There is enjoying a stealth game, and then there is taking the idea of stealth really seriously. If I’m trying to play trough Metal Gear Solid as stealthily as possible, I have no problem capping the occasional guard who will give away my location. It’s much easier than ducking for cover for a few minutes.
For some gamers though, this is too much. To them, stealth means just as much to not be seen as it does to not harm others, leading to the idea of completing a game without murdering anybody. And I mean anybody, even bosses and characters whose deaths seem unavoidable. These “non-lethal” run throughs have picked up steam with releases like Thief and Dishonored, and they are about to get add a new game to their ranks with Alien: Isolation.
The Creative Assembly Lead Designer Gary Napper describes the decision as staying true to the character.
“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. We’re talking about a member of the Ripley family – they’re not like characters in games that gun down civilians because they’re in the way to get to the switch.”
Does that someone include the alien itself? Alien: Isolation takes place on a cloning facility where renegade mutants are out to kill Amanda Ripley just as much as her dangerous pursuer. In some cases, yes. It might be easier to drop a soldier with your own blood-stained hands, but going for a non-lethal runthrough includes either hiding or letting the alien do the job for you.
As always with these kinds of games, I go with the route that provides the best results. The challenge of a non-lethal approach never really appeals to me, but it just might in Alien: Isolation if that includes manipulating the alien. We’ll see.
Alien: Isolation launches for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC on Oct. 7.