Descent: Underground

The older part of our readership surely warmly remembers Descent and the times they broke their joystick trying to make those vertical circle-strafes. I do. I learned then how to fix an un-fixable joystick with a screwdriver and duct-tape. But I digress. Descent is back, and in a new form!

More than 20 years from the original game, a new iteration of Descent is coming, named Descent: Underground. This reboot of the original game was at first named “Ships That Fight Underground”, or STFU (God I love this mania of giving everything abbreviations). After a coincidental meeting between Eric “Wingman” Peterson (Wing Commander 4, Starlancer, Conquest: Frontier Wars, Star Citizen), the founder of Descendant Games and one of the major shareholders in Interplay, the Descent name was given to the tiny indie studio in order to refurbish and publish a completely new Descent title.

Funny story with the studio itself. Peterson moved from the corporate story of Cloud Imperium, which are making Star Citizen and started his own indie company. The dev team consists of a skeleton crew, about $600,000 from their Kickstarter campaign, and a priority of delivering a smooth and silky triple-A title by all means.

The game, powered by the free-to-use Unreal 4 engine, is intended as a prequel to the original Descent, with the mysterious alien virus just appearing. The official description as of now is that the year is 2315, shady corporations fight for power over Earth, and the population is forced to take to the stars. Players take control over small ships in the Mars-Jupiter asteroid belt and mine for resources, defending their ops and fight in the arena for the entertainment of billions.

The basic concept behind the development is to have a completely transparent process – gamers are encouraged to get in touch with the developersand give them their two cents and their design meetings often take place live on the web. You can catch up with the latest on the Descendent weekly Wingman’s Hangar, where Peterson rants about how the game is moving along.

In favor of a much smaller, sleeker team of devs goes the time that was necessary to get the game to the Steam Early Access, given that they started working on the game in late 2014, and got real funding only in March this year.

The game already looks badass, with the players who had the opportunity to play the early access version saying that the dogfights feel the same as the original, and that the original game mechanics have been translated fantastically to the new one.

With a 64-player multiplayer option and a full-fledged single player campaign, we’re in for a treat, and we simply can’t wait for it to come out so we might gun down our loved ones in a hail of laser fire.

For the end, enjoy some beautiful in-game eye candy of Descent: Underground, get on board with the early access and support the developers!

descent descent art descent art descent art descent art

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Michael Maddox is Editor-in-Chief at Fists of Heaven, and can be reached at mike [at]

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