There's no other way I can put this. I'm a huge fan of the original 1979 Movie, Ridler Scott's classic with H.R Giger's design will remain an instant classic for me.
James Cameron's Alien, Alien 3 and Ressurection I like. Prometheus, eeh-
AVP's? do not consider them part of the franchise, or the canon. They're pretty much over-budgetted fan projects in my mind, in the hands of people who did not understand the material they held.
and then there's Alien: Isolation a 2014 game, that is a an unofficial offical sequel to 1979's Alien. One that combines all the great design elements and aesthetics that worked within the original film and package it togheter in something that just 'works' imo.
And more to the point, the Alien in this game. The " Xenomorph " is imo. the very kind of creature Ridley Scott and Giger originally wanted to portray, the image they had of this enormous, indestructible, incomprehensible beast, quick and deadly.
One that was only partially got through in the Alien movie. Again, I love it to death. And about 2/3 of the creature's screentime looked and worked great.
The Chestburster scene, while obvious a puppet and walked off a little silly was still very well shot. John Hurt's acting, the chestbursting effect, the creature's snarl before it dissapears.
Then, Brett's death scene. Where we find the alien ominously meditating and eventually descending to drag Brett into one of the pipes. We only see very little of the alien in this shot. Mostly out of focus bodyshots and its mouth and fangs. Looked great, for all we saw.
Then we had the Dallas vent scene, here we already see the limitations of the monster on screen. The suspense in this scene is wonderful, but the moment the alien reaches out to " hug " Dallas with silly big hands some of the realness is actually lost.
We start realizing the alien is no real alien but a man in a very well designed and put together costume.
Even the next two scenes do it favors in a couple of shots, mostly when we get to see up to lower than its waist some of the movie magic is lost.
The most obvious shot is the very last sequence where it is crawled up and seemingly hibernating ( what is it doing here? )
I'm not saying the end did not work out, or failed in any way ( afterall, I ended up being a fan didn't I? ) but I feel IF Ridley Scott and Giger had access to the resources they have today, then the Alien we saw in A:I was closest to what they wanted achieve.
Then slowly the monster has regressed with each subsequent film until eventually reduced to an animal-like beast. Crawling onto four legs and working mostly as a swarm to overwhelm their enemy, instead of slowly and silently stalk them to pick them off one by one.
Alien: Isolation is game that helps the creature get free of his cinematic limitations. They managed to tweak the design just a bit, so his legs don't look like they belong to a guy a suit. It is big as hell, yet not in a blunt rampaging monster kind of way. It is lethal, it is fast, it is intelligent. And eventually it will know where you are.
Truly, was this not the Xenomorph that was always meant to be.? CGI Xenomorphs mostly look like crap on screen, and I wish they refrain from that as much as possible. But seeing as the game had that advantage anyway, they made good use in animating the creature, causing it to move gracefully, elegantly, almost sexually, not letting anything stand in its way.
It is a legitimate threat to both the characters, as well as the actua; audience, one that commands respect from anyome that interacts with it. Such a step up from the regular cannon fodder it has become in recent media.
Who knows, perhaps maybe Alien: Convenant will change this. I actually like what they did with the Xenomorph mythos in Prometheus, making it a legitimately unsettling and alien threat again.
But in my opinion the franchise and the series has reached it's official peak. One that starts where it once ended, and ends with it once began. The Xenomorph will never feel more like a threat than in this game, or any movie before or after it. The story doesn't need to be any more complex or convoluted/complicated than " people in space run into unstoppable alien and have to survive " the sets and designs of the place feel real, and made with some thought and soul put into it.
The whole series could very well just have been Alien 1979 - Alien: Isolation 2014 one story detailing the encounter of Amada Ripley and one with her daughter.