Every few years a video game comes along that makes me wish I played video games. Red Dead: Redemption is like they went into my brain and pulled a sprawling western narrative directly out of my skull. But I played it for like five minutes before I handed the controller over to a friend. Alien: Isolation is the latest addition to this pantheon. Again, it’s like they made a game specifically with me in mind, and while I know that I’m not going to play it, I very much appreciate that it exists. And the fact that the original cast from Ridley Scott’s 1979 Alien got back together for some additional DLC missions only makes it that much more awesome. Check out this video of Ellen Ripley herself, Sigourney Weaver, and her shipmates on the Nostromo talking about their role in the game.
Set between Alien and James Cameron’s 1986 sequel Aliens, Isolation puts you in the point of view of Amanda Ripley, Ellen’s daughter who is first mentioned in the Aliens director’s cut. It’s 15 years after her mother’s disappearance, and Amanda works for the ubiquitous Weyland-Yutani Corporation. When they come across the flight recorder for the ill-fated Nostromo, her search for mommy dearest takes her to the planet Sevastopol, where she finds more than she’s looking for. And by that I mean aliens, nasty, acid-blooded aliens.
While the bulk of the action in the latest offering from Creative Assembly follows Amanda, bonus DLC missions will allow you to play as the original cast and actually explore the Nostromo. In addition to Weaver’s Ripley, almost the entire gang is back together. You’ve got Lambert (Veronica Cartwright), Brett (Harry Dean Stanton), Dallas (Tom Skerrit), and Parker (Yaphet Kotto, who does not look especially well in this footage). If you weren’t already, that should be more than enough to get you at least interested in Alien: Isolation. John Hurt and Ian Holm may not be around, but what the hell.
The fact that it also looks fantastic should also be a selling point. There are snippets of unfinished footage from the game in this video, but if you want more, look no further than this gameplay trailer from E3 that appeared a while back:
Each pre-order of the game comes with the first DLC mission, which is called “Crew Expendable.” Players pop in just after Brett’s death, and you can play as Ripley, Parker, or Dallas. The goal of this quest is to lure the xenomorph out of the ductwork and into the airlock so you can blast that bastard out into deep space. One of the coolest things about Isolation is that the creators went to great lengths to ensure that gameplay is never the same twice, and depending on what character you choose, your point of view, and the various resources you collect, the game shifts and changes every time.
There is another mission called “Last Survivor,” but the availability depends on what retailers you get the game from and what area you live in. This addition plunks you down in the climactic moments of the film, as Ripley struggles to start the self-destruct sequence on the Nostromo and make it to the Narcissus escape shuttle in time. For a game that already looks to be tense and claustrophobic, you can bet that this is going to be one intense bit of gaming.
Alien: Isolation hits stores on October 7, and will be available on most major platforms, including PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.