“I actually ought to have explored extra of the map.” That is what I used to be pondering because the xenomorph waves attacked my crew. They took cowl behind a big map terminal and mowed down the primary few waves with the assistance of the three towers I positioned on the edges of the room. My ammo counters had been working low, however we had been holding on. Then xenomorphs got here out of the air ducts behind me. Sport over, man.
After I sat all the way down to play on the Focus Interactive sales space at PAX East, I wasn’t certain what to do with Aliens: Darkish Descent. Alien has a harmful monitor document regardless of the setting, and other than 2003’s Aliens vs Predator: Extinction, the collection has tended to focus extra on motion than ways or technique. I should not have nervous. Darkish Descent is making an attempt one thing new, however its goal matches the collection completely.
Aliens: Darkish Descent is a real-time, team-based tactical motion recreation. As an alternative of controlling a single Colonial Marine, you will end up commanding a complete squad. For those who’ve seen aliens, think about being Lieutenant Gorman, sitting within the APC and giving orders after which watching your crew execute them. You’ll management your complete squad concurrently, with instructions robotically executed by the sailors greatest outfitted to execute on the time, based mostly on their tools, attributes, or place.
Stress is one thing your crew offers with as nicely. It happens on a scale of 1-100 over time in every sea. As soon as the Marine reaches 100, he receives one among a number of debuffs.
The demo I performed left my four-man squad in a facility harking back to the economic Weyland-Yutani vibe that characterised Hadley’s Hope in Aliens. Tindalos Interactive has taken nice care to seize the aesthetics of Aliens. Every part from the sound of influence rifles and good weapons to the sight of computer systems filling rooms, the way in which the xenomorphs transfer, and their acidic blood spewing out when my crew eliminates them; movie. The sound results had been so good that I puzzled in the event that they had been eliminated instantly from the flicks. Few Aliens video games have totally embodied the type of flicks as Darkish Descent has.
The eye to element is all of the extra spectacular given how giant the map I am traversing is. There have been a number of targets obtainable. I used to be after a tool referred to as the Codebreaker, however there have been additionally facet quests that inspired me to search out the arsenal or uncover extra about what is going on on. For essentially the most half, I’ve explored by encountering the occasional xenomorph. Not a single alien can rival your crew, however even a single sign in your movement tracker could be aggravating. The place there’s an alien, there may simply be extra.
Stress is one thing your crew offers with as nicely. It happens on a scale of 1-100 over time in every sea. When the Marine reaches 100, he receives one among a number of debuffs that may vary from reducing accuracy or the chance of being scared and going into battle. You’ll be able to stack as much as three of those debuffs per sailor, and stress can rapidly weaken your squad if you happen to’re not cautious. That is the place Darkish Descent’s useful resource administration comes into play.
You’ll be able to take care of stress in quite a few methods. You should utilize well being kits to knock him down, scold him to briefly cease your squad from rising, or weld the doorways of sure rooms to create a shelter on your squad to relaxation, when you’ve got sufficient instruments. Every part you do prices sources. Useful resource gates price the instruments you would possibly want to repair one thing; spending a well being package to alleviate stress means you may’t use it to get better later; and condemnation is a Band-Support, a fast repair. Quickly your seafarers’ stress will start to rise once more.
Managing your sources is essential, and the alternatives you make sooner or later at some stage can assist or hinder you in a while. Closing a door with a supply would reduce off the xenomorphs’ method, however this meant that if I needed to retreat from that space, I must break the supply. My time with Darkish Descent was crammed with decisions. Going deeper into the power meant losing sources, gaining stress, placing my crew in danger, and making the hive extra conscious of my presence, however this might additionally present sources that might assist me later. Every journey to new territory has been a gradual and cautious affair as my eyes flickered between my movement tracker and my crew’s state.
Whenever you go into battle, your crew is prepared for it. Along with their normal weapons, the crew has quite a few talents that you need to use if you inevitably encounter aliens. You’ll be able to throw grenades, fireplace flares, have your crew take out shotguns in shut fight or, my private favorite, place cones of fireside with flamethrowers. The flamethrowers not solely injury the xenomorphs they hit, however the fireplace stays on the bottom, forcing them to take completely different paths. Activating talents slows down time, however you continue to must be on the ball to be sure to hit a transferring goal. Like every part else in Darkish Descent, talents are a useful resource managed by talent factors. Selecting your factors is essential.
I loved Darkish Descent essentially the most because it threw xenomorphs at me and needed to take care of every part directly.
I loved Darkish Descent essentially the most because it threw xenomorphs at me and needed to handle every part directly: the placement of my crew, the well being and stress of my sailors, what talents I used, the turrets I positioned and fireplace factors on the bottom, forcing me to prioritize targets and handle shut vary encounters. . Each struggle has its pursuits; You’ll be able to decide up and transport any knocked out sailor, however anybody who dies is gone perpetually. Wars are tense, hectic affairs; Even with the power to decelerate time, pondering in your ft is important. Even killing an alien could be harmful if his blood splatters on one among your sailors. Whenever you grasp a struggle completely, Darkish Descent feels unbelievable, and once I screwed every part up, I at all times knew why.
I by no means managed to outlive lengthy sufficient to open that door. I attempted twice, however each occasions my earlier decisions beat me. Spending valuable sources welding the incorrect door, utilizing a well being package to heal the stress I have to get better, misplacing my squad, not deploying all my guard turrets. However I have never stopped excited about it since then, and I do know I can do higher if given one other likelihood. Aliens: Darkish Descent will not be simple, but it surely’s hooked me already. If Aliens: Darkish Descent manages to do justice to the license whereas offering the tactical motion we have seen earlier than, it is going to be a particular and distinctive model of the collection.
Will Borger is a Pushcart nominated fiction author and freelance at IGN. His work has additionally been revealed on TechRadar, GameSkinny, DigitiallyDownloaded.web and Into the Backbone. It focuses on combating video games, motion video games, technique video games, and first-person shooters. You’ll be able to chat with him on Twitter @bywillborger.