For gamers who want the most authentic experience playing the latest iteration of the Alien franchise, Alien: Isolation, the game producer Sega has an offer. If they preorder the title—which is not set to be released for several months yet—their version will feature many of the actors who infamously battled the frightening extraterrestrials in the original 1979 film Alien.
The well-known names whose likenesses and voices will appear in the game include Sigourney Weaver (who played the main character, Ellen Ripley), Yaphet Kotto, Tom Skerrit, and Harry Dean Stanton. But their voice acting skills will only be available in a few bonus levels of the game. For example, on the “Crew Expendable” bonus mission, gamers can play as the film characters Ripley, Parker, or Dallas in their efforts to coax an alien into the airlock of the ship.
In a partnering deal, GameStop also is going one step further. If consumers preorder the game at its stores, it will add on another bonus level, in which players function as Ripley as she tries to get the ship to self-destruct but also get herself onto an escape shuttle in time.
The participation of the actors is notable, in that they have refused to lend their images or voices to previous versions of the cross-branded video game series. Many of those previous titles have not performed particularly well in terms of sales. However, Alien: Isolation promises to fit better with the reputation of the Alien films. According to one reviewer, the game offers far more tension than graphic violence. Rather than fighting off hordes of villains, players come up against only the clever alien, who can sense their every move. The screen displays also are clear of clutter, such as health status or gear information. The only thing players see is their spooky surroundings, and if their character glances down to check out a monitor that shows the location of the alien, the rest of the screen goes a little blurry—making it easy for that clever space fright to sneak up behind them. The game is clearly an homage to the original: It appears scary enough to send gamers out of their seats, just as the original movie did to filmgoers decades ago.
Chris Morris, “Alien: Isolation Lures Back Original Alien Cast Members,” Yahoo Games, July 9, 2014, https://games.yahoo.com; Andrew Webster, “Alien: Isolation Is the Scariest Thing at E3,” The Verge, June 11, 2014, http://www.theverge.com