Eric “Wingman” Peterson is back and he's bringing a group of veteran space sim developers with him. Why is Peterson back? Well, because he's working on a brand new Descent game using today's software technology.
You can check out the Kickstarter video below, clocking in at close to four minutes even.
While watching the demo video the first thing that came to mind was “Will this game feature destructible environments?” I mean, in this day and age a common multiplayer deathmatch title is nothing new. A game needs more than just the standard flying and shooting mechanics from the 3D shooters available during the PSX and N64 era, such as Forsaken or Terminal Velocity, the former of which was basically Descent designed to be “hip” and “edgy”. Unfortunately for Forsaken the game's focus on being “hip” and “edgy” came at the cost of playability, making it difficult to control and lacking in features compared to Descent.
With Descendent Studios' Descent: Underground, they're not trying to bring back Descent as something it's not. Descent: Underground is still a six-degrees-of-freedom space combat simulator. The game will also still focus on underground exploration just like the original games, but this time around there's a stronger focus on how players can manipulate the environments thanks to the voxel maps that can be drilled and destroyed, enabling players with the ability to tunnel, just like in Red Faction.
The drill function is setup specifically so players will be able to burrow their way into a crevice and launch a sneak attack; or drill into the other side of an opponents base and take them out. All of this is going to be done through the Unreal Engine 4, which would give the team a lot of flexibility as far as design scope and emergent player elements go.
As mentioned on the Kickstarter page...
“Water, ore, precious metals – tear them from the rock or pry them from your enemies’ clutches. Use the profits to crush your competition. Only your dog fighting skills and teamwork can master the hazardous terrain, using it against your foes to gain the upper hand in uncontrolled space. A fortune awaits you. But first, you must destroy the opposition and carry your prize back to your harvester ship.”
Yep, the drilling and exploration also plays a part in the ability to grow and upgrade their craft. Drill for ore and special power-ups to level-up your ship or unlock new abilities. There's a complete tech tree for players to go through, as well as multiple parts and customization options for the ships. You'll also be able to acquire and upgrade drones to entrap or distract your opponents, as well as participate in 16 player online matches across several modes.
If you're tired of the traditional first-person shooter found in games like Call of Duty, Battlefield or Halo, and you want something that's not quite as skill-heavy as War Thunder but wanted something with a somewhat arcade feel in a 3D spatial environment, Descent is probably right up your alley.
You can learn more about the game or donate to the cause by paying a visit to the official Kickstarter page, where the team is seeking $600,000 to revitalize the old-school classic.