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Alien: Isolation update adds Novice and Nightmare difficulty levels

Alien: Isolation

The trouble with making videogames is that it's very difficult to keep everyone happy. Take Alien: Isolation, for example. Some players want to explore without having to constantly worry about their face being chewed off; others feel like anything short of relentless punishment is a waste of time. The update released today tries to do something for both camps by adding two new difficulty levels at opposite ends of the spectrum: Nightmare and Novice.

Nightmare mode saddles players with a busted motion detector and more limited resources; the map systems are offline, and survivors and synthetics will behave more aggressively and dangerously. The Alien will be tougher as well, with heightened senses and "upgraded AI" that will make it more quickly adaptive to your tactics.

Novice mode, obviously, takes things in the opposite direction, providing "more time and breathing space with which to explore Sevastopol." Resources will be relatively plentiful, and the alien will be "more forgiving, more easily distracted, and less aggressive in his hunting style."

Creative Assembly also released a couple of downloadable posters, one for Novice and one for Nightmare, styled after sci-fi movie posters from the 70s. They're both very cool, but for my money the description of the "Ultimate Alien" makes the Nightmare poster the clear winner: "More aggressive. Adapts faster. No second chances."

The update containing both new game modes is available now, and it's free.

Alien: Isolation Nightmare mode

Alien: Isolation Novice mode

Andy Chalk
Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.