At PAX East 2023, we met with Focus Entertainment to preview three of their upcoming games. Prior to PAX East, Focus Entertainment would only disclose that Atlas Fallen and Aliens: Dark Descent would be on the show floor.
Because of this, we were eager to check out what surprises they had. Looking back at it, we can say they did not disappoint. If you would like to read our preview of Atlas Fallen and the unannounced game Void Crew, you can click here.
Out of the three games, Aliens: Dark Descent was our favorite preview. This is partially due to the game’s detailed management sim but also due to our love of the franchise. For years, we have eagerly awaited a good Aliens game and this game has the potential to be just that. Without building suspense, let us jump into our Aliens: Dark Descent PAX East 2023 preview:
Aliens: Dark Descent
Aliens: Dark Descent is an action-focused RTS currently in development by Tindalos Interactive and is currently scheduled to be released in June across PC and consoles. The game is a single-player real-time strategy game where players must manage an elite unit from a top-down perspective.
With Aliens: Dark Decent, the player must manage their units, recover the assets, and survive the alien threat. Players must be constantly being aware of their surroundings and monitor the motion sensor.
As the squad moves further in or encounters an alien their heart rate goes up. Players must manage their soldiers’ heart rates, crafting material, medical supplies, and ammunition.
For the demo, we were tasked with recovering sensitive information on a Xenomorph-infested facility. Moving through the base, players can utilize each soldier’s special abilities, ceil doors behind them, place turrets, and gather additional resources. With resources being limited, it is unwise to leave a turret unattended.
During our PAX East 2023 demo playthrough, we learned this fact firsthand. With the turret damaged, we were unable to collapse it without repairing it. While managing units and abilities, the player can slow down time in order to think.
In our demo, we constantly made the mistake of forgetting to speed time back up. This made combat and movement within the game feel rather sluggish. Thankfully, even when rushed by alien enemies, the player still has the ability to slow down time and prepare.
Each mission has a base objective, however, as the player moves throughout the level and explores the environment, they have the opportunity to pick up new intel and find side quests. These side quests expand the game’s world and show a dark conspiracy worse than an alien threat.
Oddly, despite clearing an area, because we had forgotten to rotate through the cameras, we were unable to pick up key items despite clearing the area. This led us to double back a few times and things got rather hectic.
Sadly, we had to leave the demo before we were able to finish the mission’s objective. The overall core gameplay felt polished with soldiers responding appropriately to commands. Despite trying to break the game and have soldiers bug through the map, they held their course and moved like they were supposed to.
Overall, Aliens: Dark Descent reignited our love of RTS games and we can’t wait until it releases on June 20th across Windows PC (via Steam), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5. Which of the three Focus Entertainment games are you most excited about?