Descent 3

December 12th, 2007 by TimeDoctor

For those who haven’t heard of it before, the Descent series of games seemed to be the first popularization of true 6 axis of freedom. Your protagonist is of the lone space-cowboy set. Along with various ships (3 to choose from by game’s end), one guidebot to aid your navigation, and at times, your offense upon the unruly forces of a computer virus which enables a destructive nature in a horde of bots.

Descent 3 single player is somewhat linear, and the levels are often similar to the find key for a door adventures of older shooters (e.g. Wolfenstein 3D). Usually it feels more like you are doing something pressing the nature of the character, in tune with whatever storyline the designers provide you with at any moment. Regards to the cut-scenes should be made as the voice acting in these is pretty good, however the animation of the characters appears a bit inhuman/non-skeletal. Outrage clearly spent some time on them to ensure they fit with the story provided in-game. Each level has some personality to its own; in one for instance you couldn’t spend too much time in the sun or else you’d burn up your shields so you would end up darting from shadow to shadow towards your final destination. Another has you darting around in a subway system trying to avoid various trains on route to the goal. These things keep dispensing tension to the gamer. Your guidebot does what it should do, guide you, rarely getting in the
way. the only odd things it seems to do is pass through some objects On one set of levels, the designers included a few cliches
in the game, including “dodge the x while proceeding to y”, “neo-futuristic city in which you must destroy your enemy”, and the ever-popular “sewers of love”. These cliches are quite fun as long as you take them for what they are. This is the way Descent was meant to be: A fun filled romp through more varied locations than you can shake a GL-pointy-stick at. It’s not the most cerebral of games but it will have you thinking at times.

Joysticks are recommended as you have to move in true three-dimensional space with a mishmash of physics familiar to the Descent pilot of previous showdowns. The enemy robots are some of the most creative ever seen, as they will attack you from all sides in some of the later levels, while some of the earlier ones (including the first level) seem to contain an unlimited supply of baddies being created on the spot. The plot, is just as engaging as any space shooter fan could hope. You will never feel out of sync with the actions of the universe your character resides in. Some annoying parts of the single player game exist in puzzles; one particular not-fun part of Descent 3 was when I had to find an item (the builders icon) to open a door. Completing this task has you walking through a set of columns in a particular order with the objective of lowering a forcefield or be forced to start back at the beginning. This kind of puzzle is not new to an experienced gamer; however, it can frustrate even them at their task. As with most any game, walk-throughs and cheats can help, but should probably be used sparing as it’s plenty of fun on most missions. Ending Descent 3 is a huge boss battle and a
large cut-scene that brought my 8x CD-ROM drive to it’s cache-ing knees, fixed by replacing it with a 40x drive. There were some problems with Descent 3; most of these were fixed in the latest patch Loki released. They also released a
launcher for easily setting up the game before you run it, which is useful for people who are having problems with their graphics drivers. The music and sounds in Descent 3 are fantastic; I have never heard such an ear pleasing game before. The only time it wasn’t right was if you were caught in between solid objects, this is very easy to understand and obviously not a problem with Loki’s excellent OpenAL. I had one fatal bug with Descent 3 and it seemed to be due to some very obscure phsyics bug; to solve this I just skipped the level by applying the MORECLANG cheat.

Overall, Descent 3 should handle well for all experienced pilots but may frustrate folks new to this type of shooter. Persistence and perhaps a walkthrough will help anyone prevail in the face of uncanny evil. My multiplayer experience was far too limited to provide more than a glancing opinion. This however I will say, the multiplayer is very unique; you will not play this type of fight out in Quake 3 or Unreal Tournament. Also, the Descent 3: Mercenary Pack wasn’t available to play with, but I’m sure it’s fun. The graphics, the sound effects, the music, and the gameplay all add up to a special experience you should not miss out on. I’d like to thank Ryan “icculus” Gordon for answering all my questions, Loki for doing a great port, and Outrage for making it in the first place.

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Descent 3 1.4.0a Patch

November 8th, 2000 by Crusader

Loki Entertainment Software has released the version 1.4.0a patch for Descent 3; changes:

  • If the default libGL or user-specified libGL fails to load, 1.4.0a will try as a last resort…
  • Other minor GL tweaks.
  • The tech support number listed with –help has changed.
  • Added Jeff Slutter (Outrage) and Mark Bainter (beta tester) to the in-game credits.
  • Fix to allow Mercenary movies to play.
  • Multitexture fix: Whether the user requested multitexture extensions or not, and whether the game expected to find them or not, Descent 3 would try to load them, and would abort when it couldn’t. Now Descent 3 only attempts to find the extension’s symbols if needed.
  • Support for the COBRA chair. (–cobra on the command line).
  • Support for foreign keyboards. There are some 90+ keys (the SDL “world” keys) that are now available for use in Descent3.
  • The game now makes idle calls while waiting for a new CD to be inserted, so it won’t eat up all available processor time.
  • Added “–timetest” and “–fastdemo” options for benchmarking.
  • Added “–tempdir” option for a few odd cases.
  • Newer SDL used, which fixes some various issues.
  • DRI-based systems no longer automatically crash.
  • Gamma support. Systems with xgamma support can change the game’s brightness in the video options section off the main menu.
  • Added option to play at 1152×864 resolution. (You’re welcome, Metz.)
  • Startup menu checks the rendering speed, and if it’s too slow, the game aborts with a polite message explaining what’s up.
  • Missions can now be placed in $HOME/.loki/descent3/missions/, and they will be detected with the other missions, and can be loaded.
  • Some people had problems with CD-ROM drives and strange directories being created. This is fixed.
  • Other minor fixes and tweaks.

