Alien: Isolation was developed by Creative Assembly and released in 2014 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the PC. The game was set 15 years after the events of the first Alien and 42 years before its sequel Aliens. Isolation’s protagonist was Amanda Ripley the daughter of the film’s lead character Ellen Ripley and she is investigating the disappearance of her mother.
The game is a survival horror that relies on stealth and just like the film Ripley is being hunted by the Xenomorph. The creature can’t be defeated with force and the player is forced to run and hide long enough to break its line of sight. What made these moments so tense was just how clever the Xenomorph’s artificial intelligence was and avoiding it induced a sense of fear not often seen in modern survival horrors. However, it isn’t just the mechanics that make Alien: Isolation such a good but its atmosphere and level design. Here are ten games to play one should try if they want something similar.
10 Prey (2017)
Prey is a science fiction horror FPS that was released in 2017 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the PC. It was developed by Arkane Studios who were also responsible for developing the Dishonored series.
Prey is more focused on action than Alien Isolation but exploring and trying to survive in the atmospheric space station evokes a similar feel to the Alien franchise. Furthermore, there are plenty of scares and moments of dread as hostile alien entities called the Typhon can take the shape of any items.
On the surface, Observer doesn’t have much in common with the Alien franchise but it does inspiration from another Ridley Scott-directed movie Blade Runner. What it does have in common with Alien: Isolation, though is the use of psychological fear and atmosphere to create a feeling of dread in the player.
The game features Blade Runner’s Rutger Hauer in the starring role as a detective also known as an Observer that is capable of entering the tortured minds of murder victims using a device called the Dream Eater. There are even moments where the player will find themselves in similar hide and seek scenarios to Alien: Isolation.
8 The Exorcist: Legion
The Exorcist: Legion is a horror VR game released for the Oculus, HTC Vive, and PSVR. It was originally released as episodic experience but the full game is now available in its entirety. Being a VR game the psychological scares and atmosphere are at the forefront of the game’s scare mechanics.
It’s a very different experience to Alien: Isolation due to its VR platform, but the overwhelming feeling of dread as you’re dealing with an entity that defies comprehension is inescapable. The Exorcist: Legion is one of the highest quality licensed games available as well as a truly terrifying experience.
7 Dead Space 1 and 2
The Dead Space series is a third-person action horror game that was released on the Xbox 360, PS3, and the PC. The first two entries took inspiration from the Resident Evil 4, and films like The Thing, Event Horizon, and of course Alien.
Given its inspirations, Dead Space is an easy recommendation for fans of Alien: Isolation and the franchise as a whole. Unfortunately, with the protagonist being armed to the teeth it doesn’t quite have the scare factor of a game like Isolation, but its level and sound design are some of the best ever experienced in a horror title.
6 The Persistence
The Persistence is a VR game available for the PSVR, Oculus Rift, and Vive and it was released in 2018. Visually it shares a lot in common with the third-person action-horror series Dead Space. However, it is a vastly different experience not just because it is in VR but because it is a Roguelike with procedurally generated levels.
The sci-fi horror title puts the player in the shoes of Security Officer Zimiri Eder aboard the starship The Persistence and just like Ripley she is on her own after the entire ship’s crew has been wiped out. The player is also required to rely on stealth to make it through the game and deal with its many mutated enemies.
5 Resident Evil VII: Biohazard
Resident Evil VII: Biohazard was released for the PlayStation 4, PSVR, PC, and Xbox One in 2018. It was the first game in the series to use the first-person perspective and implement virtual reality.
REVII’s atmosphere is one of the most intense and dark ever seen in a videogame. This is only emphasized even more with the successful implementation of VR mechanics which transferred perfectly from a normal FPS to VR without a cost to the overall experience.
Soma is a science fiction survival horror developed by Frictional Games who were also responsible for one of the most influential horror games of all Amnesia: Dark Descent. The game takes the plater to an underwater research facility called PATHOS=II in the North Atlantic Ocean in the year 2104.
The player is tasked with exploring the facility whilst trying to avoid and deal with the monsters that are in the facility with them. The game isn’t quite as terrifying as Alien: Isolation but the unnerving level design and a great story and SOMA are on par with the best of them.
3 Hello Neighbor
On the surface, Hello Neighbor doesn’t look like it would have much in common with the Alien: Isolation. However, the looks can be deceiving as the colorful art style hides a surprisingly tense and jump inducing game of cat and mouse.
The player is placed in the shoes of a young boy called Nicky Roth as he’s trying to investigate his creepy neighbor for the suspected kidnapping of his friend. Nicky has to get into the house and into the basement without being caught and this is where the similarity to Alien: Isolation begins. The neighbor’s artificial intelligence is incredibly adaptive as it learns from the player's actions in the previous attempts and is even capable of surprising by predicting the player’s escape route.
2 The Amnesia Collection
The Amnesia Collection began with Amnesia: Dark Descent on the PC in 2010 and was followed by its sequel Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs in 2013. Both games eventually made their way to consoles as part of the collection in 2016 on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
It was one of the first games to implement the hide and seek style gameplay with the protagonist Daniel being completely defenseless against the monsters that chase him and he must stay out of the light to go unnoticed. Furthermore, Daniel’s sanity must be kept in line too because if it gets too low then he will begin to hallucinate and draw the attention of the horrific monsters he’s trying to hide from.
1 Outlast 1 and 2
The first Outlast was originally released in 2013 on the PC but arrived on consoles in 2014. It was developed by indie studio Red Barrels and its success saw it followed by Outlast: The Whistleblower and the sequel Outlast 2. The games are praised by horror fans as being some of the most terrifying videogames ever made.
Just like Alien: Isolation and Amnesia: Dark Descent, Outlast is a survival horror that puts the player in the shoes of a protagonist who’s only defense is to run and hide. Adding to the atmosphere is the first-person viewpoint that requires the use of a camcorder in the style of horror films like REC and The Blair Witch Project to see in the dark run-down psychiatric hospital.