Alien: Isolation was always essentially Alien: The Video Game in my mind, with its slavish reproduction of that film's technology, its sets, and the pre-Cameronised alien that hadn't yet been robbed of its near-indestructibility in the 1986 sequel. The news that Creative Assembly and Sega have gone full Alien and announced two bonus missions based on the original movie, and featuring the original cast, should make me very happy indeed—but it's been handled in just about the worst possible way. Those two missions—Crew Expendable and Last Survivor, detailed below—have been earmarked as pre-order DLC. You'll get the first one along with some other stuff simply by pre-ordering the game, but to get
you'll need to pre-order from "select retailers", which haven't been announced yet.
Pre-order-only goodies are bad enough when they consist of additional trinkets, usually overpowered guns or swords, but to restrict these hugely exciting—and for an Alien fan, pretty much essential—missions behind a pre-order paywall strikes me as a particularly cynical decision. A reminder: pre-ordering games is generally a bad idea, even if you're concerned they're going to turn out great. While it's likely, given the history of pre-order DLC, that these missions will be made available to
in a few months' time, that's no guarantee, and this assumption is certainly not going to be inferred at shop tills or on the game's Steam or Amazon page.
Here's what the pre-ordery Nostromo Edition contains, courtesy of Sega:
"Anyone who pre-orders the game will get a free upgrade to the Nostromo Edition, which includes the bonus content 'Crew Expendable'. Players can choose to play as one of three surviving crewmembers, only moments after Brett's death at the jaws of the creature. As Ellen Ripley, Dallas or Parker, players can explore the Nostromo from habitation deck down through engineering, coordinating their efforts with Lambert and Ash to lure the Alien into the ship's airlock."
I mean: that basically sounds incredible. As does Last Survivor, which rejoins the Alien story as Ripley is trying to make her escape on the Narcissus. We'll get to play the bit when Ripley returns to the Nostromo in order to activate its self-destruct sequence, before making the tense journey back. Creative Assembly have even roped in the original actors to supply the voices - it's all very exciting, or it would be if it hadn't been delivered in such a miserable context.
Alien: Isolation is out October 7th. Here's a very brief trailer for those DLC missions, courtesy of IGN: