Based on Ridley Scott's epic rather than James Cameron's classic, Creative Assembly's Alien: Isolation is survival horror through and through. Unlike so many games, it did not see you blasting through entire hives. You did not massacre xenomorphs by the hordes, nor were you a hardened space marine. You were alone survivor trying to outlast a single drone. Set between Alien and Aliens, the game followed the daughter of Ellen Ripley, Amanda, on a quest to uncover her mother's fate. When word of the Nostromo's black box recorder reaches her, she travels to the dilapidated station of Sevastapol. Unbeknownst to her, something horrifying his stalking its ever-dwindling population.
From the start Alien: Isolation made one thing clear - You couldn't fight it. The xenomorph could shrug off almost anything you threw at it, and at best you might buy yourself a few minutes respite. Your best choice was always to distract it, using noises, creative devices, and even other people to draw it away. This left you hurrying about air events, scavenging for anything of worth and hiding in lockers as the predator stalked you by. The very act of saving the game was always a risk, as the few seconds pause meant it could sneak up on you before you were finished.
Every level changed dramatically, always forcing you to change tactics. Some would add in violent humans or androids who could kill you in moments. Others reduced the environment to narrow corridors, leaving you cautiously sneaking from room to room, waiting to see what would show up next. A few even forced you out onto the exterior of the station, bereft of any and all sound. Yet one point was clear: You were never safe at any time. Few games captured the desperate feel of helplessness so well as Alien: Isolation, and few survival horror games still have yet to match it.