Descent II review by Al Giovetti


descent2.gif - 36.5 K
Review by Al Giovetti
Price: $50
Genre: Action shooter
Release: July 96
Developer: Parallax Software, www.pxsoftware.com
Producer:
Cheat Codes: Take me to the Codes! Publisher: Interplay
Phone: 714-553-6678
Website: www.interplay.com/website/descent2.html
Requirements: 486DX-50 or faster, 256 color VGA or SVGA monitor, 16MB RAM, DOS 5.0 or later, 25 MB hard drive space required, 2x CD-ROM.

Descent and Descent II are first person perspective indoor flying shooters, like Doom-games that fly. Descent was good enough to rate as number one in sales for six months according to one source. The graphics resolution goes up to 800x600 and there is FMV that explains that you are a mercenary in the employ of the mega-mining corporation. You need to clear out the mine shafts of the enemies of the corporation. You use the high tech weapons and special powers to do this.

Next Generation claims that most of the time you just find the key, open the door, blow the reactor and get out, which would be boring if it was not for the fast paced game play. descentc.gif - 32.1 K

There are a whole lot of new stuff to play with. You get a Guide-Bot who is your own handy side-kick who helps you find mission objectives. Every level has one Thief-Bot, that steals weapons and power-ups from your ship, once you kill the one per level you need not worry until the next level. Your ship now has headlights you can turn on and off, afterburners to increase your speed, a missile Cam to watch things blow up closer and a Guide-Bot Cam to perform reconnaissance. New effects include enhanced lighting, flowing water and lava, and hidden doors and rooms. Ten new weapons and equipment include Helix Cannon, Phoenix Cannon, Smart Mines, and Energy to Shield converter.

Fight 30 brand-new robot enemies with improved Al and deadly offensive capabilities, over 30 new dark, twisting levels on not one but FIVE worlds, including the alien robots' mothership! In the background is a metal-grinding pulse-pounding rock score by Ogre of Skinny Puppy!

Weapons: New guns include spreadfire helix cannon , phoenix cannon that pops off walls, the gauss machine gun, and an omega cannon. Donít forget the earth shaker missile which should kill most anything. There are also smart mines which will only kill your enemies

Mission objectives: Blow reactors and rescue hostages desc2a.jpg - 37.3 K

Graphics: New light sourcing provides shadows and textures allow you to shoot lights and bathe the area in darkness. Use flares and headlights to illuminate dark areas.

Sound effects: The most notable are the weapons sound which rock when you have a sub-woofer speaker system.

Multiplayer: Games are customizable with permitted weapons, objects, and settings. Capture the flag and the ability to jump into a game in progress are new for Descent II. Restricted mode will block out someone you do not want to join your game. Multiplayer includes internet, network, null and phone modem.

References:
Next Generation, volume 3, number 18, June, 1996, pg. 122. 4/5 (80%)
Hugh Falk, www.cnet.com/Gamecenter/Reviews/Descent2/
Kevin J. McCann, Computer Player, volume 2, number 12, May, 1996, pg. 52-53, 10/10 (100%).

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