Aliens: Dark Descent has released a story trailer with a couple minutes of teasing as to what we're going to be getting up to on our squad-based RTS adventures on the planet Lethe. I bet it's a nice vacation and everyone's going home happy.
Spoilers: It's not. Your squads of hard-bitten colonial marines look like they're deploying into the classic horde of Alien monsters, corporate goons, and horrible mutant cyborg experiments the Alien franchise is known for. Except for that last part, the cyborgs. I think that's the new bit in this game. I'd bet my last dollar they're the work of some irresponsible androids and/or corporate experimenters,
"The nightmare begins when the Otago spacecraft crash lands on Planet Lethe after a Xenomorph escaped containment and caused the activation of the Cerberus Protocol — a planetary lockdown preventing all ships from leaving or landing on the planet. Aliens: Dark Descent’s original campaign will pit players against iconic Xenomorph creatures — from Facehuggers to Praetorians, Alien Queens and many more — as well as rogue human commandos and a brand-new threat. A cast of memorable characters set the plot in motion, notably Maeko Hayes, Deputy Administrator at Lethe’s Pioneer Station; Jonas Harper, Sergeant for the US Colonial Marines; and Barbara Pryce, Colony Director for the Weyland-Yutani," says the official description.
Yep! Seems about right. Announced last year, Aliens: Dark Descent is a small scale strategy game about navigating levels full of Alien monsters and other enemies with your squad of marines. It's one of limited resources, where each death is permanent and you'll have to find your way to objectives, make safe zones, and track enemy motion in a persistent world. I also hear that your soldiers will be prone to shouting things like "it's game over" and generally freaking out. It's a promising setup for an RTS, and the promises are really ambitious design work in an under-innovated genre.
That's the risk too, right? It's hard to say if trying something new is going to work. We'll see when it comes out later this week.
You can find Aliens: Dark Descent on Steam for $40, where it'll release on June 20th, 2023. It's developed by Tindalos Interactive, who also made the Battlefleet Gothic: Armada games, which were quite beloved genre adaptations of space combat in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. It's published by Focus Entertainment.