So THIS is what the official Alien Instagram account was teasing last month. 2014’s Alien: Isolation surprised everyone by being a pretty damned good survival horror game. Set between the first two Alien films, it starred Amanda Ripley, daughter of the legendary Ellen Ripley from the films, who was trapped on a remote space station with a deadly Xenomorph. However, there was no news of a sequel, until now. Alien: Blackout, which continues Amanda Ripley’s adventures, has been announced exclusively for mobile platforms.
Alien: Blackout looks to continue the same survival horror atmosphere of Alien: Isolation. The setup is similar, with Amanda stuck on a dying Weyland-Yutani space station with an extra-terrestrial intruder. However, Blackout is not a first person game, but more of a tactical game where the player must direct Amanda and the ship’s crew to avoid the Xenomorph using the space station’s holographic map, surveillance cameras and motion tracker.
According to the description, there are “seven fear-inducing levels”, and losing crew members can “permanently alter the outcome of the game”. Think Five Nights at Freddy’s, but with Xenomorphs.
The idea of bringing the Alien franchise to mobile devices is interesting, but it will depend on how it is executed. This may not satisfy fans hoping for another fully-fledged PC and console Alien game. However, a smaller, more tactical survival horror game is a perfect fit for mobile devices, and an experiment on what kind of game types can be made with the Alien license.
At least quietly announcing the mobile spin-off online probably shows a better awareness of their audience than announcing it at a massive fan convention against all expectation, as with Diablo: Immortal.
We still don’t have concrete information about a release date or pricing scheme. Alien: Blackout bills itself as a “premium horror experience”, so it at least probably won’t be full of micro-transactions. If it does well, hopefully we can look forward to more adventures of Amanda Ripley in the Alien setting.