Descent, a game Developed by Parallax and then published by Interplay in 1994, and was originally released on the PC, it later got a port to Apple Power's Macintosh in 1996, and later was ported to to the Sony PlayStation, eventually a port for the Sega Saturn was developed, but dropped due to a lack of faith in the viability economically of that project. Descent itself also spawned two squeals. The game itself is a First Person Shooter and a 'Shoot 'em up' game. The PC port itself brought several things to the table, however for this review I am only doing the PlayStation port(I do plan on using the PC port for a more complete review and a comparison of the two at a later date).
First, The graphics. While the game was originally made in 1994, and the PlayStation port in 1996, the graphics have aged really well in my opinion. The enemies are rendered in a 3D mesh, which has contributed to the way the graphics have aged. The graphics themselves, are extremely nice for the era, and even today in some cases, however the graphics aren't really the shining point here, it's more-so the Audio and Game-play.
Secondly, the Game-play. This game has great game-play, and due to the era in which it was released, it's unlike common games today. First off since you play in space/in Zero Gravity(or Micro Gravity) environments, you have Six Degrees of Movement, with this it gives you a lot of freedom as to moving about the levels, and features all sorts of controls, ones to flip you around, 'strafing', etc. While this might cause you to become disoriented, it's still fun, because you can shoot enemies upside down, which isn't done in most games today. The Game itself also offers Multi-player(in all releases), and has a single-player mode. The Single-player mode, being the only mode I can really play, is satisfying in it's own right. You simply run into enemies shoot them, and have to navigate around levels finding the Keys, and sometimes hostages, then navigate to the end, and escape after destroying the base(well it's like that in the first two levels, and I admittedly died at the end of the second level). There are also several different types of weapons usable, with your main weapon taking energy and your secondary weapon using traditional ammo, although there is an exception. The game-play itself is extremely satisfying as well. The only thing I really don't like about game-play is the fact that you have to be right next to doors to open them, although this is minor. The controls are great, although I did have to rebind two controls, as I kept getting them mixed up, the port also trusts you to set your own controls, unlike a lot of console games today which have preset controls. The Story itself is told in between levels, although the story involves a computer virus and you are a mercenary sent to stop it, although the story is relatively minor in my opinion and you can skip through it if you want(which is why this didn't get it's own section), although the story itself is rather nice.
Thirdly, the Audio. The Audio for the PlayStation port is awesome. The Music goes along with the setting(along with having a few extra tracks), and the sound effects aren't too far off, and in fact increase the effect of the game-play, and make it more satisfying. The audio's quality is really well, which I do expect somewhat of a PlayStation title(even if it's a port).
Finally Difficulty. I felt like this should get it's own section. The game has three difficulties, and I heavily suggest starting on easy first. The game itself, was hard for me on easy, and I have died a few times. Either I suck or this game is hard. If you die, you have to start the level over again, although you can regain your stuff(if you die by an enemy). However the difficulty itself isn't as bad as VVVVVV and isn't Nintendo Hard in any means, it still is difficult.
So in recap, it is a great game, with great Graphics, Audio, Video which combined into a great game, with the difficulty enhancing the game-play, along with a nice story. Although the original PC PC version seems to not run under modern systems(XP and up), the game is worth the money you can find it for(if you have a system that can play it), or you can emulate it. If you do emulate it, then try and use a PlayStation controller, as it's the best way to play the game, in my opinion. The game itself is a great game, and has aged really well as it offers unique game-play that no other game today really matches(excluding the Miner Wars 2081, which is the closest game that offers similar game-play mechanics and Space Engineers both for the PC, and available on steam, although Miner Wars is the only game that is similar in the type of game, as well as in the game-play mainly the six degrees of free movement). In short, the game is great and you should try it, it's a unique experience that I have yet to really come across in any modern game, and more than likely will take away some hours of your day, the game deserves a 9.5 out of 10.
EDIT: I corrected some parts where I stated the story was similar to Red Faction, it was Descent 4 which was a canceled game, that was going to be similar to that. I also corrected a small error
as always feel free to critique this, help me edit it, and give me suggestions.
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Nice review, I've got this on my Xperia Play and I like to play it while waiting for stuff to happen. I get a sound glitch where the explosion sound gets stuck and loops all the time... I'm guessing that's a thing with my emulator though (ePSXe for Android).
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