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Descent 3
D3 Box Art.jpg
Developer(s) Outrage Entertainment
Publisher(s) Interplay Productions
Engine Fusion
Version 1.4
Platform(s) Mac OS, Linux, Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) June 11, 1999
Genre(s) First-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer
Rating(s) ESRB: T
USK: 12
Media CD
System requirements Minimum
  • 200MHz Pentium Processor
  • 32 MB RAM
  • 3D accelerator video card with 4 MB of texture RAM
  • 4x CD-ROM drive
  • 210 MB hard disk space
  • DirectX 6 compatible sound card
  • DirectX 6.1 (for Windows only)
  • Service Pack 3 or greater (for Windows NT)
Input methods Keyboard and Mouse, Joystick, Gamepad

Descent 3 is the third game in the line of Descent computer games, well known for the use of six degrees of freedom and true 3D rendering technology.

Descent 3 constituted a major technical upgrade over its two predecessors, introducing many ground breaking graphical techniques like portal rendering, procedural texturing and advanced lighting and was probably the most graphically advanced game of its time. However, this was also very taxing for hardware at that time. Although previous attempts to create fan-made sequels to Descent 3 were scrapped due to issues concerning ownership rights,[1][2] Interplay has plans to create a sequel should they secure funding for it.[3]

Descent 3 has an official expansion pack, titled Descent 3: Mercenary, although fans of the game have also made other modifications.

Contents

Story

The storyline of Descent 3 is shown through several cutscenes throughout the game, as well as in in-game mission briefings and debriefings.

Previously in Descent II, Material Defender 1032 had narrowly escaped the destruction of an alien planetoid he was investigating on orders of the megacorporation Post Terran Mining Corporation (PTMC). He was about to return to Earth to collect his reward, but without warning, a malfunction occurred with the prototype warp drive in the ship he was flying.

The opening cutscene to the game shows the Material Defender's ship drifting into the Sun. At the very last moment, just as his ship begins to burn up due to excess heat, a salvage vessel saves the ship. The Material Defender is extracted from his ship, and it is disposed of in the sun.

As the Material Defender recovers, he learns that he was rescued by the Red Acropolis Research Team. The director of the research team tells him of strange things that were happening in the PTMC, as well as the fact that one of her acquaintances in the PTMC was killed by a robot. What made the Red Acropolis suspicious of the PTMC was when they denied that they had ever employed him, even though he had worked with them for years. The Red Acropolis had tried to notify the Collective Earth Defense (CED), a large anti-terrorist and police group, of the PTMC's actions, but they took no action; they dared not mess with the PTMC.

The director also tells the Material Defender that while he was clearing the PTMC's mines of a computer virus, the PTMC were actually testing and modifying it. According to her, the virus was extremely advanced nanotechnology. She wants to stop the virus, and she wants the Material Defender for the job. After some persuasion and offers from her, he gives in. At this point, he is shown an animation that revealed that the PTMC had deliberately tried to kill him by disabling the warp drive on his ship.

Changes from Descent and Descent II

The player engages a Squid in the sewer tunnels of Seoul.
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Engine

Descent 3 utilizes an indoor and outdoor engine in tandem, collectively called the Fusion Engine. The engine supports bump mapping, dynamic colored lighting, relatively complex environments, and weather effects. Unlike contemporary first-person shooters such as Unreal or Quake, Descent 3 does not rely on brushes—three dimensional bodies forming the level walls, doors and so on—but on basic vertex/face modeling, where two-dimensional planes form the walls.

Gameplay

  • Because of the change in engine, the claustrophobic levels of the previous two games in the series were replaced by more open landscapes.
  • Objectives were made more diverse than the previous games. Instead of a single objective of destroying a reactor, there are other kinds of objectives that range from escorting a cargo ship to defending five reactors simultaneously. Objectives are now also categorized into two categories: primary objectives and secondary objectives.
  • Because the player character, Material Defender 1032, had returned to the Solar System, missions in the main Descent 3 campaign now take place on or in various stellar bodies scattered throughout the system, such as Ceres, the planet Venus, and Pluto's satellite Charon, or on Earth itself.

