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Video Game: Alien: Isolation

Samuels: "We get to shut the book, Ripley."

Alien: Isolation is a first-person Survival Horror game based on the Alien franchise, developed by Creative Assembly, published by Sega and due for release in late 2014.

Set 15 years after the events of the original film, the game follows Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Nostromo warrant officer Ellen Ripley. Amanda has been searching for answers ever since her mother disappeared on a voyage aboard the Nostromo, and has joined the Weyland-Yutani Corporation as a researcher.

Provided with a lead that the Nostromo's flight recorder was recently discovered by one of their outposts, Amanda heads to the space station Sevastopol to seek answers, only to discover a terrifying threat - a lone xenomorph, which has massacred the station's inhabitants and is now pursuing her. Armed only with a handful of devices and her wits, it's up to Amanda to outwit her pursuer and discover the truth about what happened to her mother.

The game appears to take cues from other recent Survival Horror games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and features hide-and-seek gameplay where Amanda is forced to use different tactics to outwit and avoid the xenomorph stalking her through Sevastopol, while the xenomorph will adapt to the player's avoidance patterns and tailor its searching appropriately.

This game contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: According to the various snippets of gameplay footage and developer interviews, Amanda Ripley deliberately averts this, as she is a researcher who is forced to use her wits to hide from the xenomorph in the station.
    • Action Survivor: Amanda Ripley is an ordinary person forced to survive an extraordinary threat, with her only real weapon being her smarts. Likely she'll Take A Level in Badass as the game goes on, similar to her mother.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: A favored tactic of the xenomorph, much like the films. In the announcement trailer, Amanda shines her flashlight onto an air vent above her, which has streaks of blood leading into it.
    • Amanda can use the air-vents to navigate the station quickly as well. This leads to the horrifying implication that you can bump into the damn thing as you move around ala the ending of Aliens. Truly, nowhere is safe.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different: The pre-order missions "Lone Survivor" and "Crew Expendable" happen during the original Alien movie. Bonus points for using the original movie cast to provide the character voices.
  • Artificial Brilliance: According to the developers, the xenomorph tracks the player's avoidance patterns and actions, and tailors its encounters appropriately. As players themselves have found out, this is completely true.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Unlike its disposable mook counterparts from other Aliens games, the lone xenomorph is functionally Immune to Bullets, so trying to fight it with a firearm or other weapon will just result in your painful and messy death. Justified in that you're using civilian-grade weaponry that is also more than 50 years less advanced than the weapons used in the post-Aliens timeline.
  • Continuity Porn: Isolation is to the original film what Aliens: Colonial Marines was to its sequel - chockful of design aesthetics and plot points referencing their respective films. Creative Assembly staff members even note in their design diaries that they had access to original production assets from the original film.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: The Xenomorph is one on purpose. The Developers even described the Xenomorph as having a timeline it follows to match your progress and as players have noted, it adapts quickly to how you play.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Publicity screenshots show the lower half of an android's body propped up against a control panel as Amanda investigates the station.
  • Interquel: The events of the game take place during the 57-year Time Skip between the first two films, and deliberately invoke technology and equipment that is less advanced than that found in Aliens.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The game's protagonist is Amanda Ripley, who is stated in Aliens to have died as an old woman (albeit, she lived a full life and was married) before her mother awoke from cryosleep.
    • In one interview, the game's writer was questioned on the viability of a horror game where we know the protagonist survives- he suggested that we only have Weyland-Yutani's word on that, and they could have been lying to manipulate Ripley. Amanda making it to a ripe old age may not be quite such a Foregone Conclusion after all.
  • Late to the Tragedy: Amanda arrives at Sevastopol after the xenomorph has attacked and presumably killed the crew, discovering several corpses and bloodstains in the process.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Invoked. You can manipulate the situation to have the Xenomorph kill other Humans and Andriods, though considering how dangerous the alien is....
  • The Many Deaths of You: According to gameplay previews, Amanda can be killed by the xenomorph in several different ways (similar to the death animations from Aliens Vs. Predator), including impalement from behind and the xenomorph deliberately coiling its tail around her and staring as she dies.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The announcement trailer deliberately invokes this, as it begins with a lack of music and lights turning on one-by-one in an empty hallway.
  • Parental Abandonment: Amanda gets this after her mother (who promised to be home for her birthday) disappears after shipping out on the Nostromo, leading the former to believe she was abandoned as a child. The plot is motivated by her employer, Weyland-Yutani, alerting her to the fact that the flight recorder from the Nostromo was discovered and brought to Sevastopol.
  • Retraux/Zeerust Canon: The design aesthetic deliberately invokes a "lived-in universe", and the environments harken back to the original film. Likewise, Amanda uses weaponry and tools that are deliberately less advanced than those seen in games that take place later in the timeline, including a motion scanner with a CRT-like monitor. As the production staff has stated in interviews, practically everything in the game (from architecture to sound effects) is inspired by the original film in some way.
  • Revisiting The Roots: This was the stated intention of the development team. To date, nearly every game based on the series has taken its cues from the later movies (from Aliens onward). Isolation revisits the franchise's Survival Horror roots, pitting a lone everyman protagonist against a single alien in a dark spaceship, just as the original did.
  • Role Reprisal: Save Ian Holm as Ash, the entire post-Brett death scene cast is returning to voice their respective characters from the original movie.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The Xenomorph is actively hunting Amanda throughout the game. Given its species proclivity for violence and eliminating any perceived threats, this is very much a justified instance of this trope.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Seen at the end of the announcement trailer.
  • Used Future: Directly referenced by the developers as the aesthetic they like in the Nostromo: a '70s-style Used Future.
  • Vertical Kidnapping: Referenced in the announcement trailer, via an air vent the xenomorph presumably used to drag someone into.

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