In the future, Earth's appetite for resources has become a major motivator for deep space exploration. Immense, privately-owned and operated mining ships called "planetcrackers" orbit planets and use sophisticated equipment to carve out entire city-sized chunks of rock, and reduce them to component elements and raw ore.
Communications with one of these planetcrackers, the USG Ishimura, have ceased while the ship is engaged in deep space mining operations.
The company's top engineer, Isaac Clarke, is sent to discover the problem and fix it. Once onboard the vessel, Clarke discovers that a terrifying alien presence has taken over the ship, and has horribly killed the crew. Weaponless and terrified, this lone engineer is burdened with much more than simple survival - he holds the fate of all mankind in his hands.