Amanda encounters various enemies throughout the station, including hostile human survivors and androids. The player can either eliminate them or avoid them using stealth or distractions. The main antagonist, an Alien creature, pursues the player throughout. The Alien creature cannot be defeated, requiring the player to use stealth tactics in order to survive. Instead of following a predetermined path, the Alien has the ability to actively investigate disturbances and hunt the player by sight or sound. Along the way, the player can use both a flashlight and a motion tracker to detect the Alien's movements. However, using any of these increases the chance of the Alien finding the player. For example, if the Alien is close enough, it will be attracted by the tracker's sound, forcing the player to use the tracker wisely and remove it as soon as it detects motion. The motion tracker cannot detect enemies when they are not moving and cannot determine if the alien creature is up in the ducts or on ground level.
Ripley, Samuels, and Weyland-Yutani executive Nina Taylor travel to Sevastopol via the Torrens, a courier ship, only to find the station damaged and external communications offline. While attempting to spacewalk into Sevastopol, their EVA line is severed by debris, and Ripley is separated from the others and forced to enter the station on her own. While exploring the station, Ripley finds the flight recorder of the Nostromo, but the data has been corrupted, and also discovers that the station is out of control due to a deadly Alien creature lurking aboard. After regrouping with Samuels and Taylor, Ripley meets the station's Marshal Waits and his deputy Ricardo. Waits explains that the alien was brought onto the station by Anesidora captain Henry Marlow, who, after recovering the Nostromo's flight recorder while salvaging its remains in space, was able to backtrack the Nostromo's path to LV-426 and locate the derelict alien starship, containing within a nest of alien eggs. While inside, Marlow's wife was attacked by a Facehugger and brought aboard Sevastopol for emergency medical treatment, but died after a Chestburster hatched from her. Waits convinces Ripley to contain the Alien inside a remote module of the station, and then eject it into space. Although Ripley is successful, Waits ejects the module with her still inside. Careening into KG-348, Ripley space-jumps back to Sevastopol using a space suit.
Alien: Isolation was developed by Creative Assembly, which is best known for their work on the Total War strategy video game series. A game based on the Alien series from 20th Century Fox was conceived when Creative Assembly finished Viking: Battle for Asgard in 2008, after the publisher, Sega, acquired the rights to develop Alien games in December 2006. A six-person team developed the first prototype to pitch the idea, wherein one player would control the alien manually while another would conceal themselves in an environment and try to hide from the creature. The game captured the attention of Sega and the project was eventually approved. Because Creative Assembly had no experience with survival horror games, the company hired people from studios such as Bizarre Creations, Black Rock, Crytek, Ubisoft, and Realtime Worlds for the project. According to director Alistair Hope, the development team grew from "a couple of guys crammed in with the Total War team" to a group of 100 people by 2014.
Alien: Isolation runs on a proprietary engine that was built from scratch by Creative Assembly. Previously used in Viking: Battle for Asgard, the engine was adapted to accommodate technical aspects such as the atmospheric and lighting effects and the alien's behavioural design. The engine's deferred rendering allowed artists to place "hundreds" of dynamic lights in a scene and achieve great geometric detail. A major toolchain update occurred six months into development. Although the new tools eventually improved workflow, they initially caused major disruptions because previous work had to be discarded or ported into the new tools, taking valuable development time away from the team. The alien was designed to look similar to H. R. Giger's original design, including the skull underneath its semitransparent head. However, the designers did alter its humanoid legs with recurved ones to provide the alien a walk cycle that would hold up to scrutiny during longer encounters with the player. Between 70 and 80 different sets of animation for the alien were created. The alien's artificial intelligence was programmed with a complex set of behavioural designs that slowly unlock as it encounters the player, creating the illusion that the alien learns from each interaction and appropriately adjusts its hunting strategy. As gameplay designer Gary Napper explains, "We needed something that would be different every time you played it. You're going to die a lot, which means restarting a lot, and if the alien was scripted, you'd see the same behaviour. That makes the alien become predictable, and a lot less scary." The save system was inspired by a scene in the film where Captain Dallas uses a key-card to access Nostromo's computer, Mother.
