Facing one of the galaxy’s scariest creatures unarmed may not be safe, but it sure is exhilarating.
Not that Alien: Blackout gives you a choice. You’ll find no pulse rifles or flamethrowers in this survival-horror game based on the legendary sci-fi franchise. There’s no combat of any kind, in fact. Like the 2014 console/PC game Alien: Isolation, Blackout casts you as Amanda Ripley (daughter of Alien hero Ellen Ripley), and this spiritual sequel is even more stealth-based than its predecessor.
When a damaged shuttle docks at Mendel research station, Amanda is already in the ventilation ducts, hiding from the acid-blooded fiend that’s roaming the decks. Using a holographic map, cameras, and motion detectors, you’ll direct those visitors to the gear they need to make repairs so you can all escape the doomed facility.
The tension mounts as you guide your allies through new areas—partly because you can only do so much to protect them. Spot the Alien with motion trackers or cameras, then trace a path on the map to help people avoid it. Open and close doors at just the right moment to distract the creature or put a barrier between predator and prey.
And telling folks to run or hide in the nick of time might just save them from a grisly fate. But don’t feel bad when you fail: Some areas require quite a few tries. It’s all part of the game’s nerve-racking charm.
There’s no gore or graphic violence here, but Blackout doesn’t need either to scare you silly. If hearing characters’ nervous whispers become frightened screams doesn’t rattle you, the Alien’s hideous screeches will. Especially when you don’t finish an area in time and your map shuts off, leaving you powerless. That’s when the real nightmare begins.