20 Things You Didn’t Know About Alien: Isolation

18. The Xenomorph 'Learns' As You Play

alien isolation
Monolith

In addition to the aforementioned menace gauge, the creature's behaviour is also dictated by its own clever little AI system.

The alien's own AI - which worked in tandem with the directorial system - operates through a behavioural tree (a flow chart of sorts that controls and prioritises the alien's actions) consisting of over 100 points (or nodes). At the start of a new game the alien only has access to 30 of these nodes, but as players progress, new behaviours are unlocked whenever certain triggers are activated or conditions are met.

Consequently, this gave the impression that the creature was learning from the player's actions, in turn becoming a more challenging obstacle in the process. For example, if players hid in certain hiding places like a locker, the Xenomorph will start to look in those places first.

Thankfully, though, Andy Bray, the lead AI programmer on the game, has stated that, in order to keep the gameplay as fair as possible, these 'learning' moments don't come from anything that leads to the player's death.

Contributor
Contributor

Glasgow-based cinephile who earned a Master's degree in film studies to spend their time writing about cinema, video games, and horror.