Wow. Being able to rotate a full 360 degrees is certainly an innovation for which Descent earned much earned acclaim. The game itself is a shoot 'em up, with a major factor that sets it away from other games of its genre: the full range of motion.
After only five minutes of rolling, driving upside down, and still trying to maintain some sense of direction is is more than possible to feel a bit queasy.
Although, full range of movement is the main thing Descent has going for it, the gameplay itself is nothing to sneeze at. Upgradable weapons, and a wide range of weaponry such as missiles, let you blast away the enemy units with style.
With multiplayer support, friends can blast each other in a full 360 degree shootout. The computer AI held sufficient challenge, but head-to-head competition with a human opponent is very challenging. It was easy to draw computer opponents from a room to mindlessly follow you down a corridor where they'd be blasted easily, but another thing to destroy a living person who strafes, ducks, and doesn't fall for tricks.
The controls are a bit weird at first with a key to go forwards and one to go backwards (your arrow keys are tied up pitch up and down), but with a joystick, movement was clean and good.
Descent is definately a memoriable game, destined to become a classic game of our time. Although not as innovative as Pong or Pac Man to their respective times, Descent brings with it a fresh new style.
Graphics: Enemies look great : and the 360 movement is wonderful.
Sound: Music as well as good sound effects. Your ship even makes a sound as it bounces off walls.
Enjoyment: Extremely fun game : once you learn to control your stomach!
Replay Value: Although fun to play again, once you know where all enemies have been positioned, you really have an unfair advantage. But heck, maybe you *like* that. I like the element of surprise.
The Post-Terran Minerals Corporation (PTMC) digs up minerals on all nine planets of the solar system, employing humans and robots to do its job. Unfortunately, the mining robots are now being controlled by a hacker, and have taken the human workers hostage. The PTMC has tried to get the robots back under their control, but communication with the mining stations has been lost. In desperation, the PTMC modifies a Pyro-GX ship for combat and hires a mercenary, codenamed "Material Defender", to fly it. The mission is to destroy the infected mines and rescue human hostages, destroying any hostile robot that gets in the way.
Descent is a 3D first-person game that puts the player at the controls of the Pyro-GX spaceship. Descent is notable in that the player travels through various interior locations (mines) but can do so in 720 degrees of movement. The ship however only moves forward and backward in any of the directions it is facing. The ship is able to use a variety of weapons scattered as power-ups throughout each level. They include: standard lasers, the Vulcan Cannon (a chaingun-like weapon), the Spreadfire Cannon (a rapidly firing, shotgun-like energy weapon), the Plasma Cannon (a rapidly firing energy weapon more suited for medium-range combat), and the Fusion Cannon (fires a ball of energy that's more powerful the longer it is charged it up, but could destroy the ship). All of these weapons, except for the Vulcan Cannon, use the ship's energy supply. The Pyro-PX is also capable of firing regular concussion missiles, homing missiles, proximity bombs (sits in the sky, then explodes when something gets close to it), smart missiles (more powerful homing missiles that fire out homing energy balls upon impact with their target), and Mega Missiles (the ultimate weapons of mass destruction).
The goal of each level is to locate and destroy the mine's reactor. Once completed, there are only 45 seconds to find the escape hatch to get out of the mine before it explodes. As progress is made through the game, the AI will adapt to player's strategies and attempt to prevent the player from reaching the goals.
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