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Updated: GamesCom 2022 Aliens: Dark Descent Demo Impressions!

Following a hands-off demo of Tindalos Interactive’s upcoming Aliens: Dark Descent at GamesCom 2022, video game outlets are now starting to share their impressions. IGN uploaded a new video talking about their time with the demo. While the video doesn’t go into many new specifics, they do talk about how Dark Descent will also feature tower-defence like moments where your squad is required to hold-up in a location, welding doors shut and setting up turrets.

The video also talks about how you can recruit civilians such as engineers to improve your home base. IGN also compared the video to XCOM and Rogue, re-iterating that the world of Aliens: Dark Descent is a persistent world where you can revisit locations, and they will be in the same state you left them in with doors welding shut.

VG247 also shared a written impressions’ article that went into far more detail than IGN. Once again, VG247 made the comparison to XCOM, but said it went fair beyond being XCOM reskinned in Aliens.

The connection to the Firaxis strategy reboot is undeniable, obviously. A glance at the structure of the game, where you return to a hub base to manage soldiers with light RPG progression elements, or the pre-mission launch screen, makes it especially clear. It looks very similar. But, dig beyond that, particularly into the flow of combat and exploration in the strategy scenarios – and suddenly you see how Dark Descent is putting a distinctly different twist on the idea of a squad-based tactics game where you fend off powerful extraterrestrial creatures.

Most different is movement, which is both real-time and free-form, meaning you don’t have time to think about decision-making in the same way and movement takes place in full 3D as opposed to on a grid. This ramps up the pressure as your marines push through cramped corridors, making use of motion trackers (this is the Alien universe, after all) to keep track of where aliens are stalking. You can get jumped at any time, and there’s no turns or pausing to save you.

Keeping track of the map is important, because you’re not just on temporary ‘battle box’ maps that exist only for firefights. You’re exploring a wider area, a base that you’ll gradually uncover. It’s almost a bit like how a planet might work in a Metroid game, even though it’s a completely different sort of game – and you’ll even be able to uncover shortcuts across the planet to that end. Perspective-wise, the map, real-time movement and camera perspective almost makes it look like a spacebound Diablo, at least for a moment.

 

 GamesCom 2022 Aliens: Dark Descent Demo Impressions!

VG247 also elaborated on the combat, stating that while it wasn’t turned based, there was still an ability to slow time down enough to allow you to issue orders to your squad. Talking on the combat system they said:

There’s a lot of tactics to manage, too. You’ve got a squad of four that can be any of six different classes, each with abilities, weapons, and skills to consider. The two key stats to manage are health and stress – the former familiar and the latter a representation of the sanity of your marines. The more stressed they are, the worse their performance will be – topping out in outright panic, where a Marine is rendered practically useless.

Combat is real time, but you can slow things to a crawl, allowing orders to be issued. This also has the bonus of looking extremely cool. If you set up an ambush in a doorway, watching a hail of bullets slow-mo slam into a Xenomorph is extremely satisfying.

Footage from Aliens: Dark Descent’s announcement trailer was also included in a montage for the Disney & Marvel Games Showcase taking place on the 6th of September, so we’re hoping to see more about the game at D23 Expo. Be sure to head on over to our Aliens: Dark Descent page to check out what we know about the game so far!

Thanks to Xenomorphing for the link! Make sure to keep a close eye on Alien vs. Predator Galaxy for the latest intel on Aliens: Dark Descent! You can follow us on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and YouTube to get the latest on your social media walls. You can also join in with fellow Alien and Predator fans on our forums!



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Comments: 25
  1. Kailem
    If they're taking as much inspiration from XCOM as it seems like they are, you probably will be able to customise your squad that way. That was definitely a cool feature in that game that helped make you feel even more connected to your team.
  2. Schrödinger
    NGL. Actually happy this is being made. AvP got an RTS, I don't think Aliens got one yet.

     I just hope we can name and edit the looks of our squads.

     Also it being SP only; I hope they will have mod support cause yeah, just kinda goes well with games like this with new units, weapons, mechanics, enemies, ect.
  3. Komenja
    QuoteThere are areas of respite to be found on each map, and you'll need them in order to pause, take on health-restoring sustenance and let your stress levels cool down

    Sounds kinda comfy, honestly. If they're literally stopping to squat and eat, it'd be cool if they popped off at jokes and each other and forced some canned laughter to try and keep up their morale.

