Descent: Underground is a remake of the classic Descent franchise that was first released in for MS-DOS in Europe in 1994 and then in North America in 1995 and the franchise has a huge community behind it.
The game was successfully funded via KickStarter and pledged over $600K with over 8100 backers supporting the project. The game was first released on Steam Early Access on October 22, 2015. The developer, Descendent Studios Inc., is continuously updating its website and blog with updated information and sharing many videos on the progression of the game development as it progresses. As of the time of writing, the game is still in Early Access but has received ist VR support in the latest update.
Descent Underground follows the same type of gameplay as the original title but adds many cool new features to it. The game offers a six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) addictive combat action gameplay. The game takes place in 2315, on a fading Earth. A group of explorers has been sent to deep space missions to seek new habitats for the human species to prosper, but they never came back. That lead to megacorporations made by those who have wealth. They created corporate-states sponsored ships with the sole goal of asteroid mining operations and control of available resources.
At its core, the player navigates labyrinthine mines while fighting enemy drones. Your objective is to destroy the mine's reactor core and escape at the right time before it explodes. The game features several game types: Capture the Asteroid, Capture the Ore, Deathmatch Destruction, Mining for Minerals and more to come. Each mode matches the narrative and provided the player with an intense sense of being a part of the story, coupled with an immersive first-person shooting action.
You can choose between eight unique ship types, each one offers unique mechanics that fits different play styles. For example, you can choose the Goliath which has a huge cargo bay which is useful for carrying a large amount of gathered treasure. You can go with the Typhoon, an assault fighter that is built for speed and features advanced weaponry or alternatively you can go with the Shaman, which is the medic-type class that offers support and repair capabilities.
The game features both a single-player campaign with gorgeous visuals that trigger your enthusiasm for exploration and totally immersed you in it. There are many places to explore, including hidden tunnels and buried resources where you can discover hidden treasures and obtain power-ups that will help you deal with the upcoming challenges. Each ship can be fully customized with different weapons, gadgets, sensors, defense systems and engines. Upon customization, you can run a test flight to get a feel of your new upgrade ship, check it's speed, maneuverability, and weapons.
The gameplay is really addictive and fun due to its 6DoF gameplay. The fact that you can move in various directions makes the gameplay more fun and engaging. You can play against an AI or fight against other players in the same way the original title played. Enemies can spawn in every corner and come from any direction. Maneuverability is very important in this game, and you have to use your freedom of movement to evade enemy attacks and use the environment to your advantage.
The game was built using Unreal Engine 4 and it looks bloody gorgeous, with blasting vivid sound and particle effects and immersive environment visuals that keep exploration both interesting and fighting engagements very cinematic. The fast-paced gameplay always keeps you tight to your seat. That formula worked very well before, and it certainly works even better with the new-gen graphics and when played in Virtual Reality. The ranking, achievements, and leaderboard encourages the players to get better, contribute to a more engaging community experience, awarding those who invest their time to improve their skills and become better in the game and adds more replay value to the game as well.
The game is planned to fully support both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headsets. According to its Steam page, the VR game requires the user of a gamepad or a keyboard/mouse. It seems that its developers never sleep. In every new patch, they add lots of new features and optimized it further to offer a better VR experience thatn its current state. As of the time of writing, the user reviews on Steam are very positive.
No doubt that the game at its stage looks really promising. For me, the game certainly brings many delightful childhood memories and I can only thank Descendent Studios Inc. for making the effort to bringing this game back to life, continue perfecting it and make it the best possible experience not just for its hardcore fans, but for every person who enjoy playing FPS games.
A six degrees of freedom (6DOF) first-person shooter Virtual Reality Game where you fight your way through twisting tunnels and vast caverns.The game features a single-player campaign and cross-platform multiplayer modes as well. Choose a drone from various types of ship classes, customize and upgrade your ship in a way that best matches your play style. The game offers modding tools that you can use to design your own maps and missions.
Image credit: Descendent Studios Inc.