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Aliens: Dark Descent Gameplay, Impressions and Interviews from PAX East

Barely days after the recent gameplay trailer for the upcoming Aliens: Dark Descent released, video game fans who attended PAX East between March 23rd and March 26th this year were able to get hands-on with Tindalos Interactive and Focus Entertainment’s foray into the Aliens universe nearly 3 months before the game’s release!

Now we’re starting to see gameplay footage and impressions making their way onto YouTube. You can check out some of their videos below!

Jake Baldino‘s impressions videos offers a nice explanation on more of the mechanics and specifics of the way Aliens: Dark Descent will work, including a retaliation mechanic which I believe is the first we’ve heard of this. This retaliation meter fills up the more the Aliens are besting you, giving you a form of “rage mode” that will improve the squads performance. He’s very positive over all, comparing the game once again to X-Com but complimenting how the game feels like a genuine Aliens experience.

It also looks like we will be seeing the return of in-game cutscenes, an omission from Cold Iron Studio’s Aliens: Fireteam Elite that drew some criticsm. The final video above gives a brief snippet of one such scene.

Thanks to bobby brown, Still Collating… and Kailem for some of the links! 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: 11
  1. BlueMarsalis79
    QuoteIn a genuine surprise, the game seems to actually incentivize stealth tactics, allowing you to largely sneak around the big bugs if you can stay out of eyeshot, and slowly raising the alien hordes alert meter with every firefight, often with aliens within hearing range running to the sounds to join in the fray.

    Xenomorphine malding as we speak.

  2. Corporal Hicks
    IGN has a write up to -

    Not watched the video yet, so not sure if it's just the same. But I do like the sounds of this -

    Quotemy personal favorite, lay down cones of fire with flamethrowers. Flamethrowers not only damage any xenomorphs they hit, the fire also remains on the ground and forces them to take different routes.

    And the conclusion -

    QuoteI never managed to survive long enough to get that door open. I attempted it twice, but was beaten both times by choices I'd made earlier. Spending valuable resources to weld the wrong door, using a health kit to heal stress that I should have saved, positioning my squad in the wrong place, not deploying all of my sentry turrets. But I haven't stopped thinking about it since, and I know, that given another chance, I could do better. Aliens: Dark Descent isn't going to be easy, but it's already gotten its hooks in me. If it can manage to do the license justice while providing the tactical action we've already seen, Aliens: Dark Descent will be a special – and unique – take on the franchise.

    Yeah, I'm excited for this.

    Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Apr 11, 2023, 03:04:56 PM

    A little bit of story info here:

    QuoteThe squad has history with other marines who hjave gone missing here, and at times little side missions can be triggered to get more info.

    Sounds like you come across other dead marines and various audio/video/text logs to flesh out the story more. I always dig that.

    Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Apr 11, 2023, 03:04:56 PM

    Apparently this demo is from later on in the game, this the author had some issues with having not as much involvement during the battle sequences.

    QuoteOnce the swarm started up, though, it was an awkward moment of sitting and watching. There are abilities to use, like the flamethrower, but they felt a little awkward. A developer I spoke with afterwards mentioned this particular slice takes place later in the game, after some of those elements have been explained. Maybe they're a bit easier to implement when the player's more familiar with them.

    Either way, this was the one moment I wanted to pause and shift around a bit. Setting up alternate angles for cover, or even getting a finer control of my marines, would've made me feel more in control. It's a nitpick, but one I felt right away as the action got heavy. Despite all that, I still loved the holdout sections. While the mission had up to that point been a lot of eerie quiet punctuated by sudden xenomorph strikes, this was all-out chaos, looking on as I tried to mete out what resources I could to keep the waves of xenomorphs from overwhelming my hapless team.

    This one seemed to like the tone and atmosphere, but wasn't sure about the gameplay. But was hedging bets on its style and because they didn't know how to play the game.

    QuoteThe first impressions upon getting set up at the booth was that Dark Descent is, in its current state, a mechanically busy game/ The game has you juggle your attention between different gauges and menus, muddying up should be a relatively straightforward isometric shooter. Playing through it more in a longer session, however, began to reveal that Dark Descent is a much deeper game than  expected, and it very quickly became my favorite take away from the PAX East 2023 demo.

    Oh, this is interesting. You can avoid battles. I like that. Plays into the resource management and stress better.

    QuoteIn a genuine surprise, the game seems to actually incentivize stealth tactics, allowing you to largely sneak around the big bugs if you can stay out of eyeshot, and slowly raising the alien hordes alert meter with every firefight, often with aliens within hearing range running to the sounds to join in the fray.

    Here's another interesting takeaway:

    QuoteSimon, who came on as a producer for the game two years into development, said the game features different biomes on the planet, iconic places that fans of the franchise will recognize. Many of the developers also share a love for table-top games, and the game's top-down perspective holds the romance of such.

    I spy some Alien: RPG influence.

    QuoteWhen marines die, they are gone for good. The game's permadeath feature creates real stakes for your fully customizable squad of Colonial Marines. As marines face tough encounters with Xenomorphs, they can develop symptoms of trauma and suffer "trauma points," which add up until your particular marines suffer from PTSD and "Xeno-phobia"; upon even seeing a Xenomorph, the marines begin losing control, aiming poorly, or just plain panicking. Only treating the marines in the ship's medical bay will reverse their condition. This creates real pressure and need for players to manage the health and safety of their squad. Order your marines to take Naproleve to lower their adrenaline or get them out of there! Failure to do so will not only result in the loss of the mission, but the elimination of favorite marines and their hard-earned experience.
  3. Still Collating...
    Wow, being mention helping in an AvP Galaxy news article, now that's an honor knowing how long I've been following this site!

    The little but more substantial drip of intel reminds me of the good old days when I was searching every interview and gameplay video for ACM trying to discern as much info as I can.

    I hope they get in touch with the head folks here so we can have some proper interviews and gameplay!
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