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    Descent 2
    Reviewed by Tim Johnson

     

    Players:
    1-12

    Developer:
    Volition Inc.

    Publisher:
    Interplay Productions

    Released:
    06/98

    Requirements:
    - Pentium-133 32 MB RAM
    - 8X CD-ROM
    - SVGA w/ 2MB
    - Windows 95

     

    Many say that, technically speaking, Descent 2 has yet to be bettered, and that Quake merely accomplished exactly what the original Descent had, years ago. All the enemies in this game are real 3D, with actual parts that break apart realistically when shot at. This is unlike the technology that Doom and Duke uses, where the sprites are all two-dimensional, which 'jerk' into the front, back and two side-on positions.

    Click to enlargeThis pack also contains a professional Mission Builder, for you to design and create your own monster levels to race around and give to friends. Generally, most people will use this facility to design levels for multiplay, which is in no question of being the best way of playing Descent; dogfighting another human opponent in the mines cannot be bettered. That said, the computer AI is the best I've encountered in this genre. Although, I've still yet to see a weakened enemy run from you (in any game, that is, with very few exceptions), they do dodge and attack in 'smart' ways.

    "Although I was a tad confused as to why the Descent name was slapped onto the box, Descent: Freespace delivers a quality space dogfighting game that will rivet you to your seat with very pretty graphics, intense battles, and a fairly cohesive storyline. The game flows very well, depicting the epic struggle between the Terrans and their enemies the alien Vasudans.

    Click to enlargeThe plot begins when a third race materializes out of the depths of space to challenge both races with weaponry far superior to their own. Your job as a Terran pilot is to fly mission after mission in an effort to find a weakness in your enemies' defenses and halt their approach to Earth before all humanity is doomed. I thouroughly enjoyed Freespace. I liked the wide array of weapons and ship types, and the ability to custom outfit both yourself and your wingmen proved very handy in certain situations. The missions were also very interesting. It wasn't just a bunch of "blow up the bad guy" situations. There were a variety of tasks to perform: escorting ships, protecting an installation, acquiring tactical information, and others.

    The only thing I questioned was the fact that Descent, a quality 3D shooter, even had its' name on the box. A marketing ploy to draw people to the new game? Maybe... but Freespace has no relation to the plot or gameplay of Descent and is in and of itself a completely different game. I reiterate: I really enjoyed this game, and will be all over Freespace 2 when it is released later this year. As a side note... having a nice flight stick like the Microsoft Sidewinder Precision Pro greatly enhances the ease and fun of the gameplay."

    By Tim Johnston
    Posted 07/12/99

    << Rating: 92 >>
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