The folks who co-created Descent in the ’90s have released a playable demo of Overload [official site], their spiritual successor to the fine zero-gravity spaceship shooter series. With less than three days left on their Kickstarter campaign, they’re just over half-way to their $300,000 goal (£210k-ish).
“Er, Alice,” you interrupt, “I’m not being funny, but didn’t they Kickstart a new Descent last year? It’s already out on Early Access? People say it’s pretty fun?” Yyyes. Sort of. While Descent: Underground does have the name, licensed from withered husk of publishers Interplay, the initial team was folks who’d never worked on Descent. So! How would Descent’s creators do Descent today? Have a play and see.
Like Descent, Overload is a first-person shooter with a spaceship going inside tight, twisting places (with six degrees of freedom) to zap naughty robots.
You can download the demo in a zip file for 32-bit Windows and 64-bit Windows flavours (the full game is due on Mac and Linux too, but the demo’s in testing on those platforms) or get it through Steam. It’s got three levels: one small room to get used to 6DoF controls, one ‘challenge’ level which seems to be survival against respawning robots, and one ye olde ‘escape the mine’ scenario. The bit I played, yep, was like how I remember Descent. Developers Revival Productions say:
“We’ve put his demo together in a hurry, and though we’ve done as much as we can to make it perfect, it still has some rough edges. And of course we’re still very early in development — we’re showing off a few sample levels and some cool weapons and robots, but there’s lots and lots more to come.”
I wasn’t trying to dismiss Descent: Underground, by the way. Player reviews from Early Access release are mostly positive and pretty encouraging for the full release. Anyway, the two are up to different things – Underground is focused on multiplayer, while Overload is focused on singleplayer and will add multiplayer after launch.
If the Overload demo tickles your fancy, hey, time’s running out for the Kickstarter. As ever with crowdfunded games, pledges include copies of the finished games and all sorts of gubbins.