soon as you know something is coming then you need to find a place to hide as quickly as possible.
The DLC maps offer only one life and one chance, and you must survive the whole thing in one piece within a two-hour time limit. The roguelike elements make this mode much tougher than anything the main Story Mode throws at you. If you die you lose your score, what you’ve collected and anything you’ve crafted, so you must start again from scratch. Luckily there is no randomization so you can learn your way around each map despite not having a proper map to check, so that is definitely one good thing! If you like a challenge, then this content is for you. The mode should only be attempted by those who love hard games because these challenge maps are incredibly hard and very frustrating when you’re not properly prepared.
The five challenge maps are as follows: Corporate Lockdown, Safe Haven, The Trigger, The Trauma and Lost Contact. All take place and play in the same way – you start in a room that is “safe” and you have a terminal and a telephone to save your game, if you have accumulated enough points. Each map presents you with a new location on the same ship as the main game, and you can choose any character you feel comfortable with. Playable characters include (Ellen) Ripley, Amanda, Hughes, Lingard, Ransome and Axel to choose from. Each character has a default weapon – usually a revolver or a shotgun with a couple of bullets to get you started – but you need to find crafting parts to create better stuff, and you also need to find better weapons like the extremely handy flamethrower. Be mindful, though, because the Xenomorph is impervious to any weapon attacks, so a stealthy approach to surviving works best. Grenades, flash bangs and anything similar only annoys it, and you certainly don’t want to annoy it!
If you survive a mission and make it back to your safe room, you can save your progress, but it will cost you 2,500 off from your final score for that mission. If you die in the following missions, you can return to your last save, and since you only have a limited amount of time, I would suggest you do not go off to explore and collect extra points. Your sole aim is to complete objectives in the fastest time possible to maximize your points, and since you will need em if you want to save your progress, it is a geat motivation. The missions you get have a nice variety of tasks to complete and range from something as simple as switching on a generator to finding items that seem impossible to reach. With each failure, you get a better understanding of your surroundings and can approach things in a different way.
That is not all. If you complete missions with some extra risk-taking on the side – that is by progressing to other missions without saving – your reward will be much higher. Some of the best rewards are blueprints for crafting, so if you want to unlock as many options as possible for your run through this mode, you shouldn’t save, complete all missions in one sitting and don’t die! I have to be honest: I was too much of a chicken to try this approach, so I preferred to save whenever I had enough points because I didn’t want to lose all of my progress!
Alien: Isolation is a scary game, and the DLC maps provide the same scary setting with even larger odds of dying. Although horror games do not scare me very much, the Safe Haven map, in particular, made me jump once or twice when I wasn’t careful. So yes, there is plenty of scares and a lot of stressful moments in this mode, with plenty of eerie noises that will make your heart skip a beat. But if you want to be really scared, I suggest playing in the dead of night, with the lights out and with headphones – believe me, you WILL be very scared!
[review pros=”Amazing graphics.
Fast-paced gameplay.” cons=”Very tough mode that will test you.” score=90]
This review is based on a copy of Alien: Isolation – The Collection provided by SEGA