Descent by Interplay

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Imagine a first-person perspective game that allows you to make a loop in a true virtual environment with unbelievable textures, fast pace action and a great soundtrack without sacrifying speed and having to buy a twin pentium motherboard. Surely, you think this is only a dream and that you probably hope it will one day come true. Fortunately, the folks at Parallax Software have heard your prayers and decided to reward you for your patience with one of the best action games available for the PC: Descent.

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Descent will plunge you deep into the mines of several planets and moons of the solar system to prevent the Earth from being destroyed by a collision with planet Pluto. This planet was invaded by an alien force and your goal will be to eliminate the invaders. Hundreds of feet below the surface lies a dark world where mine robots excavate galleries, but some of them were changed by aliens and transformed in deadly adversaries.

Through 30 levels of an unbelievable complexity, Descent will provide you with a serious challenge that will match most expectations from fans of fast action games.

In Descent, you pilot a spacecraft capable of either flying at thousands of MPH or levitating in the air. With such performances, it is well suited to explore the mine shafts where your missions await you.

Each level of Descent includes several key locations. First, there is an energy zone where you can recharge your energy level as it decreases while using your weapons. Below, we will see how it is possible to gain energy with the power-ups. Second, there is the jail where hostages are being held by aliens. It is not necessary to free them if you want to go onto the next level, but it gives you bonus points and usually you will find some power-ups inside. Third, there is the reactor. When it was not needed to free the hostages, it will be your duty to destroy the main reactor. When doing this, you will have 50 seconds to find the exit and leave the mine. Therefore, as you may have guessed, it is best to find the location of the exit before starting to fire at the reactor.

The power-ups are located in several places throughout all the levels, and depending what their function is, they will be found in large or small quantities. If you take the shield boost, for example, you will find many of them, but the invulnerability power-up is hard to find and is usually surrounded by dangerous robots. The power-ups can boost your energy, make you invisible for a limited amount of time, improve your weapons, give you new lasers, cannons, missiles and even bombs.

Just as all other games of this type, Descent features locked doors which can be opened only with colored access keys. There are three different colors (blue, yellow and red) and the keys are usually heavily guarded.

What is new and innovative in Descent is your freedom of movement. You can basically do what you want with your ship without any restrictions. There is no need to jump or look up and down as you can go in every direction. For example, sometimes you will follow a tunnel and discover at the end, a huge room where you come from the roof. Rooms are complex with doors located in a multitude of directions leading to interconnected galleries and other locations. Textures will change partially from level to level and even sometimes within a level. You will find new door types, new robots and soundtracks as well, and each level will surprise you with an increasing complexity.

The map provided in Descent is three-dimensional (but was it really possible to do it differently??) with zoom and pan features. Some locations are colored, such as the energy zone, the locked doors, the emergency exit, the reactor, etc.. but they are visible only after you discover them (would not be too easy otherwise ??).

Descent has, of course, a multi-player support with up to four players on a network, two players head-to-head with a modem or a serial link. Different modes are possible like Anarchy, Team Anarchy, Anarchy with robots and Cooperative mode. In Anarchy, you play individually against other players, while the Team Anarchy mode, as the name indicates, is the same but in teams. The two other modes speak for themselves and there is no need to explain them.


Descent is excellent, remarkably done and very exciting to play. The sound support is an example to the other companies who think falsely that there is only one type of sound card available on the market (I will not mention it!).

If you are looking for a great game, just go to your nearest computer store and request your copy of Descent now! You will not be disappointed, and it really blows the competition away!


386 DX-33 MHz or better,
Min 4 MB memory,
MS-DOS 5.0 or later,
Hard drive required,
Single speed CD-ROM drive (150 Kb/s) or faster,
VGA 256 color graphic card and monitor,
Microsoft Mouse or 100% compatible, LogiTech Cyberman, CH Flightstick Pro,
Thrustmaster WCS, Gravis Phoenix, Gravis Gamepad.
Sound Blaster (Pro, 16, AWE) and 100% compatibles, Gravis UltraSound, Roland
MT-32/LAPC/SCC1, General Midi.
Forte VFX-1 VR HMD, Vectormaxx Cybermaxx VR HMD supported.
(Virtual I-O i-glasses support will be available soon)

Ratings and Publisher

                                    Interplay Productions Ltd.
 GRAPHICS ------------------ 90%    71 Milton Park,                  
 SOUND    ------------------ 92%    Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RR, England.
 MUSIC    ------------------ 95%    Tel: +44-(0)235-821-666
 GAMEPLAY ------------------ 94%    
 INTEREST ------------------ 92%    Interplay Productions Inc.
                                    17922 Fitch Avenue,
                                    Irvine, CA 92714.
 OVERALL  ------------------ 93%    Tel: 714-553-6655

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