Aliens: Dark Descent review 2024: a terrifying sci-fi horror game

Dark Descent is beautiful, interesting, and filled to the brim with real Aliens atmosphere.

Every good horror story starts with someone looking into screams of fear on their own. Aliens: Dark Descent is no different. The prologue starts with us going below deck with nothing but a flashlight and a good attitude to check out the noise we saw on the broken security cameras. We see facehuggers with their tails wrapped around people’s necks, hatched eggs twisting the world around them, and finally a lone xenomorph looking for food. We can’t do anything but hide and sneak to the exit because they are so scary strong. The game is teaching us to use shadows and cover to our advantage.

Aliens: Dark Descent: Description

That much danger comes from just one xenomorph. But five minutes later, it tells us to kill a bunch of them with our guns. Dark Descent never finds a good balance between its tactical gameplay and its survival horror that doesn’t fit. It’s a strategy game that’s clearly based on XCOM 2 so much so that it feels like a spin-off and, like XCOM, it’s all about action in teams. The hub is a ship in orbit around an infested planet. Our missions require us to go to alien hotspots, clear them of eggs and xenomorphs, and save any people who are still alive.

That means we spend a lot of time setting up sentry turrets, throwing grenades, and getting into big gunfights, none of which fits with the Alien: Isolation-style stealth we are taught right at the start. The mechanics for the scary parts of the game feel half-baked and out of place. Detection lines can be cheated as you move in and out of cover, which takes away the tension because it becomes an awkward dance with an alien as smart as a housefly. Crouching behind cover when an enemy looks your way is a funny show of four troops ducking at the same time, and the stress level feature, which was advertised as a big selling point, isn’t much more than a way to make the game harder.

Aliens: Dark Descent: Pros and Cons

Use powerful weapons and tools to fight the alien horde in battles that will make your heart race. Solve hard puzzles, find secrets, and figure out the ship’s dark mysteries as you try to stay alive. Get ready for an adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat from the beginning to the end.


  • Excellent tactical action
  • Fresh concepts like stress levels
  • Intriguing setup


  • Dull writing and characters
  • Boss battles upset the atmosphere

System Requirements Table

Aliens: Dark Descent is a scary sci-fi horror game that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Immerse yourself in a world full of scary alien creatures as you move through dark, creepy environments. The game is really fun to play because it has beautiful graphics and intense sound design.

System RequirementsMinimumRecommended
Operating SystemWindows 7/8/10 (64-bit)Windows 10 (64-bit)
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500K or AMD FX-8320Intel Core i7-4770K or AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7870NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon RX 580
DirectXVersion 11Version 11
Storage30 GB available space30 GB available space
Sound CardDirectX compatibleDirectX compatible
Additional NotesInternet connection required for online playInternet connection required for online play

Aliens: Dark Descent: Mental Breakdown

Aliens: Dark Descent review

Even a firefight without cuts or acid burns can be hard on people. Even seeing a lot of blips on the motion tracker or running into aliens can be stressful. This can give your marines up to three random debuffs as they start shouting “Game over, man! Game over!” and making everyone else even more nervous, missing important shots, or disobeying orders. So the more scary things you make them go through, the less effective they will be in a fight.

The way this works with the hive awareness system to make it feel like all hell has broken loose and one wrong move could wipe out the whole squad is nothing short of brilliant. It gives your little soldiers a personality and makes you really think about how to use your physical and mental resources. Sometimes it’s better to call the dropship and leave a mission with unfinished objectives. This wastes valuable time on the campaign map, but it saves the lives of your fighters. And it makes every mission feel like a good Alien movie, with a slow buildup to a shrieking, gunfire-filled crescendo.

Because Dark Descent has so many great design ideas, not sure how to feel about its technical state. It’s good enough that we can overlook small bugs like cutscenes where the voices don’t match up. But sometimes we had to play through a whole mission again because core mechanics didn’t work the way they were supposed to, even after a large, admittedly helpful patch came out during the review process. we had to use valuable engineering resources to seal off a safe room that wouldn’t let my marines rest and relax. This cost me a lot of momentum. In one case, the stress meter seemed to get stuck at its highest level even though there were no aliens nearby. This caused my whole squad to go wild and force me to get out of there.

Aliens: Dark Descent: Fight to survive

You’ll lead your team of marines through dark caverns and dingy hallways, peering into rooms and hoping there aren’t any Xenomorphs waiting for you. Every step forward feels like a gamble with the lives of your team as they press on to face the unthinkable, and then you have to act in a split second when a Xenomorph shows up and charges full speed at your team. Action is fast-paced in Aliens: Dark Descent. we could hardly take my eyes off of the motion tracker as I moved from one tight space to the next. As soon as you see something move, whether it’s toward you or away from you, you should get ready for the worst. Just one Xeno attacking your squad can kill a marine on the spot, so you’re always on the lookout for any danger.

You can tell marines to do things like keep an eye on a certain area, put a mine in the way of a path, or set up a deadly sentry turret. These are important for staying alive, but they are limited and depend on a meter that fills up. This means that your firepower against the aliens can feel overwhelming, but it’s also neatly limited because you are always thinking about saving some for the next fight.

The hordes are the scary place where everything comes together. You will get a warning every now and then that a horde is coming to kill your marines, and you’ll have about 20 seconds to get ready. Here, you have to find a good place to defend and hope you have enough ammo, turrets, grenades, and special abilities to hold off the Xenos. This makes your palms sweat very quickly. It’s a random part that you can’t really plan for, and it does a lot to make Aliens: Dark Descent feel really scary.

Aliens: Dark Descent: Performance

Aliens: Dark Descent review

Aliens: Dark Descent on the Steam Deck gets off to a rough start, with parts of its introduction slowing down or dropping below 20 FPS, but I’m happy to say that this mostly gets better right away. At the hub, looking at certain stations like the Med Bay will drop framerate to the 20s, but I was holding a nice and comfortable 30 FPS in the gameplay that matters. But we noticed two things that made me decide to stay with my settings and 30 FPS:

First of all, you have to Anti-Aliasing. When anti-aliasing is not at its best, the game looks very pixelated and way too sharp. This is a HUGE problem for a game that looks beautiful otherwise, and it really does when AA is turned all the way up. we think it’s a huge difference, so to keep the game running smoothly, I’d keep this on “Epic” quality and all the others on “Low.”

Final Words

If the technical problems weren’t there, this would be one of the best Aliens games ever. And it likely still is. we don’t think we have played a game that really gets what was cool about the movie Aliens since Monolith’s Aliens Versus Predator 2 back in 2001. It takes ideas from some of the best squad-based tactics games and adds its own twists. Many have tried, too! It’s the kind of game that makes me wish we could look past its flaws and praise it even more, but we can’t. If it spent a few weeks in the medical bay to get a little more technical polishing, it could look great and become something amazing. As it is, it’s still an interesting, inspired, and creative survival RTS that I can enthusiastically recommend, but only with a few caveats.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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Aliens: Dark Descent is a great survival horror RTS, but it has a few too many technical bugs to be recommended without some reservations. It's a fresh and entertaining interpretation of the series, with great tactical action complemented by unique concepts such as stress management.Aliens: Dark Descent review 2024: a terrifying sci-fi horror game