Aliens: Dark Descent – A Game Show That Got Us Excited!

Aliens: Dark Descent - A Game Show That Got Us Excited!

Unveiled during Summer Game Fest in June 2022, Aliens: Dark Descent shared a brief overview of its gameplay with us at the end of the trailer. In the wand, we find the Tindalos Interactive studio supported by the Focus Entertainment publisher, a 100% French title. After a very successful Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2, the young studio set aside the Warhammer 40,000 universe to tackle the Alien one. So we couldn’t wait to find out what he had in store for us as we attacked this sci-fi monument.

It was in a box reserved exclusively for the Gamescom press where we attended a detailed presentation of a mission of the title. The events of Aliens: Dark Descent take place 20 years after those of the 1992 David Fincher-directed film Aliens 3, but given the profusion of aliens swooping down to the level of our presentation, the inspiration for the title found rather in Aliens, the return.

No stress, no stress… Hiiiiiii

Focused on survival, Aliens: Dark Descent is therefore a real-time strategy game, in top view, only playable solo. We are the main commander of the ship and direct our teams in the field through a management microsystem. Therefore, it must be understood that we do not direct the characters of the team in particular, but they will adapt their behavior according to the orders that we impose on them.

For the demo mission, the objective was to exfiltrate an engineer. Between the latter and our squad of 4 marines, there are many rooms and corridors to go through haunted by many xenomorphs. The choice of real time instead of turn-based is relevant when it comes to recreating the fear and stress that the presence of xenomorphs inflicts on us. Only our micromanagements slow down time, but without stopping it. Enough to keep the adrenaline going, leaving us a minimum of time to adapt our tactical choices to the situation. Our composure will be tested!

Our stress is contagious since it is a state to watch very closely in our sailors. If a soldier’s stress bar gets too high, he will panic and lose control, risking messing up your strategy. Among the stress-generating factors, the presence of aliens not located near our squadron is formidable. Thanks to our motion detectors placed on the ground, we can follow the movements of the enemy through a map in real time. However, the xenos will not hesitate to destroy these devices and make us lose track. Creating a safe area by sealing doors, on the other hand, will calm the spirits of our marines and restore this famous bar.

The progression in the level is slow, it is better to be careful. Above all, the world visited will be persistent: doors open or closed, tactical teams installed, security zones created… Therefore, we should not hesitate to return to the ship if we have wounds on land or for any other reason. A later return to the places visited, in the case of other missions for example, will also allow to benefit from the work carried out previously.

Avoid death at the end of the hall, there is no Ripley possible

In the featured level (early game), we were able to witness xenomorph attacks isolated or in small groups. These seem easily manageable if we are attentive and reactive. However, we also experienced the arrival of the staff in a large room with many entrance doors. Needless to say, it smelled like an ambush. The player in the video had the same feeling, as he cleverly set up his defense by placing attack turrets in the direction of certain entrances.

A few moments later, waves of xenos surged from all sides and a fierce fight ensued, injuring one of the 4 marines in the process. Fortunately, the engineer in charge of the leak was in an adjoining room, allowing the mission to be completed in extremis. Yes, Aliens: Dark Descent should offer a demanding and difficult challenge.

Let’s end this hands-off sneak peek with a brief tour of our ship, which serves as the hub. This is where we can recruit our Marines, treat the wounded, upgrade everyone’s skills and weapons, or customize everything. We will have at our disposal 6 classes of marines, including the classic Healers, Tanks and Scouts.

The game will launch on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and PC next year. The presentation of the gameplay reassured us about the potential of the title. We have even been told about the presence of new aliens in the franchise. Let’s hope that in the end there will be a good script, a great achievement, a great variety of missions and surprises. Looking forward to learning more, Aliens: Dark Descent is already a very promising game to watch!

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