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Alien: Isolation is a survival horror game based on the Alien film series. It was published by Sega and released for the Nintendo Switch in 2019. The game is set 15 years after the events of Alien and follows Amanda Ripley, daughter of Alien protagonist Ellen Ripley, as she investigates the disappearance of her mother.

Gameplay

Alien: Isolation is a single-player action-adventure game with emphasis on stealth and survival horror features. The player controls Amanda Ripley from a first-person perspective, and must explore a space station and complete objectives while avoiding, outsmarting and defeating enemies. Objectives range from activating computers to collecting certain items or reaching a specific area in the game. The player can run, climb ladders, sneak into vents, crouch behind objects to break the line of sight with enemies, and peek over or lean around to gain view. The player also has the ability to go under tables or inside lockers to hide from enemies.

Amanda encounters several antagonists over the course of the game, including hostile humans and androids. These can be defeated with gunplay or other offensive means. The main antagonist, an Alien creature, pursues the player throughout the game. 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 moving and close enough, the tracker's sound will attract the Alien, 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.

Although Amanda gains access to a revolver, a shotgun, a bolt gun, and a flamethrower over the course of the game, Alien: Isolation emphasises evasion over direct combat by providing limited ammunition. The player can also craft items by collecting schematics and different materials. Items include EMP, noisemakers, molotov cocktails, and pipe bombs; these can help the player deal with enemies. For example, the noisemaker can be used to attract enemies in a particular direction. The Alien is afraid of fire, so using flame weapons forces it to retreat into the station's ventilation system. The player has a limited amount of health which decreases when attacked by enemies; health is restored with medkits, which can be crafted with materials in Amanda's inventory.

The space station is divided into sections connected by trams and elevators. Some doors require certain actions before entry is allowed; for example, some require a keycard or entry codes, while others need to be hacked, or to be cut with welding torches. Computer terminals and rewiring stations can be used to access information, trigger actions such as disabling security cameras or manipulating the space station's air-purification mechanism. An automap helps the player navigate the different areas of the game. To save game progress, the player needs to locate a terminal in the game and insert Amanda's access card. If Amanda dies, the player will have to restart from the last saved point.

Plot

15 years after the events of the original Alien, Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley, learns from Christopher Samuels, an android working for the Weyland-Yutani corporation, that the flight recorder of her mother's ship, the Nostromo, was recently located by the crew of a salvage vessel, the Anesidora. The flight recorder is being held aboard Sevastopol, a remote space station owned by the Seegson corporation, in orbit around the KG-348 gas giant. Samuels offers Ripley a place on the Weyland-Yutani team being sent to retrieve it so that she can have closure regarding the fate of her missing mother. Ripley, Samuels, and Weyland-Yutani executive Nina Taylor travel to Sevastopol on board the Torrens courier ship. The group arrives at Sevastopol to find the station damaged and its communications offline. They attempt to spacewalk over to the station to investigate, but 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 Sevastopol, Ripley finds the flight recorder of the Nostromo with no data and learns 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, whose crew discovered the flight recorder near the LV-426 moon, where they also found a derelict ship previously found by the Nostromo crew and a nest of alien eggs contained within. While exploring the derelict, Marlow's wife was attacked by a Facehugger. She was then 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. Although Ripley is successful, Waits ejects the module from the station with her still inside. As the module careens towards KG-348, Ripley space-jumps back to Sevastopol using a space suit.

Ripley makes her way back to confront Waits, but Ricardo reveals that the station's service androids abruptly started slaughtering the remaining crew, including Waits. Samuels attempts to interface with the station's controlling artificial intelligence, APOLLO, to cease the rampage. However, the systems's defensive countermeasures kill him shortly after he opens a path for Ripley into APOLLO's control core. There, Ripley discovers that Seegson had been trying to sell off Sevastopol to Weyland-Yutani, who instructed APOLLO to protect the alien at all costs. Ripley tells APOLLO that the creature is no longer aboard the station and demands to cease all activity, but the system refuses, stating that "scheduled reactor scans are unverified". At the reactor, Ripley discovers an Alien nest and initiates a reactor purge to destroy it. Ripley learns from Ricardo that Taylor was sent to retrieve the alien and that she freed Marlow in exchange for the location of LV-426. However, Marlow double-crossed her and took her hostage aboard the Anesidora.

Aboard the Anesidora, Ripley discovers a message from her mother that was recorded after her initial report of the events on the Nostromo, thus finally giving Ripley closure. Marlow attempts to overload the fusion reactor of the Anesidora to destroy the station and ensure that no remaining alien creatures survive; Taylor kills him in attempt to reverse the process, but she herself is killed by the electric discharge, forcing Ripley to escape shortly before the Anesidora explodes. The explosion destroys Sevastopol's orbital stabilisers, causing the station to slowly drift into KG-348's atmosphere. Ripley and Ricardo contact the Torrens for extraction, but a facehugger latches on to Ricardo, forcing Ripley to leave him. After making her way outside to help the Torrens detach from the station, Ripley is surrounded by Alien creatures and ultimately thrown into the ship by a blast. Aboard the Torrens, Ripley discovers that another Alien has boarded the ship. When Ripley is cornered in the airlock, she ejects herself and the Alien into space. Adrift in her space suit, Ripley is awakened by a searchlight.

Reception

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