Aliens: Dark Descent xenomorph

Alien: The Dark Descent Review

Alien: The Dark Descent Review

need to know

what is it? Ultra-tense real-time tactics game with a touch of strategy.

expect to pay £29.99/$39.99

release date come out now

developer Tindalos Interactive

publisher focus entertainment

Reviewed on AMD Ryzen 5 3600, Nvidia 2080 SUPER, 32GB RAM

steam deck not support

associate Official website

The refinery survey was going well until I got down to the basement. The maze of mineshafts and storerooms is the perfect hideout for Alien: Alien of the Dark Descent, while my squad of Colonial Marines have been relentlessly harassed by HR Giger’s penis nightmares since entering. Now they are stuck. Crouching at the end of the narrow corridor, three of my marines were burning ammunition to suppress the alien advance, while a fourth was hacking the control panel to open the door behind them. But there are too many aliens, not enough time, and there is no way to hide in this narrow steel pipe.

Then again, that meant they couldn’t avoid Sergeant Kurtz’s shotgun.

(Image source: Focus Entertainment)

A few inches away from the alien, Kurtz fired a barrel of buckshot at close range. It didn’t kill the burly Praetorian leading the charge, but it did stun it, giving Tek Macdonald enough time to crack the door code. My squad charged into the gap, and I directed Corporal Sainz to fill the hallway behind them with cleansing fire. The alien continued to sprint, screaming as it burned. But a well-placed grenade from McDonnell’s pulse rifle finally knocked the bastards out.

It was a miracle that my Marines survived the encounter. But they couldn’t survive the next one. They’re exhausted, acid-burned, out of gear, and too scared to shoot straight. I was minutes away from completing my mission, but I gave the order to retreat anyway. I’ll be back tomorrow with my recruits to finish the job. Aliens will be stronger too, but that’s a risk I have to take.

Many games have tried to replicate the slow-burn tension and chaotic action of Alien, but The Dark Descent is the first game since Monolith’s AvP 2 to actually do it. Developer Tindalos Interactive thought hard about how to bring out the best of James Cameron’s films in a virtual setting, and their solution was a brilliant real-time tactics game that blends stealth, strategy, and intense gunplay.

bark less, shoot more

(Image source: Focus Entertainment)

The Dark Descent plays the weakest card first, so let’s do the same and get it out of the way. The game takes place on Lethe, an alien-filled moon owned by OG tech startup Weyland Yutani, where the Colonial Navy frigate USS Otago crash-lands. The reasons for the crash are detailed in a well-crafted, story-driven prologue that doubles as a tutorial. Tindalos Interactive has a decent cinematic eye, while Dark Descent captures the aesthetic and soundscape of Scott and Cameron. But the script lacks the same wit and subtlety. A mess of forced conflict and awkward dialogue, it’s an exhausting parasite lurking in the game’s chest, waiting to explode with a jingle or an incongruous emotional outburst.

However, once trapped in Wangchuan, the stories you create more than make up for the narrative flaws. During each mission in the linear campaign, you’ll send a team of four Marines to locations around Lethe to improve your situation or investigate why the moon is full of bugs. The first of these will take you to a replica of Hadley Hope called Dead Mountain, a sprawling milkshake baking colony with many buildings spread over multiple floors. There’s a bar, an armory, a clinic, a command center, and beneath it all, a twisting mining tunnel.

Unlike most tactical games, you control the entire squad at once, using the right mouse button to move them and the left mouse button to interact with the environment. This may seem odd at first, but it makes a lot of sense once you realize how vulnerable your Marines are in isolation. As you move around on missions, exploring buildings and highlighting interactable items with shoulder lights, the motion tracker in the lower right corner of the screen tracks any movement within a 60-meter radius. You want to avoid the jumping white spots it highlights whenever possible, not only because aliens are pretty bad, but because whenever you encounter them, they’re always worse than the last time.

(Image source: Focus Entertainment)

When an alien spots you, the hive is stirred and they go into hunting mode, tracking your location. Your squad will automatically fire to stop these creatures, but that alone won’t be enough to stop them. Hitting the space bar will open a more refined menu of abilities. Suppressive fire slows down invading aliens in a large area, while grenades and shotguns help neutralize specific threats. But using these skills costs command points, and by default you only have three. They regenerate automatically, but very slowly.

Therefore, the tactical foundation of The Dark Descent involves deploying these abilities effectively, knowing when to hold on and when to reverse them. However, no matter how well you fend off the xenomorphs, combat has lingering consequences. Each attack increases the alien’s aggression, represented by a creepy ticker in the upper right corner of the screen. When this speeds up, not only will there be more aliens hanging around the mission area, they’ll also send a large number of aliens in your direction.

But these attacks return Increases the stress level of the squad, making them shoot more frantically and consume more ammo. They can reduce stress by taking naproxen pills or welding the door to their room for a quick break. But both consume significant resources.


(Image source: Focus Entertainment)

All of this combines to create an exhilarating rollercoaster of tension, with an alien wandering into a room, possibly embroiled in a fierce, protracted battle that could terrify your fellow marines. Get maimed, kidnapped, or simply die of old age. All of this is before you even think about accomplishing your goals, which are often as multi-layered and uncompromising as your battles with the alien. In Dead Hills, for example, you’ll need to find the command center and use it to locate six missing colonists, escorting each to your ARC from wherever they’re hiding. It’s vast, relentless, and so exhausting that you probably won’t be able to finish it all in one sitting. In fact, a key element of The Dark Descent was knowing when to stop on a mission, retreat to Otago to lick their wounds, and send a fresh squad back the next day.

When you’re back in Otago, Dark Descent is more of an XCOM clone, using a basic replica of the game’s strategy layer to manage your marines. Here you can heal their wounds (both physical and mental), boost them to unlock new skills, equip them with better weapons unlocked through resources collected during missions, and research new technologies using Xenomorph samples. Compared to XCOM’s strategy layer, it’s light and more derivative than how missions are executed. But it serves an important purpose. On top of that, Lethe’s infestation level increases each day over time, so every time you give your marines a break from missions, you run the risk of becoming more dangerous when they return.

(Image source: Focus Entertainment)

It’s a fascinating combination of ideas that creates a wealth of urgent puzzles. This happens both on a small scale, such as choosing where to build defenses when an alien attack is imminent, and on a larger scale, such as using a day to go back to a previous mission to get extra resources and collect those broken Sentinels The turret you left behind. There are also some smaller issues, like marines occasionally getting stuck on world geometry, and your squad’s highly repetitive bark. But that’s just a noticeable drop in quality when it comes to storytelling.

Is Alien’s Dark Descent a Quarantine of Aliens? In terms of how it makes for the best game based on the themes and ideas of the movie, yes, absolutely. The execution wasn’t great, but it wasn’t far off, and even with those narrative deficiencies, it’s still the most fun and realistic Alien game I’ve ever played.

Find more articles in our categories Gaming & News & Anime.

Thanks for visiting we hope our article Alien: The Dark Descent Review

, think about share the article on Facebook, pinterest and whatsapp with the hashtag ☑️ #Alien #Dark #Descent #Review ☑️!

Bart Thompson
Bart is's List Writer . He is from Houston, Texas, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing, majoring in non-fiction writing. He likes to play The Elder Scrolls Online and learn everything about The Elder Scrolls series.