The Let's Play Archive


by berryjon

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Original Thread: Six Degrees of OSHA violations! Let's Play the Descent series Megathread!



Six Degrees of OSHA Violations - Let's Play the Descent Series

Let's Play Descent

What is Descent?

Published in 1995 by Interplay, and developed by Parallax Software, Descent is perhaps the first truly free-movement shooter on the market. Other flight sims don't have the same degree of freedom, and it stands today as one of the hallmarks of good shooter gameplay. When I say you can go anywhere, I mean it. Up, down, left, right, forward, back, rolling, pitching and yawing? All six axis of movement are available.

This game can induce vertigo.

You, the player, are a person called Material Defender, hired by the Pan-Terran Mining Corporation (or PTMC) to eradicate a ... small infestation of robots in various mines around the Solar System. Apparently, there's a bug in the system, and it's up to you to scour each mine by detonating the core reactor in each mine - then escape the ensuing detonation.

Descent II picks up right after the first game, and is a massive improvement across the board in terms of level design, enemy design and weapons re-balancing, plus quality of life improvements.

How do I play it?

Well, you have two options. The first is to purchase the game from either Steam or Good Old Games, and play it right out of the box. Or, you can do what I'm doing, and play it using the Descent: Rebirth engine, which optimizes it for higher-end machines, and I found it far easier to set up my Wingman Attack 2 Joystick through that than trying to configure DosBox and then the game itself to operate properly.

Because if you think I'm playing this game using just a Mouse and Keyboard - or just the keyboard, you have another thing coming.

The LP Itself

This will be a Video LP, with myself and whatever co-commentators I can scrounge up. I will be posting non-commentary and commentary videos side by side so you can enjoy or suffer through our silence as you see fit.

However! I am always on the lookout for more co-commentators. The more people I have on tap, the less stale the chatting gets. So if you're interested, PM me, drop me a contact in the thread, or follow the Discord link in this thread for chatting purposes.

Spoilers Policy
This game is over 20 years old. I don't mind minor spoilers, but things that are only explained in later games are verboten. Keep to this one, please, as I do have plans to do the other Descents later.

Wait, vertigo? You're kidding, right?

No. No I'm not.

Prepare for Descent, Material Defender

A 72-Hour Extension on the Contract

A Change in Perspective; Descent 2 - Vertigo

Descent 3: Retribution

Parallax Software, in 1997, dissolved due to what seemed like creative differences in the ownership of the company. From them, Volition and Outrage were created, with the owner of Outrage, Matt Toschlog getting the Descent license. They published Descent 3 in 1999 as a game that was intended to make full use of the next generation of graphics cards and push the limits of 6 Degrees of Freedom. They created new tools, new software, and combined engines from multiple games to create this game over the course of about two years.

What you are about to see is one of two games published by Outrage before their purchase by THQ, and subsequent dissolving. The other being Alter Echo.

Descent 3 ain't pretty, despite the sheer beauty of the game. So, let's get to it.

Descent 3: Mercenary

Descent: Overload

Published in 2015, Overload was developed by the same team responsible for Descent 1 and 2. However, while it has the right pedigree, the license for the series' name is no longer with them, but with Interplay or one of its successors. And so, with the failure of Descent: Underground to... well... get off the ground, I place this game as the honorary Descent 4. It flies right, it shoots right, and every last instinct and reflex I've developed over the course of D1 and D2 are right at home here.

Taking place in a continuity of its own, you are a pilot of a light combat vessel who has just spent the last two years in cryosleep on the long, long journey out to Saturn. But shortly before your arrival, distress calls go out from many of the moons. The Auto-Ops have turned on their creators, and they need rescue. Which is where you come in. Good luck.

But don't worry.

This game is glorious.

Fan Submissions

A game this old has a lot of fans, and that means that nostalgia gives people reason to create. Here is where that stuff goes!

Leylite posted:

The Boss wants you in his office in five minutes.

Fabulousity posted:

Who knows what the Rumor Mill has in store for you?

SirSystemError posted:

So with the LP coming to a close as of the last recording session: I've always liked the soundtrack of this game, managing to be generally atmospheric while still having a good beat to it. So here's a Youtube playlist of all the songs in the game for listening pleasure. Furthermore, certain releases of the game came with Redbook audio instead of MIDI, such as the Mac version I was familiar with back in the day. It's worth a listen if you haven't heard it before, a good mix of spruced up versions of some of the MIDI tracks and a few originals as well.

SugarAddict posted:

berryjon posted:

As for the Thief Bot - I have reached Zen where it is regarded. I shall MURDER THE EVERLOVING SHIT OUT OF IT in the most calm and rational manner possible, detached from all worldly worries.

Fabulousity posted:

Old game + old meme = Yay?

Fish Noise posted:

Fabulousity posted:

Happy Pi Day and one-day-late 24th birthday for Descent 2

The original Descent turns 25 on this upcoming Tuesday.

Fabulousity posted:

Berryjon posted:

Allow me to add in my own piece of fan work. The single greatest thing to come out of Descent 3 and Descent 3: Mercenary:

And good riddance.
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