Written by  :  Afterburner (496)
Written on  :  Mar 20, 2001
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars

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Great technology, but lacks atmosphere.

The Good

The true 3-D landscape (as opposed to the 2.5-D of Doom) was fairly innovative at the time. True, Looking Glass had done it already with the Ultima Underworld games and with System Shock, but those games used sprites for the enemies. Descent not only gave you a true 3-D landscape (in which tunnels could go over and under each other), it was the first game to give you 3-D opponents.

The Bad

IMHO, it lacked atmosphere. The storyline is uncompelling, and isn't nearly as nifty as the "invade Hell with butt-kicking weapons" story of Doom or Doom II. Nor does it have the attitude of Duke Nukem 3D, the other major player of the early FPS days. Largely, Descent just feels sterile. You complete the levels not because they're cool, or because the level draws you into the game, but because it's what you have to do to go to the next level and ultimately finish the game.

The Bottom Line

If you're a First Person Shooter fanatic, Descent will tickle your fancy. The game mechanics and graphics still hold up fairly well in comparison to the current crop of FPS games. If you're just a casual FPS player, there are better, more interesting FPS games out there.