Okay, why were people expecting Descent? In D, you're in AN UNDERGROUND MINE. It's gonna be crampped and kinda confusing. A personal computer's busses are not gonna come anywhere near that, and it does become quite klausteric in some portions, emphasising quick judgement and 6DOF-CQC, like Descent. The graphics are supposed to be fancy to reflect modern computers, although I will say that the engine the game runs on is quite inefficent, but powerful nonetheless.
One of the only negative aspects I can find about this game is the AI, where they're just kinda point-and-shoot, and don't move around much or do anything special like Big D had. I also didn't like how the conductor has this OP hitscan weapon while infected, but when NOT infected, he's defenseless. Don't do that.
Okay, good elements: THE SOUNDTRACK. OH MY GOD THE SOUNDTRACK. It ain't D's techno shenanigans, but it fits the game damn fine, the synths come in warm and cold flavors and the boss themes are on-point, the neurofunk and Amen work is immaculate, and aranged OST is a standalone album - no question. Jonanthan Peros did a wonderful job composing and producing both the procedural and aranged work. I couldn't fathom how many bassbins would be destroyed if he ended up with a record deal on some label like Mindtech.
The story was grand. There were two layers: The good ol' fashion blow everything to Kingdom Come and save the babes, and then there was the email layer that told a deeper story for all those >muh immersion folks. I also like how the protag you play as actually IS a retrovirus. Able to function independantly through the system with no operating AV controller, change it's code on the fly, and then there's the Oracle's ability to forge definitions for unknown malware.
This level of AV tech simply does not exist yet. It is some next-level ♥♥♥♥. Most of the time, you have to have someone in meatspace to hand-scan lines and lines and lines of code before pushing it through with the next definitions update.
I also LOVE the little detail at the end where the only weapon that can hurt the final boss (which takes place in the BIOS, obviously) is the Interupt (shotgun). If you know anything about computers, you'd know why that is.
Lastly is the gameplay. It's a bit slow, but the open Steam Workshop allows for gameplay modifiers, and Big D's was actually fairly slow too, until you mastered chording and/or the AB (D2 and especially in D3 where pulsing it at 100% can accelerate you to breakneck speeds). Honestly I found it completely playable, but the framerate kinda made it hard, but I pushed through anyway beceause it was enjoyable. I also liked the upgrade system, while it didn't seem complete, it was very useful and I got a lot of use out of it - switching between abilities while under fire to fulfill a situation that my current loadout can't eat.
There was one bug that bugged me, and that was that rockets that hit walls don't hurt you, but if they hit a target, they do hurt you.
OH, and there are bugs that prevent you from 100% the whole game. But I got all the emails, so no biggie.Overall, 8/10
would play again. In fact, I actually have played it twice. Oh, and I bought the album. It can be found here
And before I get any downvotes or nasty comments, look at my icon (boss6's face), look at my current handle (bossrobotdad). I've been Going Down, Again! since 1995, and currently I've completed an Ace run (5.4mil points, all hostages, all ES missiles, all secret levels) and working on my Insane run. I like to come out of focus with the game to watch my own fingerwork on the keyboard because I'm amazed at how far I've come since '97/'98.
Do you think you can find a bigger Big D fanbwoy on this platform?
Don't answer that.