Alien: Isolation

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Alien: Isolation
Alien: Isolation cover
Developers
Creative Assembly
macOS (OS X) Feral Interactive
Linux Feral Interactive
Publishers
Sega
OS X, Linux Feral Interactive
Engines
CATHODE
Release dates
Windows October 7, 2014
macOS (OS X) October 27, 2015[1]
Linux October 27, 2015[1]
Alien: Isolation guide at StrategyWiki
Alien: Isolation at Wikipedia
Alien
Alien Trilogy 1996
Series: Aliens versus Predator 1999
Aliens: Colonial Marines 2013
Alien: Isolation 2014

Key points

Excellent PC version: great performance,[2] many graphics and controls settings, Oculus Rift support, and editable game XML files.
"Novice" and "Nightmare" difficulty modes were added in a free patch.
This version lacks a voice detection feature from the console versions that can enable you to maintain the mic's noise level during the game.
The anti-aliasing that comes with the game is rather poor, but can be rectified.[3] See Anti-aliasing (AA).

General information

Official game website
Official forums
Steam Community Discussions

Availability[edit]

All Windows and Linux versions require Steam DRM.

Downloadable content (DLC) and expansions

Name Notes
Season Pass
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Corporate Lockdown Part of Season Pass and Collection.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Crew Expendable Part of Collection.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Last Survivor Part of Collection.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Lost Contact Part of Season Pass and Collection.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Safe Haven Part of Season Pass and Collection.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Trauma Part of Season Pass and Collection.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
The Trigger Part of Season Pass and Collection.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip intro videos[edit]

Delete/rename video files[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\DATA\UI\MOVIES\
  2. Delete or rename AMD_IDENT.USM, CA_IDENT.USM and FOX_IDENT.USM.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Steam <Steam-folder>/userdata/<user-id>/214490/local
macOS (OS X)
It's unknown whether this game follows the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux. Please fill in this information.

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Steam <Steam-folder>/userdata/<user-id>/214490/remote
macOS (OS X)

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud

Video settings[edit]

In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Multi-monitor
Use Flawless Widescreen to center the HUD.
Ultra-widescreen
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
See Field of view (FOV).
Windowed
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Up to 16x, but doesn't cover all textures, it is recommended to prefer driver level AF.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
FXAA, SMAA T1X, SMAA T2X (unavailable in SLI/Crossfire). See Anti-aliasing (AA).
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS
Cutscenes are pre-rendered at 30 fps.
120+ FPS
No frame rate cap. Audio during death scenes may be silent when the frame rate is over 100.
High dynamic range display (HDR)
Supports 10-bit output via HDMI Deep Color option. Does not support HDR.

Field of view (FOV)[edit]

Slider ranges from 47-75° vertical, with the higher FOV on the left side of the slider.
Slider is using vertical FOV. See FOV Calculator for help.
Slider can be customized to have different selectable values. See Menu Customization.
FOV higher than 55° makes the player character's legs and feet disappear.
FOV is locked at 47° during real-time rendered cinematics and when using terminals.

Anti-aliasing (AA)[edit]

SMAA which shipped in the game isn't enough to remove the high intensity aliasing on edges of shiny surfaces.[3]
Temporal AA injector fix[5]
  1. Download and extract Alias Isolation.
  2. Run aliasIsolationInjectorGui.exe.
  3. Follow the displayed instructions and click Launch. The Steam version should launch automatically.

Notes

Alias Isolation also includes a modified version of the Cinematic Tools mod, which allows for camera and post-processing control, time freezing, and a few other extras.[4]

Ambient Occlusion[edit]

HBAO+[6][7]
This method only works on NVIDIA graphics cards.
  1. Open the Alien: Isolation NVIDIA profile with NVIDIA Profile Inspector. [1]
  2. Change Ambient Occlusion compatibility value to 0x00060000.
  3. Change Ambient Occlusion setting to Quality.
  4. Change Ambient Occlusion usage to Enabled.
  5. Press "Apply Changes" in the top-right corner.

Notes

In-game HDAO needs to be disabled.

