Published on June 27th, 2023 | by gareth0
Aliens: Dark Descent Is A Challenging And Enjoyable Game That Captures Key Aspects Of The Franchise
Focus Entertainment has taken on the daunting task of creating a game based on the Alien franchise that combines the aesthetics, horror, suspense, and action that fans expect. There have been many Alien-based games over the years but sadly, far too many have failed to meet expectations and have been gigantic disappointments to the fan base. Alien Isolation was considered to be a prime example of how to properly adapt the franchise and while the recent Aliens: Fireteam Elite generally satisfied fans, there were credible complaints about aspects of the gameplay.
Enter Aliens: Dark Descent which incorporates squad-based missions set against a branching storyline where units can be lost outright in with them valuable experience and gear that has been obtained along the way.
After an impressive opening segment that shows considerable attention to detail in the look and lore of the universe players will set up operations while exploring a ship and interacting with various characters. Daily missions allow players to select the squad and gear that will be taken along as hard choices between hardware and medical kits must factor into play with a four-person squad.
Once on site players will have to command their squad to locate and extract survivors, necessary gear, information, and more as the detailed storyline of the game unfolds. Naturally, the Alien menace is not going to sit idly by and when the motion tracker starts pinging you know it’s time for action.
Using a mix of assault rifles, grenades, shotguns, pistols, and other weapons such as Sentry guns, players can opt to stand and fight. Run and gun, or well the door shut and barricade themselves in.
Navigation can be a bit tricky as while there are maps, the darkened and debris-filled locales, can be an obstacle when fast-moving swarms are approaching.
When combat is entered, the game slows down allowing players the option to deploy timed responses ranging from a sweeping shotgun blast to a grenade. Players always have the option to bug out and return to their armored vehicle which will shred any pursuing Aliens.
Naturally, casualties will happen especially when dealing with acid-laden enemies. As such, players can deploy a medical kit to restore health, carry fallen comrades, or drop them back at the vehicle, and continue on with a reduced squad.
I have done fairly well with my early missions until opting to try to complete a sweep down to Marines. Enemies that had been mildly challenging the game greatly difficult and I soon found myself bogged down and regretting the choices I had made.
The game has a decent mix of stealth and action and can be at times frustrating especially for players were used to going allowed in fighting their way out of any situation.
With enough patience and a properly equipped squad success can be obtained, but there will be plenty of casualties in trial and error along the way which will require some players to have quite a bit of patience.
The graphics and detail level are very good and the amount of customization works very well for the surprisingly detailed and engaging story contained within.
It would be interesting to see if somewhere down the line an attempt to include multiplayer would be possible as it would be very interesting to have a squad where human players at work together to complete the missions.
There are some minor annoyances and glitches like not being able to adjust your difficulty level new game and some frustratingly precise stealth and moments in the game that required repeat efforts. That being said, Aliens: Dark Descent is a very enjoyable game from start to finish that captures the best of the Alien franchise and provides plenty of challenges along the way.
4 stars out of 5