Ever since Alien: Isolation turned out to be so good, it almost made us forget about Aliens: Colonial Marines, people have wanted more games that treat the Alien series right. And as 2018 came to a close, various teases suggested a new game was on the way. But 2019 began with a shocking surprise. A title called Alien: Blackout was coming. However, it would be a mobile game. While this may be shocking and could trigger the same sort of outrage as Diablo: Immortal, let's not be hasty. Instead, let's be realistic and temper our expectations.
Yes, Alien: Blackout stars Amanda Ripley. People who played Alien: Isolation will remember her. But in case she is unfamiliar, she is the daughter of Ellen Ripley, the star of pretty much every piece of important Alien media. That means there won't be any direct interactions from Ellen, as this takes place between Alien and Aliens and she is nowhere near her daughter. So while there will be references to the lore, our character is not exactly a familiar face.
We don't know if Alien: Blackout will have any carryover from Alien: Isolation. The two are set during the same time period. It certainly seems like they have a similar plot. Amanda is on a badly damaged Weyland-Yutani space station in the mobile game. A Xenomorph is on the loose and some other crew members are there and need Amanda's help to survive. Spoilers aside, the premise is similar in Alien: Isolation. Amanda heads to a Weyland-Yutani station to get her mother's Nostromo flight recorder, finds the station has been devastated, and a Xenomorph is lurking there and hunting any survivors.
The gameplay is something else to be aware of. In Alien: Isolation, we are going through a first-person game where the alien is directly hunting us. We are on the ground and everything is happening directly to us. It was an immersive game, and it heavily tied back to the lore. Alien: Blackout sounds like a very different sort of thing. To be frank, it sounds a lot like it will be a horror game that follows the Five Nights at Freddy's formula.
Amanda is going to be an overseer at the helm of the Weyland-Yutani station. She reaches the main computer and keeps track of crew members, directing them around the station. You also keep track of motion around the station to see where the Xenomorph might be. Instead of an adventure where you roam around a station, you are surviving seven levels. It is going to be very different and rely more on oversight and watching what other characters are doing, rather than taking survival into your own hands.
None of this means Alien: Blackout will be bad. The early promotional materials describe it as a "premium mobile game experience," which could mean it is the sort of title where you buy it once, have access to everything, and don't have to worry about free-to-play trappings. It also mentions that "every decision can lead to a different conclusion," suggesting replayability due to multiple endings. This could end up being a fun and viable excursion. People just need to keep their expectations low, like Five Nights at Freddy's low, and not expect this to be a true sequel to Alien: Isolation.