Five hundred years in the future, humanity has exhausted much of the Earth's natural resources, and competition for survival is tight. In response, Earth's mega-corporations send immense mining ships called "Planetcrackers" into deep space to mine planets on a global scale - they rip the planet apart, smelt it down and then bring all the material back to Earth.

When all contact is lost with the most famous Planetcracker, the USG Ishimura, Isaac Clarke and a small repair team are dispatched to restore communications. Isaac is a normal systems engineer, but what he and his team find upon arrival at the Ishimura is anything but normal. The ship is nearly lifeless and powerless. The crew has been horribly slaughtered and transformed into terrifying abominations. Now Isaac is cut off, trapped, and overwhelmed in a desperate fight to survive.