I’ve actually had this in my Steam library for over a year now but, coincidentally, only worked up the courage to play past the first sighting of the Alien a couple days ago. Last summer when I got to the point where you first see the Alien kill a dude, I noped the fuck out and never touched it again. I’ve logged about 4 hours now and it’s great. Not only is it genuinely terrifying, but it scratches the immersive sim and stealth itches for me, since those are my favourite kinds of games.
In the first sequence where you have to sneak past the Alien in a open room, still without the motion-sensor, the fear that came from knowing that the Alien was in the room with me but not knowing where left me petrified–scared to make any decision that might be the wrong one–in a way that I’ve rarely experienced in games before. When I finally worked up the courage to crawl my way to the elevator, I had to hack the thing in real time. I could hear the footsteps of the xeno growing louder as I did it, but I didn’t know if it was on the level above me or coming up behind me. I finish hacking, jump into the elevator desperately hammering the button to get the thing moving; I turn around and the doors close with the xeno just on the other side staring at me. It was hella cinematic.
In another sequence, I had to sneak past an android who just would not move from hallway I had to get through. I could hear the xeno in the vents directly above me. It was super tight quarters with this android, but I was able to toss a flare to get the android to turn 90 degrees: just enough for me to sneak past and not make any noise that would get the xeno after me.
Those moments are really, really compelling. These are the sorts of gaming stories that stick with me.