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SummaryGreat technology, but lacks atmosphere.
The GoodThe 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 BadIMHO, 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.