The new game revealed at Summer Game Fest started with Aliens: Dark Descent, a top-down tactical shooter in the style of Alien Swarm and The Ascent. You’ll get an overview of the action, which just means you’ll get an even better view of the xenomorphs as they swarm and eviscerate you.
The Aliens: Dark Descent reveal trailer has a lot to like and makes a great start to Summer Game Fest. It starts with a look at classic maritime dropship, close-ups of pulse rifles, smart weapons and motion trackers, it’s everything we’d want to see in an Aliens game.
Check it out for yourself below:
While there are plenty of Alien games out there, they’ve certainly been a mixed bag. The absolute pinnacles are Alien Isolation and Alien Vs Predator 2, but more recent entries like Aliens: Fireteam Elite have left a lot to be desired. The third-person co-op shooter hasn’t captured the raw terror and power of the creatures you’re fighting.
So will Aliens: Dark Descent be able to enter the pantheon? At first glance, a top-down shooter doesn’t seem like something that fits into Alien canon. If you’re not up close with the action, how can you find the xenomorph so scary? Except, there’s one fantastic game that developer Tindalos seems to be using as a model for Dark Descent: Alien Swarm.
Available for free on Steam, Alien Swarm is an excellent co-op shooter that puts you up against, well, you guessed it, swarms of aliens. You and your friends are constantly facing this with walls of meaty enemies crushing you into tight corners and hallways before eating you alive.
You can control space using heavy weapons like miniguns and flamethrowers, but also by welding closed doors to try and limit the swarm’s speed. It seems that Aliens: Dark Descent has the same functionality.
Although where Alien Swarm was a co-op game, with each player controlling a marine and facing the deadly threat, in Dark Descent you are the sole commander of the entire squadron.
According to Dark Descent’s description in its YouTube video, you’ll “infiltrate large open levels and annihilate enemies with your squad, strategically and intuitively dispatching orders at the touch of a button.”
The game features permanent death, with your squad being a precious asset. One interesting detail that hasn’t been explained is that you’ll “forge unique paths to survival, discovering shortcuts, creating safe zones, and setting up motion trackers in a persistent world where your actions impact levels forever.”
You’ll also be able to level up and customize your squad, unlocking “unique abilities and an arsenal of weapons, armor and perks”. There is also a base that you will expand and use to research new technologies. It looks like a developed game and not a throwaway shooter.
We have a while to wait to find out if Aliens: Dark Descent lives up to the Alien Swarm, it shouldn’t be released until 2023. But I can’t wait to see more. Coming to Xbox Series X | S, PS5, Xbox One, PS4 and PC.