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Descent

aka: Descent 1, Descent: Destination Saturn, Inferno
Moby ID: 692

[ All ] [ DOS ] [ Linux ] [ Macintosh ] [ PC-98 ] [ PlayStation ] [ Windows ]

Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 85% (based on 44 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 125 ratings with 12 reviews)

A decent flight combat sim, but could've been better.

The Good
I personally liked the 3D engine. This game looked awesome!!! The look and feel of Descent was original, and the enemy AI was good. And you could ram into them! Descent was the title that brought Parallax Software to fame.

The Bad
My only gripe with Descent is that sometimes it's hard to orientate yourself in the tunnels. I mean, you go upside down (or downside up) and you go the opposite way a minute later! It was hard to control! Other than this minor little detail, the game was excellent.

The Bottom Line
I would buy it if you like space combat flight sims in tunnels. It may not shape up to Doom, but Descent is a winner on originality, but the controls need a little work. Highly recommended!

DOS · by James1 (240) · 2001

A stomach turning adventure...

The Good
This game is one of my favorites. This is one of the first games that was fully three-dimensional. Not just forward, backward, left, and right - but also up in down. This set a standard for three-dimensional gaming that a lot of games are still judged against.

The graphics are incredible considering the age of the game. Polygons fill the screen, and on a Pentium 233, this game is very fluid and seamlessly coherent. The sensation of speed and flight are incredible.

The sound and music in the game are extremely dynamic and realistic. The music in the background really sets the tone for the game, and therefore does not take away from the games atmosphere. The sound effects are top-notch. A fantastic array of laser blasts, explosions, and moving parts along with the sounds of robots make this a very complete environment.

The controls are fairly simple as long as you use a joystick. The keyboard is a very tricky, although complete, way of flying your machine. The keyboard allows total control over your craft, while a joystick is mostly used for positioning and weapons fire. The keyboard can be mapped out to your liking, so making it usable for yourself is fairly simple. Personally, I use a combination of both the keyboard and the joystick. This allows for more precise control of your craft, while giving you access to all of the games functions.

The artificial intelligence, depending on the level you choose, can range from easy to brutal. Located throughout each level are respawners that allow robots to reappear in level. This makes the upper levels extremely difficult to complete. But, that's what this game is about. :)

The Bad
I did not have any dislikes for this game. I believe that Interplay really pushed the envelope of computer graphics with this game.

The Bottom Line
This game, in my opinion, is one of the best games ever produced. Do yourself a favor, and pick this game up if you find it. You will not be disappointed by the game play or any other factor of this game.

DOS · by Chris Martin (1155) · 2000

Axes

The Good
Descent left me cold, sad to say. A lot of people think it was the bee's knees, but at the time, and today, I didn't really appreciate it. Technically it's very impressive - proper 3d whizzing around on a 486 is nothing to sniff at - but otherwise it just doesn't seem to offer much in the way of fun or excitement. Still, lots of people seem to like it, so I assume it's just me.

The Bad
Whilst it was a technical feat, it lacked the character of Doom - the generic robot bad guys were boring, and the levels quickly became quite tedious and samey. Ironically, it didn't have the same variety, despite the 3d-ness.

The Bottom Line
A groundbreaking fully-3d Doom-esque shooter, marred by repetition.

DOS · by Ashley Pomeroy (225) · 2000

This is one of my favorites

The Good
Well first of all the fact that you can really turn 360 degrees. There are many kinds and types of enemy's in this game and i loved everyone of them. And i also loved the sound effects in this game, especially the idle sounds of the robots.

The Bad
Nothing.....

The Bottom Line
I first played this game when i was 10 years old and i can still remember that time when i play this game. This game is a true classic. Maybe not such a hit like Doom, but this game gets very close.

9.9/10

DOS · by Goteki45 (323) · 2001

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.

DOS · by Afterburner (486) · 2001

Portage à éviter

The Good
Ont retrouve la totalité du contenu sortie sur DOS/PC et Macintosh avec une bande son génial et des cinématiques 3D partagé avec le portage Macintosh, du contenu n'ayant pas présent sur la version DOS/PC !

The Bad
Le jeu pousse la console dans ses retranchements les performances sont catastrophiques, particuli√®rement en France o√Ļ la console fonctionnent √† 50Hz et non 60.

The Bottom Line
Portage intéressant pour la bande son et les cinématiques mais les performances rendent le jeu très difficile voir execrable à jouer.

PlayStation · by Saig Omaristos (138) · 2023

Excellent 6DOF

The Good
Niveau nombreux dont certains usent d'élément et d'architecture pour rajouter de la difficulté lié aux déplacement 6DOF qu'ont ne peux retrouver dans d'autres jeux de cet époque.

