Last updated on July 21st, 2023 at 01:42 pm
Aliens: Dark Descent tries to mix different genres, creates an atmosphere of horror, and does it pretty well (with some bugs along the way).
Aliens: Dark Descent is a great addition to the Alien franchise
Alien franchise, when it comes to games and movies, tried almost everything. Let us focus on the games though. We were treated with gems of games like one of the best horror games Alien: Isolation, as well as with, more than we would like, games that were not giving the Alien franchise justice. Luckily, Dark Desent is in the first category.
Aliens: Dark Descent is a survival horror RTS game and a breath of fresh air in the Alien universe. Gameplay-wise, you can say that this game is a mix of XCOM, without a turn-based aspect of the combat with some of the Darkest Dungeon features.
When it comes to gameplay, we control the four people squad of the Colonial Marines. While enemies are not the smartest, their strength lies within their numbers. It is possible to go all out and destroy everything on your path but it makes finishing the mission a million times harder as with every xenomorph that spots you, it alerts the rest of the pack. The more times the hive is alerted the stronger boss enemies will appear. The golden rule is to try to be as stealthy as possible with adds a nice paranoic aspect to the gameplay a bit similar to that in Isolation.
Aliens: Dark Descent gives life to our soldiers and makes us care about their well-being. They are not immune to all the nasty and scary things that are happening right now and with their stress levels going up they will start to act accordingly like missing clear shots, start to waste ammunition, and become disobedient. That adds to the difficulty level and makes it harder to keep them alive. Sometimes it is even better to extract your squad and not finish every objective rather than fail the mission and let them die. And this adds another, unique layer to the games’ atmosphere and allows you to feel like every new mission is yet another Alien movie. Developers also gave players an option to create save havens on the mission maps that will allow their troopers to rest and reduce their stress levels. Making them requires some work so that is another great gameplay feature.
The atmosphere of pure horror is something that I thought would not be possible to achieve with this type of game. I am happy that I was so wrong. I would say this constant tension and uncertainty is what makes this game such an awesome experience to play.
Aliens: Dark Descent is a mash-up of gaming genres with a splash of unique features. Gameplay is captivating, missions are demanding and the atmosphere of dark corridors allows players to feel engaged and entertained.