Surviving on Earth is a tough ask. However, this is nothing compared to life on an alien planet. Stranded: Alien Dawn replicates this scenario in its full-on and detailed survival simulation mechanics. Moreover, you must work your magic if you are to keep everyone alive and happy. As such, this brutal game will test you throughout.
Developed by Haemimont Games and published by Frontier Developments, this is a survival sim experience. What’s more, there are base-building mechanics, plenty of fights to win, and an array of complex scenarios that must be dealt with. Accordingly, this will keep you on your toes as you attempt to spin many plates at once.
Stranded: Alien Dawn has some phenomenal scenarios.
If you’ve played Rimworld, you’ll be familiar with the story layout and the core mechanics. If not, you’ll enjoy a lengthy but well-constructed tutorial that gets you up to speed. Each unique mission demands a different approach. Whether it is a lack of resources, an unhappy band of survivors, or tougher-than-normal aliens, you’ll have to react to the ever-changing gameplay.
You may choose from 2 planets and an array of moons. Each location has its pros and cons, and you must understand the dangers before you build your settlement. Furthermore, each objective begins with a band of uniquely talented survivors. These individuals must work together to understand their surroundings and build a new community. If they can do this, they’ll thrive while fighting off any brutal alien scum.
A rewarding experience.
Like its peers, Stranded: Alien Dawn is a content-packed monster. What’s more, it is an excellent port from PC and will impress the most belligerent of fans. However, you may worry that the depth and sheer scale of gameplay will be overbearing. Well, thankfully, it is not. With a brilliant UI and a well-conceived timer system, you play at your pace.
No matter which scenario you pick, the core gameplay is the same. Effectively, you must manage an array of character stats whilst exploring a massive world. Furthermore, you are expected to create a rudimentary settlement that evolves as you learn new technologies and skills. On top of this, you are responsible for your food, comfort, and heat.
It’s a dangerous world.
If hypothermia, injuries or starvation don’t kill you, then the aliens will. Additionally, an array of environmental events test your survival skills and resolve! At first, you’ll use melee weapons to succeed. However, as you research your surroundings, you learn to upgrade your arsenal, improve your skills, and build automated defences.
Gathering resources or searching for food is equally dangerous. Cuts can become infected, mental health will deteriorate, or those pesky aliens will attack you. Therefore, it is essential to focus on farming and other life-extending resources.
Balancing the day-to-day tasks with game-progressing evolution isn’t as challenging as you’d think. The excellent work priority system and fantastic character skill screen allow you to select the right survivor for each task. Accordingly, as long as you plan ahead, you should have a smooth experience.
Stranded: Alien Dawn looks great.
I didn’t have high expectations regarding the graphics. However, the developers have created an immersive world that is varied and stunning to look at. Moreover, it is nicely detailed and each world and moon has its own characteristics. Alongside this, the brilliant UI and smooth animation enhance the action further still.
A doomed existence requires a melancholy and sombre soundtrack. Luckily, the atmospheric music complements every scenario. Alongside this, the cruel sounds of the aliens and the incredible ever-changing weather were amazing to listen to.
Surprisingly good controls.
PC ports are usually horrendous on console. Trying to fit in every keyboard command can be a tricky task. Luckily, though, the developers have implemented an intelligent UI and controller layout. As such, once you complete the lengthy tutorial, you’ll comfortably battle every hostile alien while building a stunning futuristic settlement.
Stranded: Alien Dawn will keep you playing for hours! Each location has unique characteristics that must be understood and overcome. Additionally, you must balance progression with happiness and comfort. Subsequently, you cannot bum-rush the game and completing each objective isn’t easy. Furthermore, you must consider the constant alien threat.
Stranded: Alien Dawn is a fantastic example of the genre.
This genre is peppered with incredible titles. Luckily, Stranded: Alien Dawn is up there with the best of them. With intuitive controls, a brilliant research tree, amazing environmental events, and aggressive aliens, it ticks many boxes. On top of this, it is entertaining to keep your survivors happy whilst trying to complete every objective. My only complaint is the steep learning curve and the time sink it created. Consequently, this isn’t a casual title, as it requires your full attention. Yet, it is this depth that makes it great and I recommend that you buy it here! Can you begin again and survive a harsh new world? Study your surroundings, gather resources, and stay alive for as long as possible.