Input settings[edit]

Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Remapping
Mouse acceleration
Mouse smoothing, cannot be disabled in options (alternate opinion: mouse actually seems to have two independent mouse speeds unrelated to acceleration with a speed threshold, similar to a joystick dead zone.)
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller
Controller support
Full controller support
Controller remapping
4 Presets (2 'left handed')
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Additional information
Button prompts
For DualShock use the Playstation UI Mod
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Simultaneous controller+KB/M

Audio settings[edit]

In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Up to 7.1 output.[8]
Subtitles
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
See Mute on focus lost.

Mute on focus lost[edit]

Set mute in background[citation needed]
  1. Download Special K.
  2. Copy SpecialK32.dll to the installation folder.
  3. Rename SpecialK32.dll to dxgi.dll.
  4. Run the game and exit.
  5. Edit dxgi.ini in the installation folder.
  6. Change MuteInBackground=false to MuteInBackground=true under [Window.System].

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
French
German
Italian
Spanish
Czech
Polish
Russian
Brazilian Portuguese
Ukrainian
A Ukrainian fan translation is available.

VR support[edit]

Issues fixed[edit]

Missing sound effects[edit]

When frame rates are high, there are issues playing audio sound effects during the following (known) scenarios:

  1. "Alien kills Ripley" death scenes.
  2. "Working Joe kills Ripley" death scenes
  3. "Ripley struggles against Working Joe" combat scenes
Cap FPS with RTSS[9]
  1. Download and install MSI Afterburner with RivaTuner.
  2. In RivaTuner, create a new profile for (AI.exe).
  3. Limit frame rate to 105 FPS and enable Custom Direct3D Support for (AI.exe) in RivaTuner.

Notes

It is possible that there are other, higher frame rates than 105 FPS that also fix the issue, but this is unexplored. If limiting to 105 FPS doesn't work, try lowering to 100 FPS.

Game shows "Disk access" error while loading[edit]

Run game (AI.exe) as administrator
Give full permissions to your user on installation folder[citation needed]

Brightness issues[edit]

When using a flamethrower or plasma cutter, there is a chance that the whole screen will become excessively bright and blurry. The issue is likely connected with the trainer for the game.
Change anti-aliasing setting in game options[citation needed]
Turn off any trainers[citation needed]

Other information[edit]

Lens Flare[edit]

Disable lens flare[citation needed]
  1. Go to the DATA folder of the game.
  2. Delete or rename the LENS_FLARE*.bin files.

Menu Customization[edit]

By editing engine_settings.xml, in-game video options are easy to modify, and changes will be reflected in the game's menu as well.
Editing engine_settings.xml file
A specific setting line in the file consists of:
  1. <Quality , followed by the name= which is reflected as the setting name you see in-game (i.e. HDAO).
  2. Next is the actual value, which can be a int, bool, or float.
  3. The line content then ends with a precedence= which determines the order of the Quality items. A higher number means the item is more on the right. So precedence=2 will be the next item after precedence=1.
With this knowledge the FOV slider can be customized to show horizontal FOV values instead of the default vertical ones. Furthermore, we can cut off all values that don't show the main character's body anymore:
Customizing FOV slider[10]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\DATA\
  2. Open engine_settings.xml.
  3. Locate the Field Of View setting. The node starts with <Setting name="Field Of View"> and ends with </Setting>
  4. Now customize the lines in between. For example, remove every of those lines and insert <Quality name="75" float="47.0" precedence="1"/>, <Quality name="80" float="51.0" precedence="2"/> and <Quality name="85" float="55.0" precedence="3"/>.
  5. Save changes.
The FOV slider now has three possible settings: A horizontal FOV of 75, 80 or 85.

Increased Planar Reflections[edit]

It is possible to greatly increase planar reflections (floor reflections).
Planar Reflections Tweak[10]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\DATA\
  2. Open engine_settings.xml.
  3. Search for "Planar"
  4. Locate line <Quality name="On" int="3" precedence="2"/> and change it to <Quality name="On" int="6" precedence="2"/>.
  5. Save changes.

or, to preserve the vanilla setting as an in-game option to quickly change between vanilla and increased reflections

  1. Go to <path-to-game>\DATA\
  2. Open engine_settings.xml.
  3. Beneath line <Quality name="On" int="3" precedence="2"/> add line <Quality name="Increased" int="6" precedence="3"/>.
  4. Save changes.

Notes

This change of visuals is highly dependable on personal taste. Refer to the original guide for screenshots that show the enhanced "shinyness" of the floor.

