Hello, everybody! Oh, look. Another Alien, and another one I’m about two months late on! Ahahaha!
The genius of Alien: Isolation is in the way it echoes the first movie. Whereas most Alien-themed games bring in space marines and aliens by the hiveful (and in fact, a recent game had just done so), Isolation leaves you helpless against a single creature (spoilers: until the end). You can’t beat it. You can’t even hurt it. Sometimes you can scare it off for a little while, but it will always be back. The Alien’s appearances in-game were somewhat random, too – it could pop up when you least expected it. And you coudn’t even reliably hide, as there was always a chance it could figure you out. The game produced a genuine horror atmosphere, even if you’re only watching it being played. What more could you ask for?
Although most of Isolation sought to ape the movie as much as possible – including pseudo-seventies style – it did make a few changes to the Alien’s design. Just a few, and mostly noticeable if pointed out. So, NECA made those modifications, themselves, and released the figure. Those small tweaks and mods are what keeps this figure from being a straight copy of the normal Alien, so let’s take a look!
The biggest change is in the legs. Instead of walking plantigrade like a human (in a suit), this Alien is digitigrade, with the resulting changes in posture and center of gravity. It looks more animalistic, though the stance is rare on bipeds.
A second, and more obvious change is in the paint scheme – rather than complete black, this Alien has brown highlights. It’s not something that the average person would pick up on without putting them side-by-side, but it certainly adds to the figure.
The tail is also different – it’s longer, and has a more prominent stinger. One fo the most meorable parts of the game is one of your first sightings of the Alien – up until this point, you hadn’t seen it. You heard rumors, and saw a man stabbed by its tail (which was hard to make out in the lighting), but that was it. And then, in an ordinary room, the creature ust drops down from a ceiling panel without any warning. In order to survive, you are forced to cawl under a desk as fast as you an, and try to stay calm. The Alien stands on the desk, and its tail just flops lazily on the floor inches in front of you. That moment was sheer horror – and hey, this figure has the correct tail length!
NECA didn’t have to try too hard – they had most of the figure already sculpted – but the new parts integrateseamlessly, and considering how many repaints we’ve all bought, it actually has a little more value because of the new parts. It’s a good figure, much like the others.
But if I have to bring up a complaint it’s that the quality control on this particular alien is some of the worst I have ever seen. its arms are wonky-stiff, its jaw is on crooked, and there is dried glue on the dome! Again, this may not be typical for this figure, but it’s worth a careful look in-package before you buy it. Aliens figures are evidently difficult to make, as NECA has gone through a couple of factories in order to get them made right. Hopefully this isn’t universal, though!
Thankfully, its legs are very sturdy, and have no problems supporting its weight, even with the new joints!
Despite the QC, this is a great figure – in fact, even without Isolation, it’s still good. Other companies have actually made less movie-“accurate” Alien toys without trying to do something different, amazingly enough.
So, what to think? This is a viable source of a “basic” Xenomorph, even with those changes in the legs and tail. If the regular figure is too pricy, then this one provides an excellent alternative. And if not it’s a great reminder of a fantastic horror game. Hopefully, the quality control issues are not common, but even with them it’s still a good toy.