Alien: Isolation can be finished without killing anyone (or anything)

Andy Chalk at

Alien: Isolation is not going to be like Aliens: Colonial Marines, and not just in the case that it (hopefully) won't be terrible. You will not play as "state-of-the-badass-art," but as a young woman in a terrifying situation, trying to escape the clutches of an unstoppable and thoroughly murderous monster. You can't expect to kill your way through this game, in other words—but luckily you won't have to.

Killing stuff in videogames is easy. So easy, in fact, that not killing anything is now sometimes viewed as a more impressive mark of skill than a record-setting body count. Some games, like Dishonored, go so far as to explicitly reward a non-lethal approach, but Alien: Isolation sounds like it will offer some more practical benefits instead. Fighting is noisy, after all, and noise attracts trouble.

It's also, as Lead Designer Gary Napper told GamesTM, truer to the nature of the game and the character of Amanda Ripley. "You can get through the entire game without killing someone. It’s something that was, not so much a challenge, but something I felt was what the character would do," he said. "We’re talking about a member of the Ripley family—they’re not like characters in games that gun down civilians because they’re in the way to get to the switch."

The stealth approach won't always be easy, and while the alien is obviously "Ripley's Big Problem," trouble will also come from wonky synthetics and frightened humans with itchy trigger fingers. And even after you've made your way through an area, you can't consider it safely "cleared": Napper said players will be able to return to sections they've already played through, but they still won't be safe. "The alien can actually be anywhere," he said. "It's very much a Metroidvania style of unlocking things."