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  • Writer's pictureLaMar Bridges

Aliens Dark Descent brings horror to RTS the right way on PC

Aliens Dark Descent

Aliens Dark Descent is the opposite of what I would want in an RTS game, which is good. 

It's small and personal, and the most crucial element is horror. Before you know it, your team can be swarmed by a swarm of the iconic Xenomorphs. It is safe to say Aliens Dark Descent brings horror to RTS the right way.

Focus Entertainment has published and maybe revitalized an iconic alien franchise and probably started a new franchise. 

It's its own game with some problems.

To get this part out of the way, yes, the game had some bugs or weird designs. The real-time combat and unique paths add an unmatched element to most video games. But I've been playing this game on medium difficulty and noticed the differences in levels regarding the Xenomorphs. 

While the game does a decent job of explaining the mechanics, I came across a patrolling bug or just a weird design. The game constantly brought out alien after alien to patrol a sweeping area. I figured this out because I accidentally started a terrifying xenomorph outbreak, making my walkthrough harder.  

The sweet part about this game it does play like Xcom on the surface. But trust me when I say it is its own game. Aliens Dark Descent is an RTS game that uses its combat in a very interesting way. Like I said in the beginning most games place you on a huge battlefield or force you to play in a stealthy way.

But Aliens Dark Descent brings sort of a mixture to the genre that I can Appreciate. At times you will need to hide to avoid a Xenomorph. At times the call for action is a must to get through high-stakes missions. Though the stress levels spike up fast there's always a safe zone for you to duck into. 

With a well-placed sentry gun and some timely action commands you can feel the satisfaction of taking on a massive wave.

With the click of a button, everything needed is at hand. I spent my entire playthrough using a Mouse and Keyboard. The mechanics of the game work fluently with one problem, and this sometimes feels like a user issue. Sometimes, not all of the marines hide when prompted to.

In this game, you can try and go guns blazing, but nine times out of 10 you will meet defeat. This game is punishing when you try. So, the mechanics use a hide-and-seek approach. When approached by the Xenomorphs, the game gives them a sight bar. It starts out yellow and fills up red.

Once the red reaches you it's game on, and the alien will attack and send a swarm following. So, the game tells you how to hide to avoid detection. And trust me, you will be doing a lot of that in this game, so get used to it.

My issue is sometimes I have had battles triggered because one marine did not crouch when I told them to causing a fire for our lives.

The patrol system is out of whack at times. I caught myself waiting for the Xenomorph to finish its patrol, and for some weird reason, it would stay in the area that I needed to be in. Not sure if that is a bug. Because this game punishes you for trying to combat most of the time.

They will send a massive wave after you beat the first wave.

Aliens Dark Descent brings horror to the RTS the right way with a host of horrifying creatures

The Xenomorphs are coming the xenomorphs are coming. Face of against some of the deadliest creatures mankind has never faced in this awesome RTS game as you take a team of marines fighting off hordes inching to survive. 

The game uses horror to help the lore of what the marines are experiencing with a stress system that affects them in 5 different ways, each negatively impacting them. This is crucial to how you, as the player, will take action in these large open levels or change squad tactics mid-battle.  

Safe zones, welding doors shut so you can escape by the grit of your teeth after facing a wave of aliens while trying to keep your colonial marines from freaking out. This is what makes a game challenging and keeps the player asking for more. Thanks to these small elements, the RTS genre and horror genre have combined.

For every gruesome battle, there is a moment of rest, but here is the good thing about this game. The horror comes from your mistakes or a well-timed jump scare of a xenomorph trying to kidnap one of your marines, leaving you to either fight to save him or go on with one less soldier to fight. This is what a horror should bring to your playthrough. Even though you have a team of badasses with an arsenal of weapons, the alien Queen always has one up. 

Aliens Dark Descent is worth a buy

Aliens Dark Descent brings horror to the RTS the right way. No, it doesn't let you run and gun like Aliens Fireteam, and that is a good thing. But the game comes with little problems depending on who you are as a player.

When sneaking around, sometimes the team will yell out as you make a command to move. And that can take you out of the immersion when you are hiding from a crusher Xenomorph. Again, that is a problem to some not all of us.

But the game does have bugs with the patrolling system. Sometimes, they will even get stuck midway through attacking you. I have noticed this only happens when I set my marines by the Arc vehicle. Again small problems, but they do happen more than once in my playthrough.

Was it worth the playthrough yes, it was. But it is truly hard on medium well for me. My advice to anyone playing is to remember to pause during encounters. Using that effect will give you time to make adjustments that your marines will not make.

We think Aliens Dark Descent is a sure buy.

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