The Bad
Le multijoueurs manque d'intérêt. La coopération (mode campagne) est intéressante mais les items sont à partager entre les 2 joueurs, y compris les recharges d'énergies. Ces derniers ne peuvent être expulsé et partager avec les autres joueurs après capture, attention au partage donc !

The Bottom Line
Un des meilleurs jeux auquel j'ai joué !

DOS · by Saig Omaristos (138) · 2023

A 360 Degree Shooter, that is Innovative, but it is highly repeatative

The Good
The Graphics , the Speed, and the Size of the game. In 1994 this game was amazing, and it has aged fairly well over the years. The soundtrack was good in 1994, and it fits the game well. If you are a big shooter fan, this Doom2/Wingcommander game is for you.

The Bad
That every level is the same. You go to different planets, but nothing truely changes. This brings up lack of interest, and if there is a lack of interest then there is not gameplay.

The Bottom Line
A fast paced 360 degree game, that is lacking variety, which makes it boring. E for effort, but I give it a 4 out of 10.

DOS · by NotTwoQuick (18) · 2000

A Classic Game You Can't Go Wrong With

The Good
The graphics, it worked on older PCs, it's extendibility (many levels available, campaign creators and map editors; usually nowadays you only get map editors that let you make one standalone map at a time. This game will let you make many and zip them up into one file exactly like the included campaign), the multiplayer modes (people still play)...

The Bad
Frankly, the included levels are boring. After playing a bit I suggest getting some more levels, moving on to multiplayer or Descent II.

The Bottom Line
360 degrees of fun!

DOS · by wossname (203) · 2000

Was a good game on an older PC

The Good
It is the first of the Descent series, an old PC game where you're in a ship and fly through mines to find keys to open certain doors and kill a reactor or a boss robot. It is just fun to be able to have the freedom to move around, and to go up to the ceiling to look at things, rather than being stuck on the floor.

The Bad
I don't know what happened from the time I played Descent years ago, and now. There are problems! It may be because my PC is very fast now, or that I am very use to Descent 3, and how that handles, but Descent is VERY hard to handle. The ship bounces up and down fast, and any slight movement threw me off course. Again, this may be because of my PC. If it was that bad before, I don't think I would have bought it and loved it. I can't get sound or music that easily as well.

The Bottom Line
Your best bet is to get Descent II or III. If your PC plays DOS games well, without problem, or little problem, you may have much better luck with this game than I did. Like I said, I remember having music, sound, and moving around without problems. I wonder if it's because I only used a keyboard, or a game pad.

DOS · by Jeremy Bailey (4) · 2002

Space Journey of a Lifetime

The Good
This game lays out 3D everywhere you go (with the occasional 2D sprites). While not taking gravity levels into account, the feel of space flight is always there. The selection of cannons and missiles are very versatile and prepare players for many hard to tremendously difficult situations. In fact the game is generous with its powerups and its especially rewarding when you find them in some secret area. The secret levels spike the difficulty a lot and provide challenges that really prepare you for the much later levels of the game.

The Bad
There isn't too much fault within this game. The real annoyance is trying to find an optimum configuration for your keyboard to comfortably control the ship. Other control types do little to compensate for alternatives to the keyboard. The automap is pretty fidgety when trying to rotate and zoom it, it just doesn't follow the player quite like other 3D shooters. What makes the game a little incomplete is that some robots are not identified and don't appear on any screen between levels (such as the red hulk with homing missiles).

The Bottom Line
The game isn't perfect, but you really have to give credit for what it has to offer. The developers really knew how to balance most if not all the game elements to make this an enjoyable experience, beginning to end. While some players have complained about motion airsickness, I have not once got that feeling during gameplay. You'll never disappointed when you try this oldschool title, though I would welcome an HD remake with a wider texture variety sometime in future.

DOS · by Kayburt (32712) · 2020

A game I'm rather indifferent to.

The Good
As a programmer, I have to appreciate the amazingly fast and complex game engine, which utilizes portals (a la Unreal engine). The game ran smooth on my 386 and perfect on my 486, and looks damn good with relatively high detail level, texture mapping and gouraud shading. I'm impressed.

The Bad
But as a game, I don't like it a great deal. The controls are needlessly complex (too many keys to control, and it's not really necessary), the level design is simply not very interesting and the sound effects are horrible.
Most importantly, gameplay - it seems like a decent game and a lot of people like it (for reasons I can understand), but since I never liked freespace games I don't like this particular one any more than the others.

The Bottom Line
Again, technically impressive but other than this a fairly boring game.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4536) · 2000

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by ryanbus84, Alsy, Tomas Pettersson, Scaryfun, Jeanne, Wizo, shphhd, Patrick Bregger, Tim Janssen, Big John WV, Sun King, firefang9212, Paul Franzen, eradix, Dae, Alaedrain, jean-louis, mikewwm8, coenak, Alaka, Cantillon, nyccrg, ti00rki, Parf.