Increased Shadow Map Resolution[edit]

2K Shadow Maps (Vanilla)
2K Shadow Maps (Vanilla)
4K Shadow Maps with flickering
4K Shadow Maps with flickering
In-game settings allow for a maximum shadow map resolution of 2048. It is possible to change the settings and increase the value.
Shadow map resolution tweak[10]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\DATA\
  2. Open engine_settings.xml.
  3. Locate line <Quality name="2048" int="2048" precedence="4"> which represents the maximum vanilla shadow map resolution.
  4. Change line to <Quality name="4096" int="4096" precedence="4">
  5. Save changes.

Notes

4096 is not the max value. However, there are almost no noticeable differences above this value.[11]
Increasing shadow map resolution introduces shadow flickering in some areas.

Increased Level of Detail (Pop-in Distance)[edit]

Default Level of Detail setting even on Ultra results in excessive object pop-in which can be rectified.
LOD Tweak[12]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\DATA\
  2. Open engine_settings.xml.
  3. Under the section marked "<Setting name="Level of Detail">", Locate the line <Quality name="Ultra" float="1.0" precedence="4"/> and change to <Quality name="Ultra" float="2.0" precedence="4"/>
  4. Save changes.

SLI Fix[edit]

Default SLI compatibility bits do not scale properly in certain areas. Use alternative bits to improve performance at expense of some minor UI & light shaft flicker in places.
SLI Compatibility Bits Modification[13]
  1. Open the game profile via NVIDIA Profile Inspector
  2. Change SLI compatibility bits (DX1x) to 0x0C0080F5
  3. Apply changes.

Notes

Light shaft flicker when using this fix appears to be itself fixable by increasing shadow map resolution to 4096. See Increased Shadow Map Resolution.

Other information[edit]

API[edit]

Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 11
64-bit executable

System requirements[edit]

Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 7 (32-bit) 7 (64-bit)
Processor (CPU) Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16 GHz
AMD Phenom II X3 710 2.6 GHz
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650 3.0 GHz
AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2 GHz
System memory (RAM) 4 GB 8 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 35 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce GT 430
AMD Radeon HD 5550
1 GB of VRAM
DirectX 11 compatible
Nvidia GeForce GTX 660
AMD Radeon R9 270
2 GB of VRAM
DirectX 11 compatible
macOS (OS X)
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 10.10.4 10.10.5
Processor (CPU) Intel 2.0 GHz Intel 2.8 GHz
System memory (RAM) 4 GB 8 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 35 GB
Video card (GPU) 1 GB of VRAM 2 GB of VRAM
The following graphics cards are not supported: AMD Radeon HD 4xxx series, ATI X1xxx series, ATI HD2xxx series, Intel Iris 5100, Intel HD5000, Intel Iris 6100, Intel HD6000, Intel HD5300, Intel GMA series, Intel HD3000, Intel HD4000, NVIDIA 1xx series, NVIDIA 9xxx series, NVIDIA 8xxx series, NVIDIA 7xxx series and NVIDIA 3xx series.
Linux
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) Ubuntu 14.04.3 64-bit, SteamOS
Processor (CPU) 2.6 GHz
System memory (RAM) 4 GB 8 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 35 GB
Video card (GPU) 1 GB of VRAM 2 GB of VRAM
Requires an Nvidia GeForce GTX 600 series graphics card or better running Driver version 355.11 or better. Intel and AMD GPUs are not supported.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Out now: Mac and Linux bravely get on board with Alien: Isolation™ – The Collection | Feral News
  2. http://www.notebookcheck.net/Alien-Isolation-Benchmarked.128374.0.html
  3. 3.0 3.1 Alias Isolation Comparison 2 - YouTube
  4. Release Cinematic Tools, TAA quality improvements · aliasIsolation/aliasIsolation - last accessed on November 14, 2016
  5. Alias Isolation: an anti-aliasing mod : alienisolation
  6. HBAO+ Compatibility Flags
  7. Original HBAO+ Post at Guru3D.com Forums
  8. PC Gaming Surround Sound Round-up
  9. http://steamcommunity.com/app/214490/discussions/0/619568192687904234/?ctp=2#c364039785160204217
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 ALIEN: Isolation Tweak Guide | steamcommunity.com
  11. Shadow map resolution screenshots 2K/4K/8K | Guru3D.com
  12. LOD Tweak | Guru3D.com.
  13. 3DCenter SLI thread (#1721)