    QuoteUpon finding a room with limited access points you can seal any port that an alien might pop its head through and take five

    Rad. That was something I was hoping Colonial Marines would have more of, but it ended up being largely limited to specific story segments and one of the multiplayer modes. I wished it had worked more like Killing Floor, where you can weld almost any door shut to make choke points and dynamically effect map flow- at least until the zeds overwhelm your door and bust it down.
    Spoiler
    Speaking of, this might be a controversial take, but I genuinely think the Aliens mod for Killing Floor is way better at being an Aliens game than most of the actual Aliens games, at least as far as survival/Horde modes go.
    [close]

    QuoteIt's not only the hostile aliens you're up against in Dark Descent either - something very, very wrong has gone on here, and there are some pretty messed-up-looking humanoids around the place, which make the Working Joes of Alien: Isolation look like your best mates picking you up for a pint or three down the local.

    I'm very interested in seeing what the new enemies are. Xeno cultists? Bug-Men like the A:CM comic? Black Goo mutants?
    Spoiler
    Kennermorphs? :D
    [close]

    QuoteThere's also time itself, as after a set number of days the installation will be nuked from orbit - it is, after all, the only way to be sure - whatever the successes of your on-the-ground team.

    Oh snap. Well, I guess it is the only way to be sure. I imagine that's a way to prevent the player from cheesing the game's stress mechanics and resting marines too often.
  4. Kailem
    I really like the sound of it being a persistent world and that you can revisit certain areas and stuff like doors that you welded shut the last time will still be that way. And jungle locations? Very nice!

    I also really like the XCOM comparisons about returning to your base/crashed ship between missions and building it up. As fun as the actual missions in XCOM were, I also really enjoyed the base building aspects too, so that could be a lot of fun.

    Hope we get to do what you could do in that game and build ourselves an Alien containment facility and bring some xenos back to study too!
  5. ED-E
    The base building got me intrigued. I would like to have the stress of managing a small team with limited resources stranded on a Xenomorph planet. Trying to survive, like the 17 days in Aliens, before a rescue ship arrives to pick them up. Looking forward to the slo-mo speed setting, as my reaction time (I'm in my 40s) has become mediocre at best these days.
  6. BlueMarsalis79
    QuoteMost different is movement, which is both real-time and free-form, meaning you don't have time to think about decision-making in the same way and movement takes place in full 3D as opposed to on a grid. This ramps up the pressure as your marines push through cramped corridors, making use of motion trackers (this is the Alien universe, after all) to keep track of where aliens are stalking. You can get jumped at any time, and there's no turns or pausing to save you.

    f**k yes. 

    QuoteMotion trackers are used to great effect to this end. There's two kinds of motion tracker - the iconic alien classic, which sits in the corner of your screen at all times as a UI element that tracks the area immediately around your marines, and a deployable item that can be tossed out anywhere on the map. Between the two of them, you can have a constant read of what is around you, both near and further away - which is handy, but only lasts so long. The Xenomorphs will find and destroy your deployable motion trackers - and once they do, you'll be paranoid that one is lurking around every corner.

    Oh spooky! I love this idea! And it is a neat incorporation of both approaches to the motion tracker we have seen in prior Alien media. 

    QuoteWith lots of motion trackers placed, you can see dots representing the deadly aliens darting about, up and down corridors, patrolling rooms, and actively searching for your squad. There's full-blown alert states - so when the enemy knows where you are, reinforcements will try to chase you down until you can lose them. Your party of marines will have to do things like weld shut airlock doors in order to block off aliens - but that'll also change your own path through the base.

    Sounds stressful, in a good way. 


    QuoteThere's a lot of tactics to manage, too. You've got a squad of four that can be any of six different classes, each with abilities, weapons, and skills to consider. The two key stats to manage are health and stress - the former familiar and the latter a representation of the sanity of your marines. The more stressed they are, the worse their performance will be - topping out in outright panic, where a Marine is rendered practically useless.
    Combat is real time, but you can slow things to a crawl, allowing orders to be issued. This also has the bonus of looking extremely cool. If you set up an ambush in a doorway, watching a hail of bullets slow-mo slam into a Xenomorph is extremely satisfying.

    Are the six classes, Gunner, Demolisher, Technician, Doc, Recon and Phalanx?  ;D
  7. Vrastal
    Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Aug 17, 2022, 09:19:04 AM
    Quote from: RidgeTop on Aug 16, 2022, 06:17:44 PM
    Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Aug 15, 2022, 09:12:18 PMI guess this is where we'll be getting the info we missed from SDCC!

    Wasn't that for the Survios game, rather than Dark Descent? Hopefully we'll be seeing both.

    You're quite right. That was for the VR game. My bad. Either way, I'm happy seeing more of either game! :D

    those were clips form dark descent though, and theres no trailer for the vr game as far as im aware
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