A few days ago the fundraising campaign for “Descent: Underground” ended. It’s a video game of the first-person-shooter (FPS) type, a reboot of the classic video game “Descent”. The fundraising was conducted using the crowdfunding method on the famous Kickstarter website. In order to proceed with the funding it was necessary to raise $600,000 and they raised $601.773.
The original “Descent” was a game for MS-DOS developed by Parallax Software and published by Interplay starting in 1994. Its unicity compared to other FPS games was in the possibility to play it with six degrees of freedom. This means that the players could control their movements not only in the forward-back and left-right directions but also up-down.
In “Descent”, the player gets hired as a mercenary to eliminate threats in mines of various planets whose control was taken by a computer virus that infected machines and robots used for mining operations. The game is set in tunnels and various environments within the mines that have irregular shapes, creating a three-dimensional maze. It’s for this reason that the player must be able to move in all directions.
Some players complained that they suffered from nausea because of the type of player’s movements. Personally I’ve never had this kind of problem but after trying the shareware version of the original “Descent” I gave up for a practical reason: it took too much effort to manage the controls with the keyboard alone.
“Descent” was a game of its time, with all the limitations of the case. Over the years, it was ported to other platforms, including various game consoles. Thanks to its success several expansion packs and sequels “Descent II” and “Descent 3” were created . This video game also inspired other similar ones.
The graphics capabilities of computers have changed dramatically in the 20 years since the the original game was published. “Descent: Underground” will use Unreal Engine 4 as a graphics engine to create a video game that has an adequate quality and to have it run under Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. Descendant Studios, which is developing this new video game, is continuing a fundraising directly on its website to add other features.
Descendant Studios has an agreement with Interplay to legally use the basic elements of the Descent saga but not all of them. For this reason, “Descent: Underground” will be a bit different from the previous games. This can be a good thing to avoid creating a copy of the original that has only a modern graphics. For fans of this saga it’s a video game to keep an eye on.