Robots

Many robots in Descent 3 are completely new or redesigned versions from the previous games in the series. In addition, the robots have an improved artificial intelligence over the robots in Descent and Descent II, capable of dodging weapon fire, leading, working in teams and calling for backup if outgunned or outnumbered.

Player Ships

In Descent and Descent II, the player had to complete the game using the same ship, with no additional player ships to be unlocked. However, as this ship was revealed to have been destroyed during the opening cutscene of Descent 3, the player thus starts the singleplayer Descent 3 campaign off with a modified version of the ship used in Descent and Descent II. As the player progresses through the campaign, they can unlock two more player ships to use, each with varying specifications from the default ship. In multiplayer, however, the player may choose any ship to use, even if they have not unlocked it in the singleplayer campaign yet.

Multiplayer

Descent 3 also introduced several new types of multiplayer games, with a few more created by fans later.

  • Descent 3 allows players to enter into "Observer Mode", allowing them to view the game rather than take part directly in it.
  • The original modes of play from Descent and Descent II that were included are Anarchy, a game mode where players compete for a set number of kills within a given time limit, and Team Anarchy, which is a variation of the former.
  • Descent 3 also adds Capture the Flag, in which players had to attempt to steal an enemy flag and take it back to their base while their team was still in possession of their own flag; Entropy, a game of strategy in which player teams attempted to take over enemy-controlled rooms by using "viruses"; Hoard, in which players attempted to collect the most "orbs"; and Monsterball, in which teams would attempt to move a ball into the correct goal to score a point.
  • Players may also come together and take on certain singleplayer campaigns or missions in Descent 3 through Co-Op.

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings PC: 84.77%
Mac: 90.00%
Metacritic PC: 89/100
Review scores
Publication Score

Descent 3 received very positive reviews from video game critics. The most praised aspects of the game were its graphics, AI, and outdoor environments. Criticism came in form of bad mouselook (almost requiring a joystick to play) and tricky controls.

Descent 3: Mercenary

Descent 3: Mercenary box art

On December 10, 2000,[4] Interplay released the official expansion pack for Descent 3, titled Descent 3: Mercenary. This expansion pack added a completely new campaign which detailed the events that occurred at the end of Descent II up to the first third of the singleplayer campaign of Descent 3, as well as several multiplayer levels and the Descent 3 Level Editor.

Descent 3: Mercenary Storyline

At the outset of the singleplayer Descent 3: Mercenary campaign, a short cutscene shows a solitary starship infiltrating and destroying the robot defences of a CED geothermal research lab on Mars. The relation of this cutscene to the actual Mercenary campaign itself has never been fully revealed.

The player starts off as a CED pilot tasked with a top-secret mission to destroy a PTMC-controlled Martian colony by causing a meltdown of its primary nuclear reactor. However, in an attempt to silence all voices pertaining to this operation, the CED did not extract them from the colony as stated in the mission briefing, but terminated their contract and left them in there to die.

The player escapes being caught in the full blast of the meltdown by seeking refuge in the colony's reinforced waste disposal area. In the aftermath of the colony's destruction, Samuel Dravis, the man who ordered Material Defender 1032 to clear out the robots in the PTMC's deep-space mines, contacted the player and, in exchange for their service, was willing to let them walk away from the incident with no implications. The player is thus thrust into playing a pivotal role in the events that sparked off the main Descent 3 campaign.

Additions to Descent 3

  • A new seven-level campaign was introduced into the game, which detailed the events near the end of Descent II to the first third of the main Descent 3 campaign (see above).
  • Descent 3: Mercenary introduced a fourth ship into the game. The singleplayer Mercenary campaign was scripted such that, unlike the main campaign, the player could not choose this ship—or any other ship—in the mission briefings at the start of every level, even if he has completed the campaign. This script does not affect multiplayer, however, and a player with Mercenary installed will be able to use a ship of their choice in any multiplayer level.
  • Mercenary adds a small but diverse collection of multiplayer levels created by fans and by the official developers of the game. Some of the more notable levels include a singleplayer-compatible level that featured the player fighting against an army of black AI-controlled player ships, as well as a level designed as a replica of the former office of Outrage Entertainment.
  • The Descent 3 Level Editor is bundled and installed with Descent 3: Mercenary. This package allows the player to create missions from scratch, complete with power-ups, robots and scripted events. It also includes tools to convert sounds and images for use in levels.