The developers originally planned to add a feature that would allow players to craft weapons, but the idea was ultimately discarded. According to Hope, "We thought about what people would want to do in order to survive. We explored different ideas, and one of them was fashioning weapons to defend yourself. That was quite early on, but then we realised that this game isn't really about pulling the trigger." Another cancelled feature was the alien's iconic acid blood as a game mechanic, which could melt through metal like in the film. Although the feature was reportedly implemented at one point, it was removed because the developers felt it would take the game in a "weird" direction. Although the game is played from a first-person perspective, it was developed for a considerable amount of time in third-person view. The perspective was changed after the team realised that first person changed the gameplay experience significantly. Hope explained that, in third-person view, Alien: Isolation would have become "a game about jockeying the camera and looking after your avatar. But in first-person it's you that's being hunted. If you're hiding behind an object and you want to get a better view of your surroundings, you have to move." Development took four years after Creative Assembly pitched the idea to Sega. Alien: Isolation was released to manufacturing on 9 September 2014. It is dedicated to Simon Franco, a programmer who died during development.
Alien: Isolation supports additional in-game content in the form of downloadable content packs. The first two packs, Crew Expendable and Last Survivor, were made available at the time of release. Crew Expendable, included in the "Nostromo Edition", relives a scene from Alien and involves the player controlling Ripley, Dallas or Parker attempting to flush an alien creature from the Nostromo's air vents into the ship's airlock. Last Survivor, which was originally made available to players who pre-ordered at certain retailers, is set during the film's finale and involves the player controlling Ripley as she tries to activate the Nostromo's self-destruct sequence and reach the escape shuttle.
Critical reception for Alien: Isolation was "generally favourable", according to review aggregator Metacritic. Josh Harmon of Electronic Gaming Monthly felt that Alien: Isolation "succeeds as a genuine effort to capture the spirit of the film franchise in playable form, rather than a lazy attempt to use it as an easy backdrop for a cash-in with an ill-fitting genre." Writing for GameSpot, Kevin VanOrd praised the tense and frightening gameplay, stating that "when all mechanics are working as intended, alien-evasion is dread distilled into its purest, simplest form." However, he criticised the "trial and error" progression and frustrating distances between save points. Jeff Marchiafava of Game Informer stated similar pros, but criticised the story and poor acting from the voice actors.
Writing for GamesRadar, David Houghton praised the alien's advanced artificial intelligence, stating that "progress becomes a case of 'if' and 'how', not 'when'. Movement is measured in inches and feet rather than metres, and simply remaining alive becomes more exhilarating than any objective achieved." Peterson praised the gameplay as tense, scary and effective, writing that Alien: Isolation is "a solid, incredibly striking example of the [survival horror] genre that uses its first person perspective to greater personalize the horror". PC Gamer credited the crafting system for creating "a lot of unexpected depth", allowing players to outsmart enemies in multiple ways. The Survivor Mode was praised by Chris Carter of Destructoid, who felt it offered players different feelings and experiences each time they played it.
A notable negative review came from Ryan McCaffrey of IGN, who gave the game 5.9/10. He found it disappointing, despite being a perfect Alien game on paper. He believed that the genuine scares of being hunted by an unstoppable alien were diluted by repetition. He also criticized the Alien's AI being too hard to play against. However, this review was met with a large negative backlash from fans.
The alien is an almost constant threat, but there are other dangers on Sevastopol. Malfunctioning androids called Working Joes wander the station, brutally killing any humans they come across. Their rubbery, emotionless faces and glowing eyes are genuinely unnerving, and sneaking through groups of them is as nerve-racking as facing the alien. Get too close and they'll grab you, draining your health until you manage to break free. You can kill them, but they take a lot of resources to bring down, making stealth the best option. They're a lot slower than the alien, but every bit as deadly. 041b061a72