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1-2 Player

Game Type


Mem. Card

Review Date

Sept 1996


Setting the Scene

Descent has been around for a little while and was a huge success in the P.C market, now it has landed on the PlayStation. The F.M.V introduction is of exceptional quality, briefing you of your mission and objectives; for example, "Descend into the lunar mining stations, destroy all robots, rescue the hostages".


Navigate a flying craft through a maze of tunnels to find the fusion reactor while blasting enemy robots in your way. Destroying the reactor causes a system meltdown. At this point it is a race against time to find the exit, before the whole place explodes with you still inside!


The in-game graphics are quite good, running large numbers of detailed polygons with ease, slowing only when in large areas filled with attacking aliens.

The lighting effects are brilliant. The lasers light up the surrounding walls as they pass by. The missiles and bombs brighten whole areas when they explode. The bright orange glow of the sea of lava flowing through many of the caves acts as a warning to keep your distance or suffer severe loss of heath.

The map is a problem. Its a 3D transparent mess that is very difficult to interpret, resulting in time being wasted as you try to plan your route through various areas. Once you have decided your path and return back to the action, more often than not you will move off in completely the opposite direction that you just planned!

If by chance you come across a room full of hostages to rescue, they will try to attract your attention by waving there arms in the air frantically, as if they have just spotted their long lost friend on the big wheel at the local fairground.

The camera angle remains inside your craft for most of the game, until your craft is destroyed at which point it switches to an outside view, showing all of your collected weapons and power-ups floating around ready for anyone to collect and use.

Sounds and Effects

The sound is standard for this type of shoot-em-up. The "fizz" of a laser, the "boom" of a cannon and the "whoosh" of a missile launched from your craft. Apart from the give-away squeals of an alien robot approaching (sounding not unlike a nail on a rusty bath!) there are little or no sound effects.

The music however is fitting for the mood of this game, with a mixture of rave and heavy rock. Artists featured include: Type O Negative and Ogre of Skinny Puppy.


I intend to contact Interplay and request an ADDITION TO THE HEALTH WARNINGS within the instructions of this game: DO NOT PLAY DIRECTLY AFTER EATING!

The noun Descent is from the verb "Descend" meaning MOVE DOWN?.. DOWN is the least used directional control. When entering a poorly lit area and you come under heavy fire from the enemy, you find yourself banking your craft 45 degrees left, right, upside down and 360 degrees within a second! You feel your eyeballs and your stomach rolling, and what action do you take?. DESCEND ...... I don`t think so, bloody RUN I say, spinning towards the nearest exit. Definitely a game for would-be astronauts!

The options screen offers the use of an analogue joystick or controls configuration (22 possible directions or actions) . Five skill levels, ranging between trainee (sensible) to insane (totally insane).

The memory card can be used or alternatively a password system can be utilized.

On the up-side, the game offers 27 massive levels (3 secret levels) of battling and exploring, seeking access keys to allow to penetrate to all areas of the mine. Collect energy, shield boosts, ammo and carefully positioned cloaking devices. There are also a number of secret passageways, discovery of these areas is rewarded with upgraded weapons.

As a two player link game this is superb. Your options are:
FIRST STRIKE (27 levels cooperative or against each other - with or without robots)
ANARCHY: 5 small levels of fast and furious hunting
TOTAL CHAOS: 5 complex levels of seek and destroy.

Value for Money

Excellent shoot-em-up, although the mines could well be mazes they are so similar and complex. The music is fitting. The graphics are quite good and move well. The 1 player game is challenging. The 2 player link mode is excellent.





Its been a little like TAKING DRIVING LESSONS, with 22 directional and action motions. I completed 9 levels on the EASY skill level and so re-started on the medium level so as not to spoil the game by completing it too quickly. This level provides just the right amount of challenge. I now feel that I have mastered all of the crafts maneuvers and tactically I have learned to slide around corners therefore avoiding nasty surprises and traps! I have completed 24 levels, but find it difficult to play for long periods because of the movement. I am still enjoying the challenge and am sure that I will complete the game in time.








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