U.S. Colonial Marines Survival Manual lets you fight for survival against Alien’s xenomorphs

We’ve reviewed dozens of books from the Alien franchise over the past six years at borg.com.  The latest book blends the look and style of the Batman v. Superman Tech Manual (reviewed here at borg.com) and the virtual world potential of Pokémon Go.  The Book of Alien: Augmented Reality Survival Manual, by Owen Williams, allows diehard fans of the franchise a new way to immerse themselves in the world of the U.S. Colonial Marines.  With a nod to real world guides like the U.S. Army Survival Manual this future version is interactive, merging a free Alien Augmented Reality app that readers can download to their smartphones with the preparatory lessons and guidance in the book.  The Alien Survival Manual is entirely in-universe, featuring explanatory material for the reader newly stepping into the boots of a new Marine.

The book features historical data on six past missions.  You’ll revisit or learn for the first time what went wrong on key case study missions involving the xenomorph aliens: USCSS Prometheus–the first recorded encounter with the aliens, USCSS Covenant–a colonization ship is annihilated by xenomorphs, USCSS Nostromo–an ovomorph and xenomorph encounter, USCSS Sulaco–less information is on file from this mission, and lastly, the Fiorina 161 mission–two facehugger aliens board the ship, and USM Auriga–the perils of attempting to clone this unpredictable alien species.

Once trainees are up to speed on their history, it’s time to engage via your smartphone or Surface/iPad with six real-world training missions.  An embedded separate workbook inside the Alien Survival Manual incorporates some basic augmented reality features, placing the familiar aliens in the virtual space of your own room when used with the Alien AR app.  The goal of each mission?  Survival.

Mission #1 is engaging a xenomorph egg simulation.  Mission #2 is a drop-ship simulator, where Marines must maneuver a ship onto a designated landing surface.  Mission #3 is an alien autopsy simulation.  Mission #4 is a chestburster simulation.  Mission #5 is an alien queen encounter (hint: just drop your phone and run).  And Mission #6 is weapons training.  Grab that M41A pulse rifle!

More basic training includes an alien identification guide, and throughout the manual Marines will learn what Weyland-Yutani corporation knows about optimal alien weaponry, armor, and all the latest biological data on the xenomorphs.  The Alien AR app is pretty basic, yet it can also be seen as a fun, giant leap in technology that originated with classic books that included LP records or cassette tapes.

The pages of the book have a sleek futuristic style, the kind of images that would look great on a giant HiDef screen:

This is the latest gorgeous hardcover from Harper Design–full of photographs from the Alien franchise and the kind of data you’d find in an online roleplay game.  Plenty of attention to detail and excellent graphics work is evident, and fans who just can’t get enough of the movies and other books available will enjoy hunkering down and imagining themselves in Colonial Marine mode.

A great gift for your favorite Alien fan, The Book of Alien: Augmented Reality Survival Manual is available now here at Amazon.

C.J. Bunce

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