Descent - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

For a while, I’d forgotten about free-floating FPS Descent: Underground – turns out it had just gone radio-silent for a retooling, announced here. Still being worked on by Descendent Studios and now backed by publisher Little Orbit, the game is now just called ‘Descent’, and is now a more single-player oriented game, diverging from the originally multiplayer-centric Underground.

It’ll be entering beta testing in November and is due for a 2019 release, and will be a free upgrade (along with all pre-order DLC) for Underground’s early access owners and Kickstarter backers. Below, two new teaser trailers.

(more…)

Descent

Descent: Underground was successfully Kickstarted in April 2015, went to Early Access later that year, and then in September 2017 was taken down so the developers could "focus on implementing single-player, tech trees, and the other cool features we’ve talked about." That was the final update on Steam until yesterday, when publisher Little Orbit dropped a new trailer and said that a Descent beta will begin in November, followed by a release in early 2019. 

The beta will be open to anyone who preorders the game, as well as everyone had it on Early Access before it was removed. Early Access supporters will also be given the preorder bonuses now being offered, including a custom "Viola" ship, beta-exclusive challenges, "Secret Missions" DLC, and more. 

"This testing window has an important job to do. At different times, we will ask you to try out and give feedback on different aspects of the game, including the single-player campaign. Your feedback will inform our work to polish and refine the Descent experience ahead of our Retail Release," the developers wrote. They also promised to be more communicative now than "open development" has resumed. 

As for the slightly-changed name (it's just Descent now), a studio rep said that's intended to more accurately reflect the expanded scope of the project: "Underground was removed from the title during development as the game has become a larger reimagining of the original as a whole and not just an addition." 

More information about the new Descent, and preorder links (it's not back on Steam just yet) can be had at descent2018.com

Kingpin — Life of Crime - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Don’t call it a comeback. Don’t call it, like, three comebacks. Interplay, once renowned as a house of PC ideas, has failed to get back off the ground across various attempts at resurrection, and it seems matters have gone no better for whoever is currently wearing the well-worn skinsuit. ‘Interplay’ has just announced a firesale of various intellectual properties. Which means that the likes of Descent, Freespace, Kingpin, Giants: Citizen Kabuto, MDK, Sacrifice and Earthworm bally Jim are now looking for new homes.

Oh God, come on, let’s do this. Let’s get the RPS community to club together to buy the rights to and make a new Kingpin game. … [visit site to read more]

Descent - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Edit: and it made it, with just under two hours to go. Yer new Descent will be a reality, then. Congrats to Revival.

The bums, they are a-squeakin’. There are just four hours left on the Kickstarter clock for Overload, the game from the core creators of the original Descent, and it appears they need to round up the best part of $20k in that time. A photo finish is not at all impossible, but I imagine it’s been a sleepless night for Revival productions.

… [visit site to read more]

Descent - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

The folks who co-created Descent in the ’90s have released a playable demo of Overload [official site], their spiritual successor to the fine zero-gravity spaceship shooter series. With less than three days left on their Kickstarter campaign, they’re just over half-way to their $300,000 goal ( 210k-ish).

“Er, Alice,” you interrupt, “I’m not being funny, but didn’t they Kickstart a new Descent last year? It’s already out on Early Access? People say it’s pretty fun?” Yyyes. Sort of. While Descent: Underground does have the name, licensed from withered husk of publishers Interplay, the initial team was folks who’d never worked on Descent. So! How would Descent’s creators do Descent today? Have a play and see.

… [visit site to read more]

Saints Row IV - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Remember that Descent game Kickstarted by people by who didn’t make Descent? Here’s an unofficial Descent remakequel Kickstarted by people who did make Descent.

If Descent was on your Kickstarted comeback bingo card, then today’s the day to wave your pen in the air. Mike Kulas and Matt Toschlog, lead creators of the 1990s’ beloved six-degrees of freedom spaceshippy FPS, have gotten the band back together for a comeback named Overload. You wanted Descent with sparkly 2016 graphics? You’re gonna get it. Well, if you and your fellow retronauts can put $300k together. … [visit site to read more]

Descent

Yeah yeah, Steam sale, but if you're in the mood for Old Games (the 'Good' part is debatable), you might want to check out GOG's Interplay sale. The retailer has discounted lots of classic/ancient PC games including MDK, Messiah, Stonekeep, Lionheart and....OK, so it's not the best sale in the world. I mainly find it interesting because of what's missing: namely, Descent 1, 2 and 3, which have mysteriously vanished from the store.

There's a reason for that, as explained by Parallax Software's Matt Toschlog & Mike Kulas, who hold the rights to the Descent series.

"Parallax Software still exists and still owns the copyrights to the Descent games. Under our 21-year-old agreement, Interplay has the exclusive rights to sell Descent and Descent II, and they have been doing so on Good Old Games and Steam.

"The problem is that Interplay has not paid to Parallax any royalties since 2007. We've talked to them about this numerous times over the years, and finally took action this fall. We served Interplay official notice that they were in breach of the contract, and when they still failed to pay we terminated the agreement."

According to Toschlog and Kulas, Interplay has therefore lost the rights to sell the original Descent games online (this doesn't apply to Descent: Freespace, which has no real connection to the series.) By rights, it seems the games should be removed from Steam too, so you might want to snap them up there if you've been jonesing for some 6DOF space combat.

"Interplay does, however, still own the Descent trademark," the pair elaborate, "which they are free to use or license as they see fit (such as for Descent: Underground) as long as they don't violate our copyrights.

"As for whether Descent and Descent II will be available for purchase again, we hope so. We'd be very happy to work things out with Interplay." (Thanks, Reddit.)

Descent - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Joe Donnelly)

Reimagining classic 90s video games is something crowdfunding platforms seem cut out for. Ah, nostalgia, what a wondrous thing. It’s been some 15 years since a Descent game reached our telly screens, and 21 years since the first – a pioneering space shooter with six degrees of freedom – did the same.

After barely succeeding on Kickstarter earlier this year, the multiplayer-focused Descent: Underground [official site] has now arrived on Steam Early Access.

… [visit site to read more]

Descent - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

While not the only Descent-style revival of recent times, the six-axis floaty base exploration genre is still woefully underfed. Sublevel Zero [official site] arrives to help with that, taking a more rogue-lite, randomised approach to the notion. Am I spinning with glee, or nose-diving with disappointment? Here’s wot I think:>

… [visit site to read more]

Half-Life - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Gathering together the best shooters is no easy task, but if you’re looking for a new PC FPS to play, look no further.

Your favourite game is at number 51.

… [visit site to read more]

...

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