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Aliens: Dark Descent Review – They’re in the Wall

Few games have taken the Aliens name and managed to capture the essence of what made so many early films so compelling. Survival-horror game Alien: Isolation comes closest to this, eschewing horror’s typical action direction and demanding his one xenomorph a frightening tribute that not many other adaptations can offer. You are a terrifying presence. There will be more Xenomorphs in Aliens: The Dark Descent, but this hybrid of action and real-time strategy conveys the same sense of dread you feel when engaging Xenomorphs, making it easier to fudge other eras. , which mostly works. The system doesn’t work anymore.

Aliens: The Dark Descent primarily takes place on the planet Lethe. This is followed by the familiar scene of a xenomorph outbreak at the Weyland-Yutani space station, sending the entire region into a dangerous lockdown. As survivors battle for a way out of Earth and investigate the origins of the outbreak, players travel across numerous locations around the globe to uncover clues, scavenge for supplies, and stand in their way. shoots down everything. Alien: The Dark Descent has a hunch of a captivating tale that doesn’t quite deliver on its initial promises, boiling down the intriguing premise of the opening hours into a canonical narrative, and much more than its simple mysteries. I will not tell you.

Playing: Alien Dark Descent – Story Trailer

The story is largely told through dialogue between the game’s two main protagonists, an administrator who survived the opening space station and a grizzled Space Marine with a strange connection to the Xenomorphs. Their chemistry is lacking, and their relationships fluctuate wildly from extreme to extreme in a very short period of time, making it difficult to feel involved in their plight and personal motives. Sub-characters rarely have a moment to shine, so it’s easy to start tweaking the whole instead of the much more interesting parts of Dark Descent.

Aliens: Dark Descent is a mix of genres, and it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly which genre it adheres to the most. Its top-down view and cover mechanics are reminiscent of games like XCOM, but the real-time action borrows a lot from standard action role-playing games like Diablo. During each mission, you form a squad of four of his Space Marines, units he controls as one entity. Individual squad members cannot be moved independently, and soldiers will only disengage from the ranks if commanded to open crates or retrieve collectibles, then rush back.

This independent restriction of movement keeps your attention on one point at all times, which is why Aliens: Dark Descent’s atmospheric horror works. Despite the seemingly wide view of the surrounding landscape, the Marines’ actual visible range is limited, so when exploring the narrow corridors of an abandoned outpost or the winding caverns of an invaded underground mine. , a lot of tension is kept. Enemies can and will target you as you move around these areas. A recognizable ping from the motion sensor tells you how close an enemy is. Just a few Xenomorphs are enough to completely tear a team apart, giving these creatures a sense of power and heightening the tension every time you face them. The Space Marines literally represent this fear with a stress meter that rises as you are hounded, and ultimately prevents you from doing your alien extermination mission as effectively as possible.

Stress is just one small element of a team that needs to be managed, but it serves as a great example of the many small mechanisms that all work together to highlight the tension between skirmishes. Just like in the movies, Xenomorphs spray noxious, acidic blood when injured. This means that if a Space Marine kills an enemy too close, it can take damage. This makes moving while engaging enemies all the more important, allowing you to shoot if you choose to move at a slow walking pace, as opposed to sprinting where you can’t counterattack. Xenomorphs launch surprise attacks through vents, catching the weakest members of the team and dragging them to their demise if not stopped. The facehugger will pop out of the egg and stick to the face of the squad, and the soldier in question will die if he decides he doesn’t have the equipment needed to peel it off. These tiny moments, made up of tiny decisions, make even the mundane movement between objectives evocative, forcing you to think more about subversion and action than outright action in most scenarios.

There will be more Xenomorphs in Aliens: The Dark Descent, but this hybrid of action and real-time strategy conveys the same sense of dread you feel when engaging Xenomorphs, making it easier to fudge other eras. , which mostly works.the system doesn’t work anymore

Stealth isn’t just a viable tactic, it’s encouraged in Aliens: The Dark Descent by a system that tracks you when you’re being chased by a Xenomorph lair. Any action that might attract attention, such as firing a gun or blowing up a barricade for a shortcut, alerts the nest to your presence, and periodically dispatches drones to follow you. will be The longer this hunting state, which resets each time you alert an enemy, the more aggressive the entire nest. Ultimately, this results in larger groups of patrolling enemies, special boss enemy types that are much harder to defeat, and regular annihilation of troops if unprepared. A brutal onslaught of such enemies will occur. This is an effective way to encourage seeking alternative routes and using stealth when possible, but it also reveals just how valuable extraction can be.

In each mission, you can quit at any time and return to the fight another day, leaving it up to you to decide if you want to return with a full squad or a battered squad with missing soldiers. It’s a powerful yet simple mechanic that will make Darkness even more immersed in managing and maintaining a team in the harsh environment of His Descent.

Aliens: Dark Descent emphasizes the challenge. Clearly warn of that fact before starting a campaign, and regularly remind yourself to prepare before each major skirmish. However, encouraging people to play a certain way doesn’t always provide the most compelling moment-to-moment experience. It’s fun to devise ways to evade enemies without drawing their attention, but there’s little depth in dealing with repetitive climate change, and it’s equally frustrating to be continuously forced into the same kind of skirmishes. To do. In summary, you’re usually given time to set up a few turrets, decide which soldiers to do covering fire in a particular direction, and then either come out relatively unscathed, an entire squad wiped out, or you’re out of combat. Most of the time, we observe the development passively. outside. The key to dealing with failure usually lies in one or two actions (such as using an ability such as a deadly close-range shotgun detonation, or deploying additional mines), but how these encounters Given how similarly unfolding it falls into the mundane hole rather quickly. than a strategic stimulus.

Outside of missions, the strategic elements are equally thin. Between deployments, it is responsible for the underlying management system, similar to XCOM. Assign doctors to treat specific units to reduce wound time, use resources found in missions to unlock (a few) different weapons, or send units into training to avoid traditional deployments. You can make it possible to level up with . Coupled with the few options for meaningfully enhancing a large number of soldiers, and the upgrades earned feeling imperceptible, the decisions imposed by each division seem pointless. Aside from the doctor’s assignment, we rarely tabbed into the rest of the department other than to see new weapons and possible upgrades, so this whole layer of gameplay is a must to ensure a successful mission. It has become more essential during missions than essential. The composition of squads you send out on missions and the growth of individual units is also relatively flat, with little discernible difference from recruits to fully upgraded recruits when they hit the field. Give each soldier a memorable personality by assigning passive perks and unlocking weapon proficiency as each soldier levels up. But when one drone rips both newcomers and veterans in about the same amount of time, it’s hard to come close to a drone you’ve played with for hours.


It’s a shame that Aliens: Dark Descent describes its setting fairly accurately, only to stumble in each of the more important areas to grab the user’s attention. An authentic and atmospheric setting with attention to detail will welcome anyone familiar with the series. The horror-focused, small-scale mechanics that the Xenomorph exudes give both exploration and combat the right amount of tension, making each one more distinct than the early composition suggests. But this team rarely feels like a unit of unique people desperately wanting to keep alive, fighting for a cause in a story that’s easily ignored mid-narrative. There’s a lot to like about this attempt to make Alien fresh and interesting again, and that might be enough to make you want to see it through to the end. But there are enough that it can completely derail you.

https://www.gamespot.com/reviews/aliens-dark-descent-review-theyre-in-the-walls/1900-6418085/?ftag=CAD-01-10abi2f Aliens: Dark Descent Review – They’re in the Wall

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