Alisa Developer’s Cut Review for PS4, PS5, Xbox, and Switch

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The world of horror adventures has a great ally in small groups of independent creators. After pleasant surprises in that line, such as Oxide: Room 104 or MADiSON, it is now the turn of Alisa: Developer’s Cut, an adventure that, after its success among PC fans, is now available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Switch.
A single developer, the Belgian Casper Croes, is responsible for the most faithful or pure homage to the origins of survival horror that we remember, to the point that you will believe you are playing a new installment of Resident Evil on a PS1. Your skills will be put to the test in a labyrinthine adventure of fixed cameras, pre-rendered backgrounds, and relentless confrontations.
The story focuses on Alisa, an elite army officer who, 100 years ago, investigates the location of mysterious plans with her partner in a lost village in Europe. When she arrives, she is absorbed by strange forces and wakes up, dressed in the purest Alicia style, in a sinister mansion populated by killer dolls that have come to life.
Gameplay and Alisa Developer’s Cut gameplay:
Those of you with a few gray hairs will recognize the game’s dynamics in an instant, as it practically copies what we experienced in the 90s with games like Alone in the Dark or Resident Evil. Controlling Alisa in third person, we move through scenarios with fixed cameras, so we will be constantly changing frames.
By default, the control is “tank type,” as in Resident Evil (that is, we have to rotate on ourselves to change direction), but a more modern control can be chosen that makes turns much easier. It depends on how purist you want to be.
Alisa can walk, run, shoot, and interact with certain objects, and for aiming, we have to press a button to deploy the weapon and another one to shoot. The enemies are quite tough and we can even find an ethereal lady who will hunt us down randomly and, if she catches us, will take us directly to the game over. Luckily, when entering a new room, the location of the enemies resets, and they cannot pass from one room to another.
There is a reticle in the corner of the screen that turns orange when a shot is going to hit, and we can also activate the option to auto-aim on the horizontal axis, but if we do, we will receive less gears as a reward. These gears are the “currency” that we can use in the very scarce safe areas, where a strange puppet named Pol will exchange them for ammunition, first aid kits, new weapons (we start with a pistol, but we can get a saber, a blunderbuss, or a machine gun, for example), or costumes, which improve our stats for certain circumstances.
It costs gears to save the game in those areas (it is the only way to save the content we have), so we have to be very careful about where we invest them. Also, in the safe areas, we have lockers to change the suit we wear (only one at a time, of course), as well as our weapons, as we can only carry two.
When we move around the mansion, we can use a map to orient ourselves, but it is too sketchy: it only tells us the area we are in and which doors are closed, but not exactly where we are located or what keys we need for each door, for example. As expected, there are lots of puzzles, not only based on finding the right key for each lock but also on solving puzzles left in notes, finding and placing key objects in the correct order. Pure nostalgia.
Is Alisa Developer’s Cut difficult?
As the games it pays homage to, this is a difficult adventure, not only in navigation and puzzle-solving but also in the actual combat. First, because each enemy has its own dynamics and almost all require many shots, but also because ammunition and healing items are scarce, and the aiming system is very manual.
This means that each encounter with an enemy is a good dose of tension because running out of health requires falling into the dreaded game over and reloading from the last save room, which can mean having to repeat a lot.
The experience is not forgiving, as it assumes the patience typical of the times when our memory card was our lifeline.
The puzzles themselves always make sense and give us small clues, but understanding how they work and what is expected of us can cost you more than one try and wandering without much of an idea. Take note of everything you are told and the locations of each lock.
How many hours of gameplay does Alisa Developer’s Cut last?
Although, knowing exactly what to do in each part, we could finish the game in about three hours, it is practically impossible to get everything right from the start. The most likely scenario is that the game will last you about 8 or 9 hours.
In addition, there is the New Game+, which also serves to unlock an exclusive ending, one of the four in total. Therefore, the most complete players could dedicate close to 30 hours to discover absolutely everything, which is not bad at all for a game of this type.
No risk, no glory
With all that we have told you, some people may have decided to back out of this experience, and, of course, we cannot blame them: advancing in the adventure can be a very tough and even frustrating experience at times.
Although the game’s “conscious” difficulty is largely to blame, the main problem comes from a fixed camera system that is perhaps too extreme with frame changes. This causes axis jumps that make our character change direction very abruptly, so there will be times when you move forward and backward inadvertently in the same spot.
Logically, this is part of the charm of those classic games that are paid homage here, but perhaps the mixture of these very abrupt changes with a more overwhelming enemy presence than in the originals can go overboard at times.
In short, this is a game for patient people and, most likely, with experience in games from the nineties because part of the fun is reliving those feelings of vulnerability not only to the design of the games but also to their shortcomings.
But of course, there is also the strong point, because Casper delivers a true homage not only in gameplay but also in technical aspects: although the native resolution of the game is high, everything is presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio, the characters are deliberately very low-level, and even the pre-rendered backgrounds have a low resolution. There is even texture warping on the models.
It is not the only game that has joined the trend of low-poly, but it is certainly one of the best in reproducing the entire mid-90s experience, from controls to menu navigation, graphics, or sound. In addition, the enemy design is excellent, mixing marionettes with twisted shapes and insect-like movements.
It is inevitable to feel nostalgic with those music with a synthesized scent, simple, repetitive, but very atmospheric; the same goes for the scarce digitized voices (everything is in English, by the way), which show a very cheesy interpretation by the actors.
We do not know if this is intentional, but we want to believe it is because the game has a nostalgic sense of humor. That mix of terror, mystery, some mockery, and a lot of surrealism work incredibly well in creating a unique atmosphere.
There are homages to many classics of the genre, in the puzzles, in the mirrors, in some dialogues… and, ultimately, you can see the love and the many experiences the developer has lived. Moreover, the fact that there are so many secret areas, endings, or costumes to unlock for just 15 euros should serve as an example for many big developers.
Therefore, Alisa Developer’s Cut is a very conscious experience of its “ancestors” and the audience it wants to appeal to: one that is not afraid of tough challenges and immersing themselves in an atmosphere where psychological tension is ahead of the blood. You will need nerves of steel not to become a “doll” in this nostalgic experience.

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