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Bonus Material 1 - Podcast
Bonus Material 2 - Extra Chapter
Bonus Material 3
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An unofficial guide to the greatest horror game ever made.
I've been obsessed with Ridley Scott's horror masterpiece Alien for as long as I can remember—and I mean really obsessed. Most people watched the movie and moved on with their lives, but the dark, claustrophobic corridors of the USCSS Nostromo, and the shadowy extraterrestrial horror that haunted them, never left me. I've spent decades devouring books about its production, poring over behind the scenes photos, set blueprints, and interviews with the cast and crew, and digging out every new scrap of information I can find. I won't stop until I know everything there is to know about this movie.
I'm not alone. There's something about Alien that makes obsessives out of people—including The Creative Assembly, a British development studio who, in 2014, not only created the best horror game ever made, but the best Alien game ever made. Inspired by the distinctive retro-futuristic aesthetic and oppressive atmosphere of the 1979 original, Alien: Isolation is a game I always dreamed someone would make. It was created by a dedicated team of artists, writers, and engineers—and, crucially, Alien superfans—who were just as hopelessly enthralled by the source material as me.
But why write an entire book about it? I can't think of many games I could write tens of thousands of words about, but that's what makes Alien: Isolation so special. From the art direction, AI, audio, and music, to the level design, user interface, characters, and locations, this is a game of remarkable depth, complexity, and detail. After multiple playthroughs and countless hours spent researching it, I've amassed a huge amount of knowledge and insight about every aspect of the game—and I want to share that with you. I'm just as obsessed with it as I am with the film, and this will be evident on every page.
Here's what you can expect from the book.
An introduction to Alien: Isolation, my own personal obsession with the game, and how Perfect Organism functions as a companion to it.
2. A Brief History of Alien Video Games
A look at the history of Alien video games—the good, the bad, and the terrible—from the early '80s up to the present day.
3. Why Alien: Isolation Matters
An insight into what makes Alien: Isolation such a singular, special game, and how it succeeds where every other Alien game fails.
The story of the game's creation—including its origins, how it radically changed during development, and the history of its developer, The Creative Assembly.
5. Building Better Worlds
How the game's artists back-engineered a priceless trove of movie production materials to build a hard sci-fi world totally faithful to Ridley Scott's 1979 film.
6. Structural Perfection
A closer look at the xenomorph itself, from its visual design to the terrifyingly intelligent, reactive AI that makes it such a formidable adversary.
7. Crew Expendable
Biographies of every character, from the main cast to barely glimpsed extras—who they were, why they were on the station, and what happened to them.
8. The Story So Far
Absolutely everything you need to know about Alien: Isolation's story, including where it sits on the series' larger timeline and how it connects to the films.
9. Mission Guide
A detailed, in-depth analysis of the entire game, level by level, including trivia, easter eggs, design observations, and other insightful commentary.
Closing the Book
Welcome to Sevastopol
10. Alien Revisited
A close look at two bonus missions which painstakingly recreate locations and scenes from the 1979 movie, and reunite the original cast 35 years later.
11. The DLC
A breakdown of the downloadable missions that were released post-launch, how they connect to the main game, and what they reveal about the story.
12. What Ripley Did Next
A look at what Amanda Ripley got up to after surviving Sevastopol, as documented in follow-up comic books and mobile-only sequel Alien: Blackout.
How dedicated players have broken the game's code apart and modified it, including building their own levels and making the xenomorph even deadlier.
A look at the game's legacy, its critical reception, and the various ports that have been released over the years—including a nightmarish fan-made VR mode.
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Andy Kelly is an award-winning writer, artist, and internet timewaster from Glasgow who currently lives and works in Yorkshire. He's been a professional journalist for almost 20 years, covering video games, movies, television, and technology for outlets including Vice, The Guardian, Edge, BBC News, PC Gamer, Kotaku, and Edge.
- 28th April 2022 The Story So Far
First off, thanks to the 300+ people who have backed Perfect Organism so far. This is a dream project, and I'm delighted so many people are as enthusiastic about it as I am.
As a journalist, I love hyper-focusing on very specific topics.
These people are helping to fund Perfect Organism.