How Aliens from Aliens: Dark Descent were able to capture the magic of isolation

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The Alien franchise has a complicated history with video games. Despite the fact that there have been some pretty great games with capital errors, such as the classic arcade Aliens Vs. The titles Predator, the 2010 AvP game, and several other prominent Alien video games are quite rare. Over the past 10 years, there has been only one really great Alien game: Alien: Isolation. But with the arrival of Aliens: Dark Descent, the franchise’s luck may change.

Taking the iconic images of the Alien films and combining them with an isometric perspective and the gameplay of a shooter with a view from above, Aliens: Dark Descent has a chance to break the game curse of Aliens, but it will take a lot of work. As with the adaptation of any popular franchise to the video game format, developers need to put a lot of effort into recreating the essence of the source material, as well as making it fully interactive and making the process enjoyable. A few years ago, Alien: Isolation did just that, and we hope that Alien: Dark Descent can do the same.

Xenomorphs broke right out of the 80s

“Alien: Isolation”, released in 2014, received critical and fan acclaim. While some critics had their own problems with the pace of the game and the narrative, especially during the third act of the game, the atmosphere of Alien: Isolation was unanimously approved by everyone who picked it up. Thanks to the Sci-Fi technology of the 70s, scattered across the levels, and the environment that perfectly conveys the scenery of the original film “Alien”, “Alien: Isolation”, it was possible to achieve an impressive feat: to feel like a real product of “Alien”, created by fans. for the fans.

But there’s another area in which Alien: Isolation has succeeded: it’s horror. The original Alien movie and, to a lesser extent, the sequels are a horror movie through and through. Creative Assembly understood this and presented an even more terrifying experience than the source material. Possessing one of the most intelligent AI in video games to date, the big villain Alien: Isolation, a Xenomorph, relentlessly pursues the player around the Sevastapol station, often leaning out of vents and ambushing the player. If there is one element that puts Alien: Isolation above its predecessors, it is the Alien itself.

Even though Aliens: Dark Descent will be a more action-oriented approach, with players taking on the role of a squad of colonial Marines equipped with pulse rifles and SMART guns, it’s more than possible for the game to capture the same magic that was present. in a Stranger: Isolation. While his alien horde won’t be as individually intelligent as Xenomorph from Isolation, Xenos from Aliens: Dark Descent can still go back to the source material and recreate the essence of the original Alien movie.

While Ridley Scott’s Alien is a brief, groundbreaking sci-fi horror film, James Cameron’s Aliens has upped the ante significantly by dropping a group of colonial Marines right into the nest, forced to fend off the waves of the monster that caused so much trouble in the previous installment. movie. Since “Aliens” is such a cult movie, “Aliens: Dark Descent” has a lot to learn from that will easily make the game look like an authentic experience.

As in the case of Alien: Isolation, it is important for Aliens: Dark Descent that the xenomorphs are correct. Focus Entertainment should take the time to model their Xenos on the model of those in the 1986 film, recreating their iconic movements with animation. This should also extend to enemy AI, where xenomorphs should be able to crawl on walls and cling to ceilings and maybe even slip out of a wall nest.

Sound design is also an incredibly important aspect of conveying the feel of the franchise. Like Alien: Isolation, Aliens: Dark Descent has to let its sound do the heavy lifting, and those iconic Xenomorph hisses and clicks are used to boost tension before a gunfight breaks out. It may take some effort, but Aliens: Dark Descent can easily follow in the footsteps of Alien: Isolation and convey the unique essence of the classic Alien franchise.

Aliens: Dark Descent will be released in 2023 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.