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  • genre simulation / combat / sci-fi
  • download size 535 MB
    ~19 min
  • avg. user rating from 2538 user ratings.
  • release date March 13, 1996
  • compatible with Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8) and Mac OS X (10.6.8 or newer)
  • languages English
  • developer / publisher Parallax Software / Interplay
  • game modes single-player, multi-player, co-op
  • Bonus content included for FREE with purchase:
  • D1 in-game soundtrack
  • 2 manuals (112 pages)
  • avatar
  • 2 reference cards
  • HD wallpaper
  • D1 best soundtrack (MAC)

What's cool about it:

  • Dynamic gameplay that is hard to match even by today’s standards
  • A great musical score composed by artists such as Type O Negative and Skinny Puppy
  • Challenging multiplayer modes


Welcome to the world of Descent - the amazing experience of 360° fluid 3D motion that is still unmatched. Plunge through mines that defy physics, blast your way past enemy robots and experience vertigo like never before. Arm yourself with deadly weapons and confront creatures with highly advanced artificial intelligence; they will plot, wait and ambush you from all sides.

You are about to embark on a new and exciting journey. One that will fill you with a sense of wonder and discovery. Light and sound will mix like a kaleidoscope to thrill you as never before. Spin 360° through twisting levels of mechanical monsters, deadly traps and hidden tunnels. Explosive 3D multi-directional sound effects and pulsing musical score will keep you on the edge of your seat.

After finishing 30 levels of thrill-packed Descent you would like to take a break or... plunge through 30 more levels of Descent 2 as you battle highly intelligent robot enemies, including the evil thief bot, leaving their flaming hulks in your exhaust.

Don't keep this feeling of nausea to yourself, go Head-to-Head with 2-player modem support or 8-player network and Tournament Mode. Brace yourself for the world of Descent... if you can handle it. Get them before they get you...

Age requirements: ESRB Rating: TEEN with Animated Violence.

Minimum system requirements: Windows XP or Windows Vista, 1 GHz Processor (1.4 GHz recommended), 512MB RAM (1 GB recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended), Mouse, Keyboard.
Minimum system requirements (Mac): OS X 10.6.8 or later.Processor: Intel Core Duo 2GHz+,Memory: 1GB of RAM,Graphics: 64MB of video memory, Recommended two-button mouse, or Apple mouse with Secondary Button / Secondary Click enabled. Patched to version 1.5

All user reviews:

User reviews:

Possibly the greatest flight series of all time (detailed review)

Posted on 2008-09-19 02:52:06 byjiSh's avatarjiSh:

Descent is what got me into gaming. Sure, I'd played Wolf3D and Commander Keen, even Catacomb Abyss years before it, but this is what made me a gamer.
At the time, the full six degrees of freedom was breathtaking, along with the enemy AI, the lighting effects, the soundtrack, and the massive levels. Blowing up a reactor and hurrying to escape through the emergency exit is alwaysread more an intense experience!
The weapons were varied, with your primary weapons ranging from simple (yet upgradable) lasers, to a vulcan cannon, to the mighty fusion cannon which you could charge up and deliver a large blast of energy to your foes (fun fact: you can damage your ship by overloading the fusion cannon!).
If that weren't enough, you had a full set of secondary weapons, ranging from dumbfire concussion missiles, to plasma-releasing smart missiles, to the shockwave inducing mega missile.
Descent also offered an unparalleled multiplayer experience for it's time, with highly competitive drop in (you could join at any time during a match) play.
The common gripe many have with Descent is it's seemingly overwhelming control structure. Many will use a joystick or gamepad, both of which I dabbled in but I always returned to a keyboard/mouse setup. For some, it may take much experimenting to find something comfortable, but the reward of total freedom of flight is well worth it.
A year later, I was poking around in some PC Gamer magazine and came across Descent 2. I hauled my butt over to the store and grabbed a copy, only to return home and not be able to run it! It needed 8MB of RAM to run, and I only had an old 486/4MB of RAM machine! I was so sad, but then I learned how to tinker with the memory manager and I got it to run, albeit at a low framerate.
Descent 2 introduced so much, it felt like an entirely different experience. You had a guide-bot to show you around the level. You had 10 new weapons, including the beastly Omega Cannon (a direct stream of energy), to the devastating Earthshaker missile which would shake the entire level upon exploding! There were locked doors that could only be opened by destroying switches hidden around the level. The robots were incredibly varied and the already excellent AI was improved. You had an afterburner to speed you around.
There were also some graphical upgrades, such as coloured lighting and support for higher resolutions. There were full motion video cutscenes, and the story from Descent 1 is continued.
The multiplayer was just as excellent, although some preferred Descent 1 due to it being more difficult (the weapons were quite overpowered in D2).
I have beaten both Descent 1 and 2 countless times and played hundreds of online matches. Eventually, I lost my discs when I moved on to other games, so I jumped on the Descent package here at when it launched. Playing them again after about 7 years was a real treat, and I played it using the Descent Rebirth engine (google it) to enjoy high resolution graphics.
I would recommend Descent to any shooter fan, any flight game fan, and anybody looking for a fresh challenge. It's simply one of the best franchises you will find here on, and I hope other people will have as much fun with it as I have had.

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A Classic in a Category of its Own

Posted on 2008-09-10 22:30:54 bypsamathos's avatarpsamathos:

I remember when Descent came out back in 1995. Among a flurry of Doom clones, it instantly stood out from the pack by showing everyone what a truly 3d game can be. It takes the classic FPS concept of collecting keys and fighting bosses to reach an exit, then twists it into something Escher would be proud of. For the first time you actually had to think in three dimensions and theread more freedom this gave you was exhilarating, once you got the hang of it. While the graphics are dated, the gameplay is timeless and definitely worth checking out again, or for the first time if you missed out on this unique spectacle in PC gaming history.

Was this helpful?(91 of 95 people found this helpful)

The Day The Industry Moved Forward

Posted on 2008-09-12 16:56:56 byThe_MJW's avatarThe_MJW:

This package represents a quantum leap for the gaming industry. While most were content with the quasi-3D antics of Doom, this amazing experience redefined what we thought of as immersion. I can still remember the first time I watched someone else play descent; I had never seen someone physically move their head side-to-side, up-and-down with every flick of the mouse. The abilityread more of a x486 machine to literally grab a human's attention with such strength is something that heretofore had never been possible. After this, the bar had forever been raised.
Any gamer should own this solely on principal alone, but it's fun as hell to boot.

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