Descent - Longplay

#1
This is a casual longplay of the original Descent using the DXX-Rebirth port on Linux. The version is a little dated as I was unable to successfully compile the later versions. So I ended up using the one in the repo. Descent and the Descent series of games are among my most favorite games of all time. It's also one of the first games I ever played on a desktop computer as the OEM version of the full game was one of several that came with the family computer (along with titles such as Terminal Velocity, Hi-Octane, etc). I've played the first game (Counterstrike) a handful of times over the years, but it's probably been about a decade since I last played through the missions so my knowledge of the levels is limited to a few highlights. I remember parts of them, but some of them I barely remember at all. That's why this is a casual run and not a walkthrough - I don't have each level mapped out in my mind, I just know what to expect from the game and adapt accordingly. I also purposefully avoided using any guides for these levels so it's probable I missed a bunch of secrets, and I only found one secret level. I knew there were other secret exits, but I didn't want to commit too much time into finding them.

My thoughts on Descent haven't changed that much over the years. I still love it! But this game is pretty rough on the higher difficulties. I knew it'd be a challenge, especially since I was unaware of the bulk of enemy placement. The biggest problem this game has is the constant use of OP enemy types. The Class 1 Driller is famously hated in the Descent community and rightly so. Unless you know exactly where everyone of them resides, you are guaranteed to take damage from their shots. There is no dodging unless you're at extreme range. And once they get you in their sights, they're already chipping off 20-30 shield a pop. The only saving grace is they only need one missile to kill. And then there's the other enemy of the game, which isn't quite as bad but at times is too numerous - the dreaded Red Hulk. These guys are SCARY as f###, they sit and wait nice and patiently until they get a glimpse of you, then they might decide to stay there or reposition themselves to hunt you down. The problem is, there are simply too many of them in some parts of this game. Their missiles take a HUGE chunk of shield, and it isn't always possible to dodge them in close quarters - even if you do, the blast radius from their ordinance can often hurt just as a much as a direct impact. There are ways to deal with them, though I doubt anyone playing this game blind could survive for long among the parts infested with red hulks.

Pretty much everything else about this game is awesome, from the level design to the enemy design. Weapons feel and sound powerful, even if you're using basic equipment. The music (originally a MIDI score) is an absolute classic. You couldn't ask for more from a game really, that is... until you get to Descent II. ;)

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