Early in Alien: Isolation’s marketing career, someone let slip that the horror game would have guns and more human enemies alongside the Xenomorph. That news was alarming and the cause for some concern to many players hoping for a true survival-horror experience. Today, in an interview with GamesTM, Lead Designer Garry Napper has eliminated some of that concern.
“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…[Amanda Ripley is] not like characters in games that gun down civilians because they’re in the way to get to the switch.” Napper said.
While this hopefully means that the human and synthetic enemies can be overcome through more nonviolent and sneaky methods, “someone” and “anyone” are not synonyms, meaning Napper’s statement comes with strange implications. Does “someone” refer to the hostile human characters, does it refer to the Xenomorph, or does it refer to someone else entirely?
There’s a lot to like and a lot to wonder about. I like the overall implication that Alien: Isolation will stay a horror game despite certain weaponry being present. I also very much like that these gameplay decisions were based on Amanda Ripley as a character. However, Napper’s use of “someone” over “anyone” is strange, and I do believe his word choice was calculated. I suppose we’ll find out how important gunplay is in this game come early October.