Author Topic: "Descent" needs to die. Long live 6DOF!  (Read 5297 times)

Offline D2Disciple

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"Descent" needs to die. Long live 6DOF!
« on: April 26, 2015, 05:36:39 PM »
Shakespeare once famously quipped, in his play Romeo & Juliet: "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

Just how sweet is Descent? Well, clearly, the survival of this community throughout two decades is proof enough that the little Doom competitor that could hit home with a number of folks. I myself have been playing the game since my older brother brought home that ominous brown and black box from CompUSA (remember those?) in 1995. I was hooked, even if at the time I could barely wrap my grubby little hands around that two-button joystick and just completing the second or third mine seemed an insurmountable challenge.

My love for the game became an opiate-like addiction when I found and purchased both D2 and D3 in the early 2000s. And, like many fellow Descenters, I've been guilty of wanting more, more, more.

I don't think I'll ever be as disappointed in the development of any kind of software as I was when the Invasion project was cancelled. Projects have come and gone with wildly varying degrees of success. Into Cerberon, the Doom 3 conversion, had a couple of working level demos; Core Decision slipped into a cynical oblivion, Talon proved a wonderfully compact multiplayer clone with almost zero players, and Miner Wars surpassed absolutely every single expectation I had for the game in that there was actually a release at all.

It was with great cynicism that I eventually decided that the Descent franchise was always going to be relegated to three excellent games, with no hope for the future. But I still felt like many of you - that it deserved to rise again from the ashes. "The world needs more Descent!" I'd muse, to which I'd add, "I'm tired of all these derivative shooters on the market!"

But then! I go away for some time and come back to find out that Descent: Underground is funded and in development, and Sol Contingency is nearing a playable MP demo release. But after reading up on the histories and development directions of these games, I've come to understand one very simple concept:

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

Sol Contingency looks to be a near 1:1 ratio of Descent's popular multiplayer without using Descent assetts, whereas Descent: Underground appears to be an attempt to bring the franchise more in line with modern, "role-playing shooters." Unfortunately, it seems that there may exist (hopefully no more) some bad blood between the communities due to Interplay's poor handling of the Descent trademark - some understandingly feeling like the name should have been given to the project that is more Descent-like (SolC), and others feeling like the name  was rightfully reserved for a project that is designed to push the game in a much more modern, RPG-like direction (D:U).

How do I feel about these games? Well, for starters, I plan to back both when I scrape up the cash to finish my PC build (which I'm building solely to play these two games!). But from an economical standpoint, more choices is always better for the consumer. And as a consumer I'm happy to support both with my hard-earned cash. Where the "Descent" name goes? I don't care - both games look like they're headed towards a successful realization of what they both aim to do - update the Descent style of gameplay for a modern generation.

But isn't that exactly what grabbed us, sucked us in, and devoured hours of late nights and early mornings with its laser-sharp focus on complete freedom of movement? It's not the robots - they could have been aliens or monsters; the decision to make them robots was made solely to keep the polygon count down. It's not the story - it could have been any old sap doing the bidding for any massively corrupt corporation to serve as a premise. It's not the weapons - well, okay. Fine. I'll concede that we all had that same evil grin when we snagged the Fusion cannon for the first time. But it's the gameplay - the gameplay is what drives everything. I really don't care what craft I'm flying or what weapon I'm firing or what target I'm shooting at, I care about the engrossing nature of the frenetic combat that 6DOF provides. If Sol Contingency delivers the same kind of raw, visceral action that D2 or D3 multiplayer does, then regardless of name, I'm going to love it. And if Descent: Underground proves itself to be more engaging from a strategic role-playing level, then I'll be stoked to see the Descent franchise being iterated upon with meaningful new features and gameplay concepts.

6DOF, by any other name, will be as awesome.

So, forever remembering the Descent franchise as the innovative, exciting, and gut-churningly hardcore series that it is, and in supporting the series' evolution in the form of Underground, I'm here to say that it's time for the community to stop trying to keep Descent, as we remember it from 1995, alive. To lament SolC for not having "Descent" in it's title or a Pyro-GX in it's stable, or to be overly cynical of Underground because it incorporates ideas from newer games, is as absurd as believing that every shooter on the market should be part of the Doom franchise and that they should never present any new concepts or features of any kind. It's time to take 6DOF and run with it: innovate, create, explore, and ultimately, have fun. Isn't that what Descent has always been about?

Long live 6DOF!

« Last Edit: April 26, 2015, 05:38:52 PM by D2Junkie »
I, for one, hope this is much, much more than a reconnaissance mission.

Offline D2Disciple

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Re: "Descent" needs to die. Long live 6DOF!
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2015, 05:48:14 PM »
I'm apologizing in advance for not showing up for months on end and then coming back to do a soupe, but this encapsulates my thoughts on Descent over the past year or so.

[[SniperJunkie - Apologizing for the abuse of your moderator status? C'mon man. Power exists to be abused...]

[@Random - Anyone seen a fluffernutter lyin' around?]

[SniperJunkie - ... As do other annoying personalities.  ;D :charges fusion:]
I, for one, hope this is much, much more than a reconnaissance mission.

Offline Kaiaatzl

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Re: "Descent" needs to die. Long live 6DOF!
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2015, 05:58:20 AM »
Lol.  But I think this encapsulates what most of us are already thinking so good job. ;D

Offline Scyphi

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Re: "Descent" needs to die. Long live 6DOF!
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2015, 04:26:49 PM »
I'm honestly more stunned that we have a new Soupe in like...forever.  :o

I'd say more, but I have other things I need to do this evening, so I'll come back to this.
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Offline -<WillyP>-

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Re: "Descent" needs to die. Long live 6DOF!
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2015, 05:02:03 PM »
Forever? A month short of a year, a scant 11 months! Ok, well, certainly too long, but not like forever.


Nah, just kidding... yer right, in like forever...   :'(

So get writing y'all!  ;D

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Offline Kd527

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Re: "Descent" needs to die. Long live 6DOF!
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2015, 08:22:21 AM »
I think you hit the nail on the head. I do appreciate a good story and came to enjoy the descent storyline along with the Pyro and robots etc, but we can certainly be open to what these new games have to offer.


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