Descent 3 releases

Descent 3 (1999)

Descent 3 natively supports the Direct3D, Glide and OpenGL rendering APIs and has a completely rebuilt engine, capable of rendering outdoor environments with an automatic level-of-detail terrain system. Reviewers[5] praised and lauded it.

Descent 3/Descent 3: Mercenary release

With the publication of Descent 3: Mercenary, Interplay Productions also began to sell a special jewel case that has Descent 3 and Descent 3: Mercenary bundled together.

Descent 3 GameTap release

Sometime in 2006, Descent 3 and its expansion pack, Descent 3 Mercenary, was made available for download and play through Time Warner's GameTap broadband game service, however all multiplayer function has been removed.[6]

Notes and references

See also

External links


Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

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Descent 3
Box artwork for Descent 3.
Developer(s) Outrage Entertainment
Publisher(s) Interplay Productions
Release date(s)
Genre(s) First person shooter
System(s) Linux, Mac OS, Windows
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Rating(s)
ESRB: Teen
USK: Ages 12+
System requirements (help)
CPU clock speed

200MHz

System RAM

32MiB

Disk space

210MiB

DirectX version
Version 6
Expansion pack(s) Descent III: Mercenaries
Preceded by Descent II
Series Descent

Descent 3 is the third game in the line of Descent computer games, well known for the use of six degrees of freedom and true 3D rendering technology.

Descent 3 constituted a major technical upgrade over its two predecessors, introducing many ground breaking graphical techniques like portal rendering, procedural texturing and advanced lighting and was probably the most graphically advanced game of its time. However, this was also very taxing for hardware at that time. Although previous attempts to create fan-made sequels to Descent 3 were scrapped due to issues concerning ownership rights, Interplay had plans to create a sequel should they secure funding for it.

Descent 3 has an official expansion pack, titled Descent 3: Mercenary, although fans of the game have also made other modifications.

Table of Contents

Walkthrough
Appendices

Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Descent 3

Developer(s) Developer Missing
Publisher(s) Publisher Missing
Release date June 11, 1999
Genre First-person shooter
Mode(s) Single player Multiplayer
Age rating(s) ESRB: E
Platform(s) Windows, Mac OS
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Descent 3 level list

This list shows the correspondence between level numbers and level names.

The Descent 3 Load save game menu shows the names of the levels (or at least the names that the player gave when saving), but not the level number.

Descent 3 offers only ten slots for save games. Once all ten slots have been used, subsequent saves need to overwrite previous saves. Some players reuse save slots in a rolling fashion, so that the most recent save game may be in any one of the ten slots. This can make it difficult to find the save game where the player has progressed the furthest.

When a player returns to the game after a long time, he may need a list like this to determine the relative order of save games in the plot line.

 1           - PTMC Data Retention Center
 2           - Novak Corporate Prison
 3  SAFA     - Piccu Station & SRAD Research
 4  SEOUL    - PTMC Corporate Headquarters
 5           - Red Acropolis Research Station
 6  NOMAD    - Martian Nomad Caverns
 7  BUNKER   - PTMC Research Bunker
 8  REFINERY - PTMC Dol Ammad Fuel Refinery
>>           - SECRET LEVEL - Origon Zero
 9  FACTORY  - PTMC Spacecraft Factory
10           - CED Lunar Command Base
11           - PTMC Storage Facility
12           - PTMC Proving Grounds
>>           - SECRET LEVEL - H.V.W.R.
13           - CED Expediator Dreadnaught
14           - CED Orbital Network Transmitter
15           - Dravis' Stronghold

This article uses material from the "Descent 3" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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