Aliens: Dark Descent – A Space Marine’s Survival Expedition

REVIEW – What happens when the latest game spun off from the Alien franchise summons us into the cosmic arena? Tactical and strategic mental gymnastics, heart rate boosting action, and of course, the torments of the souls of our heroic space marines await us in the battle against the Xenomorphs. This isn’t just about firearms, explosives, and killing aliens, or about escape, but also about exploring an often desolate, ominous, and chilling environment, and maintaining the mental balance of our teammates.



Developed by Tindalos Interactive and published by Focus Entertainment, Aliens: Dark Descent is a real-time strategy game set in the world of the Alien films. In the game, we lead a four-man space marine team on the moon base called Lethe, where a new and terrifying type of Xenomorph infection has surfaced. During gameplay, we must pay attention not only to the physical, but also the mental health of our team members, as encounters with the monsters and constant danger situations leave a serious mark on them. We tested the game on PlayStation 5.



The Gruesome Secret


The game’s story takes place 20 years after the events of Alien 3. An Otago-class spaceship carries a team of space marines to the Lethe moon, where a secret Weyland-Yutani research base is located. Their mission is to find out what happened at the base and, if possible, secure the valuable data stored there. However, the mission quickly goes awry when it turns out the base is infested with Xenomorphs, a new and more dangerous species of the already known monsters. The team has to fight not only the monsters, but also the traitorous agents of Weyland-Yutani who are trying to prevent them from leaving the moon.

The team must quickly pull themselves together and find a way to repair their spaceship while surviving in the Xenomorph-infested base. The story is exciting and twist-filled, full of surprises and faithful to the Alien universe. The characters are interesting and sympathetic, and there are ample opportunities to converse with them and get to know them better. There are also decision points in the game that influence the course of the story and the ending.


Egy új trailer keretében kapott megjelenési dátumot az Aliens: The Dark Descent, ami a valós idejű stratégiai játékmenetéből is mutatott egy rövid részletet.


Four Commandos on a Death Planet


The basis of the gameplay is controlling a four-person team in real-time across different levels of the base. The team members can be chosen from five basic classes: Commander, Engineer, Doctor, Scout, and Heavy Gunner. Each class has its own advantages and disadvantages, as well as special abilities and weapons. During the game, we can upgrade and customize our characters with different weapons, armors, and extras. We need to monitor not only the health and ammo supplies of our team members but also their mental state. If they experience too much stress, their performance declines, they make bad decisions or even collapse. It’s important to let them rest occasionally or use tranquilizers and psychological assistance.

One of the most important elements of the gameplay is exploration. The base is large and complex, filled with puzzles, secrets, and dangers. We need to utilize the environment to survive the deadly mission. For example, we can use a cutting torch to open locked doors or weld them shut to prevent Xenomorphs from infiltrating. The changes are permanent, so once we weld a door shut, it can’t be opened again. This makes it important to carefully consider which path we choose. We also need to use the motion detector to track the Xenomorphs’ movements. This gadget can be placed on a wall or floor to alert us if the monsters are approaching. The game includes a so-called hive activation phase, during which a large number of “…Xenomorphs stage an onslaught. During these moments, preparation for the siege and ensuring your defense is crucial.



Shoot that alien!


The other significant aspect of gameplay is combat against these bloodthirsty beasts, taking place in real-time, but with the option to slow down time to issue commands to the team or set up a trap. Tactics and teamwork are essential during combat. The capabilities and weapons of the characters, as well as the opportunities provided by the environment, must be fully utilized.

The Xenomorphs themselves are deadly fast and intelligent, adapting to the player’s actions and tactics. There are new varieties of Xenomorphs featured in the game, such as the Spitter, which spits acid, or the Alpha, which directs the other monsters. But as if the multitude of aliens wasn’t enough, players also have to combat hostile human forces armed with guns and drones.


Az Aliens: Dark Descent, amiben tehát egy új veszély leselkedik ránk, valamikor 2023 során fog megjelenni, de pontos megjelenési dátumo ezen kívül nem tudunk. Itt is kimaradt valamiért a Nintendo Switch, viszont azon túl egy cross-gen alkotásról van szó, azaz PlayStation 5-re, Xbox Seriesre, PC-re (Steam), PlayStation 4-re, illetve Xbox One-ra fog megjelenni.


The Visuals and Sound


The graphics are detailed and generally very good. The base is dark and foreboding, filled with blood, corpses, and Xenomorph nests. The light-shadow effects are highly striking, especially when you utilize your flashlight or spot the silhouettes of the Xenomorphs. The modeling of characters and monsters is also impressive, with numerous minute details and animations.

On the PlayStation 5, the game runs smoothly and rapidly, at 60 fps and with 4K resolution. The DualSense wireless controller elevates the Aliens: Dark Descent gameplay experience to a new level. Thanks to the vibration function, players can feel the weight and recoil of the weapons, the impact of injuries, and the stress levels of the team members. The intensity of the vibration varies throughout gameplay, requiring players to adapt to different situations. This functionality enables a deeper immersion into the conflicts with the Xenomorph species.

The audio is excellent, with music and sound effects faithfully capturing the ambiance of the Alien films – particularly if you’re using a 7.1 headset.



The Verdict


Aliens: Dark Descent is an exceptional action strategy game and a worthy addition to the Alien franchise. The gameplay is thrilling and challenging, the storyline engaging and exciting, and the graphics and audio spectacular and atmospheric.

The game isn’t perfect and includes minor glitches and bugs. The difficulty level can sometimes be either too high or too low. However, these flaws do not significantly tarnish the overall picture. If you’re a fan of Alien films or strategy games, this game is a must-try.



+ Exciting and varied gameplay
+ Twisted and loyal story
+ Spectacular and atmospheric graphics and sound


– Small errors and bugs
– Sometimes uneven difficulty level
– Characters’ mental state sometimes deteriorates too quickly

Publisher: Focus Entertainment

Developer: Tindalos Interactive

Style: Real-time strategy

Release: June 19, 2023.

Aliens: Dark Descent

Gameplay - 8
Graphics - 7.8
Story - 7.5
Music/Audio - 8
Ambience - 9



Aliens: Dark Descent is a real-time action strategy game, where you command a team of Marines in combat against Xenomorphs on a secret lunar base. The game is complex, thrilling, and challenging, the storyline is relatively engaging and exciting, and the 3D isometric graphics are quite spectacular and atmospheric. The game is a worthy addition to the Alien franchise, marred only by bugs, uneven difficulty, and a few poor design decisions.

User Rating: Be the first one !

Spread the love
Avatar photo
BadSector is a seasoned journalist for more than twenty years. He communicates in English, Hungarian and French. He worked for several gaming magazines – including the Hungarian GameStar, where he worked 8 years as editor. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our impressum)

No comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

theGeek TV