“Bring me my roll, hon. Dealer’s at the door!” Review

Descent 3 Info


  • N/A


  • 99 - 99


  • Interplay


  • N/A

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now


  • PC


“Bring me my roll, hon. Dealer’s at the door!”

I once, long ago in a school newspaper article, praised computer and video

games for being, “safer than drugs, cheaper than sex, and more addictive than

crack.” Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and girls… Outrage entertainment, the kindly

Mr. Dealer, has delivered. My advice: stay not long from the dime bag.


fantastic, great, ‘I loved it,’ magnificent, smashing, rockin’, unblemished,

more fun than writing about creative uses of prized clan valuables (or worm

taxonomy), embarrassing amounts of gushing praise — all these words and more

will be used. If you hate that sort of thing you might as well just stop reading

this review right now. For the rest of you critically huddles masses, prepare

to be the choir to my preaching. Descent 3, the latest installment in

the long running, originally revolutionary, Dramamine requiring, zero-gravity

action romp, has finally hit the shelves. Praise what gods you believe in, sacrifice

your pets to them, sing praises in rain dances, buy quality multi-function joysticks

en masse, just don’t let your copy sit on the shelves for long… this sucker

is better than heroin.

For those of you who might not know, the Descent series of games casts

you as a mercenary, flying a zero- gravity craft in an attempt to kill robots

who have been infected with an evil, nano-technology virus. As all the game

mechanics are zero G, the movement possibilities, which are far to complicated

to describe here, create gamplay were simply moving around is a joy, and combat

utilizes the possibilities of a 3D engine better than anything else out there

on the market. It’s the sort of game that, once you get a good enough joystick

and become proficient at advanced maneuvering techniques, will simply astonish

you. It provides more of an intense feel of flight-sim bravado from pulling

of a beautiful maneuver than you might get from taking out a squadron of Messerchmitzs

over Ardennes, in a Spitfire, in real life.

On the other hand, full, 6-degrees-of-freedom movement can be too much for

some non-hardcore gamers to handle. For the casual gamer, Descent 3 can

be confusing, dizzying, and even neaseating. This is a game for the pro’s.

New to Descent 3, though, is the ability to fly your craft not only

through indoor, but also outdoor environments, a task done with much aplomb.

Adding the outdoor element allows for an even greater use of the maneuvering

capabilities, adds variety to the levels, and ensures that the game never gets

dull or boring, even after repeated journeys through the single player campaign.

A few new weapons, both missiles and primary guns (that’s energy or projectile)

have been added, each being incredibly effective, satisfying, and cool. The

beautifully vicious flamethrower and the ‘Ghostbusters-like’ leeching Omega

cannon being the most impressive of the bunch. Also added are a multitude of

useful objects, including a variety of intriguing mines.

Furthermore, all of the enemies, each endowed with breathtaking AI, are new

designs, each one being unique both in ability, structure, and behavior so that

each requires a specific combat approach. The cute guide bot from Descent

is back, this time as carry-on baggage. His more intimate nature allows

you to issue him a variety of orders, making the little ‘bot even more useful

than before.

The plot of Descent 3 involves you, reprising your familiar role of

the Material Defender, being rescued from your cliffhanger hyper-jump malfunction

(end of Descent 2) and proceeding to go on a quest to expose your evil

former employers, who seem to have been doing some extremely suspect things

with the virus.


as the plot may be (conveyed by almost laughable 3D characters in cliche, though

effective, cut scenes), it does provide adequate reason to once again, go down

into action, through 15 incredible, massive levels, enjoying the best graphics

and action on the market. The designers have even gone so far as to give you

actual, interesting objectives in each level instead of the tiresome "find

the yellow/blue/red key cards" formula.

It’s been just about one year since Unreal first

hit the stores and finally, after all that time, there is a game that can actually

best it in terms of graphics. From the modeling, colored lighting, incredible

special effects, wonderful animation, to the sheer overall feel, Descent

is the prettiest game yet to grace a monitor. By merging a flight simulation

engine with a more traditional indoor engine, Descent 3‘s ‘Fusion Engine’

provides outstanding graphics in both the indoor an outdoor arenas.

Sound and control are on a similar plane of greatness. The overall slickness of the audio, video, and

tangible facets of the game make the action some of the most hard hitting, and utterly satisfying out there, especially

considering the great variety and chaotic nature lent to combat by the advanced maneuverability.

In fact, the whole production of Descent 3 is very slick and remarkably

bug free. This is one of the most professionally assembled products to be released

in a long time. Its refreshingly balanced, consistent, simply oozing with high

production values and the long loving effort of game designers who are at the

top of their field.

Not enough? For once, an action game has shipped with intuitive, and perfectly

operational multiplayer. Spanning over 9 multilayer modes, game styles, and

connection types. Descent 3 even supports the old Modem-Modem connection

so two good friends can go at it with no latency. When playing over the Internet,

server listing and player ranking is provided seamlessly by Paralax Online.

Particularly impressive in the Internet gaming is that even at high ping rates,

say about 1000 or so, Descent 3 remains playable. And of course, the

number of multiplayer modes and complexity of maneuverability make Descent

almost as deep a multiplayer experience as the ground breaking Starsiege:


In every way that really matters, Descent 3 is a fantastic game. With

killer graphics, sound, gameplay, stability, and multiplayer it is all you need

for a long term action obsession. There is one thing though: aside from slapping

in the face all those companies who release beta products instead of fully tested

games, Descent 3 does not strictly do anything revolutionary.

However, let not an A- fool you. This is one of the very best games I’ve played

in years, and an instant recommendation for anyone who has ever fondled a joystick

or stroked a mouse. Just remember to come up for air though, there is such a thing

as dying of starvation or thirst. So get a glass, a plate, and an i.v. drip.


Kick-Ass Gameplay
Kick-Ass Graphics
Kick-Ass Sound
Kick-Ass Multiplayer
Kick-Ass AI
This Game Kicks Much Ass!
Complex Controls
May Make You Vomit
Just Not Quite Revolutionary