Gathering together the best shooters is no easy task, but if you’re looking for a new PC FPS to play, look no further.
Your favourite game is at number 51.
RPS Feature The Worthiest Reticules Of All Time
A group of industry vets have licensed the Descent trademark from Interplay and begun development of Descent: Underground [official site]. They launched a Kickstarter campaign a couple of days ago; as I write this they’ve already passed the 25% mark. Their pitch video follows.
RPS Feature Arisen
Hello! Welcome to (at last) the first group meeting for The RPS Book Club For Games. Hopefully everyone was able to have a good shooty read of Descent, or at least thumb through its pages. Below is my retrospective of the game, and hopefully yours will be added too. Link your write-up in the comments, or send it to me via my name at the top of this article, and we’ll add links to them in the main post. Then when this gets released into the wilds of the outside internet, hopefully it will bring an audience to your writing. (Stick it on your own site, a Tumblr, Pastebin, whatever. If you want your writing protected, please remember to add your own copyright/copyleft notice to it.)
Fan remakes and reimaginings are labours of love living on a knife-edge, potentially blooming into a glorious monument to their adoration but knowing that one single letter from the owner could shut everything down at any moment. Sol Contingency has received that letter. It was to be a shiny “reimagining” of Parallax’s splendid six-degrees-of-freedom space shooter Descent in the UDK, but owners Interplay have stopped that. The team say they’ll continue, changing enough to make Sol Contingency their own thing.
But this wasn’t all unrequited love; at one point, Interplay were interested in making Sol Contingency an official Descent game.
Yesterday, when I glanced at the new releases on Steam and saw “Descent” I thought, “Huh, someone’s used that name again – well, it has been nineteen years since it came out.” And then I dropped down dead of old age and horror because it’s been nineteen years since Descent came out. I’ve only just recovered from this death, and looked again. No, it’s actually Descent. It’s somehow appeared on Steam. Descent!
Remakes are strange creatures. They come in all manner of breeds – from timely and lovable to completely mystifying to completely mystifying until you actually see it and go, “OK, sure. That actually doesn’t look half-bad” (Rise of the Triad). And then others, well, they’re just confusing. Emotionally confusing. I think a brand new Descent Unreal Engine 3 remake from particularly intrepid modder, er, Max fits that bill pretty well. On one hand, Descent seems conspicuously absent from cyberfuture 2012’s nostalgia-obsessed landscape, and this attempt at getting it back in its anti-grav groove looks quite nice. On the other, it does look and feel a bit odd seeing these topsy-turvy battles taking place in locations that my brain is now programmed to associate with tree-trunk-armed soldier men.
This “Macintosh Personal Computer” thing is never going to catch on, but folks like Valve and now GOG insist on humoring owners of these unnaturally pristine elf machines, so here we are. During its much-ballyhooed news-a-thon, GOG drew back the curtain on a new version of its service tailored to Macs, which brings with it 50 games (eight of which you receive free just for signing up) and some rather tempting deals. Speaking of, there’s this insane 32-game pay-what-you-want Interplay special leading the charge in celebration of GOG’s fourth anniversary. The tearful sort-of-family reunion would not, however, be complete without Geralt’s permafrost tundra of a glare brightening up the room, so CD Projekt Red took the stage to demonstrate its Witcher 2 mod toolset. I’d say “imagine the possibilities,” but imaginations are for people who don’t have extremely impressive time-lapse videos. Check it out after the break.
Our Gaming Made Me series has always focused on the writer’s personal association with a vital game from their childhood, but this week that emphasis is even stronger. Here, James Murff talks of how Parallax Software’s 1995 sci-fi FPS Descent became one of the keystones in mending his troubled relationship with a father – as well as why the flight-based shooter still has much to teach today’s game designers.
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A quick follow-up to the scurrilous speculation a little while back that Interplay was about to resuscitate most of its major franchises. Actually, they are. “The company will leverage its portfolio of gaming properties by creating sequels to some of its most successful games, including Earthworm Jim, Dark Alliance, Descent, and MDK,” says robot-press-releaseman right here. They’re also setting up a new in-house development studio to get all this done. Exciting!
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