Additional information can be found in the README; moreover, Loki has released a binary which adds official support for the Descent 3: Mercenary expansion pack (README), and a launcher which aids in the customization of Descent 3 launch options.

Descent 3 1.4.0a Patch, Descent 3: Mercenary Binary, Descent 3 Launcher:
[ 3D Downloads | Loki FTP ]

Descent 3 Review

September 12th, 2000 by Crusader

LinuxWorld’s Lee Anderson has posted hisreviewof Descent 3, the next chapter inthe 3D tunnel shooter series. Anderson goes over the game’s level design and multiplayernuances; furthermore, he notes that the Descent 3: Mercenary expansion pack releasedfor Windows also functions under Linux.

Loki Descent 3 Announcement

June 2nd, 2000 by Crusader

Loki Entertainment Software just fired in this press release regarding the publishing contract for the Linux port of Descent 3:


Latest Sequel in Hit Series Soon to Be Available for Linux

Tustin, CA. — June 2, 2000 — Loki Entertainment Software, theforemost authority on porting popular commercial games to Linux, todayannounces an agreement with Interplay Entertainment Corporation, aworldwide developer and publisher of award-winning entertainmentsoftware, to bring the critically-acclaimed Descent 3(tm) to Linux gamersby July 2000.

“Descent 3 represents a great blend of action and high performance 3Dgraphics,” said Scott Draeker, president of Loki Entertainment Software.”This is a new kind of game for Linux, and one which our users are sureto enjoy.”

Descent 3, developed by Outrage Entertainment, is a fast-paced 3D actionshooter. It envelopes gamers in a frenetic 3D world of 360ยบ of movementas they pilot ships through 15 massive, detailed levels with multipleobjectives and sophisticated puzzles. Players experience intenselyfurious subterranean shooting action, plus the thrill of soaring abovethe surface, engaging in combat with enemy air and ground forces andencountering an entirely new legion of devious robots and other enemies.

“We’re excited to see the Linux market growing and we’re very happy to bea part of it,” said Matt Toschlog, President of Outrage. Jeff Slutter,who programmed the Linux version for Outrage, said, “We originallyreleased a dedicated server version of Descent 3 for Linux and are verypleased that Loki will now bring to market the full client version.”

The Linux version of Descent 3 will support the Rock ‘n’ Ride simulatorfor the ultimate in gaming experiences. The Rock ‘n’ Ride moves a gamerand their monitor up to 55 degrees for genuine interactive motion.

Descent 3 is fully optimized for Internet play with 16 players at onetime. It has a suggested retail price under $30.00 (U.S. Dollars).

About Loki Entertainment Software

Based in Orange County, CA, Loki works with leading game publishers toport their best-selling PC and Macintosh titles to Linux. Loki meets apent-up need in the Linux community by providing fully-supported,shrink-wrapped games for sale through traditional retail channels.Founded in 1998, Loki is privately held and takes its name from the Norsegod of mischief. For more information visit

About Outrage Entertainment

Outrage Entertainment, Inc. is a leading developer of PC and video games. Located in Ann Arbor, MI, Outrage was founded in 1996 when ParallaxSoftware, developer of Descent and Descent II, spun off its developmentoperations into two independent companies. In 1999, Outrage completedDescent 3 and Descent 3: Mercenary, and is currently developing anoriginal title for the PlayStation 2. For more information, see

Interplay Entertainment Corp. is a leading developer, publisher anddistributor of interactive entertainment software for both core gamersand the mass market. Interplay currently balances its development effortsby publishing for personal computers and current generation video gameconsoles. Interplay releases products through Interplay, ShinyEntertainment, Digital Mayhem, Black Isle Studios, 14 Degrees East, itsaffiliated labels and its wholly owned subsidiary Interplay OEM, Inc.More comprehensive information on Interplay and its products is availablethrough its worldwide web site at

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Actof 1995: This release may contain forward-looking statements involvingrisks and uncertainties that may cause actual future events or results todiffer materially and adversely from those described in theforward-looking statements. Important factors that may cause such adifference for Interplay include, but are not limited to, risks of delaysin development and introduction of new products, dependence on newproduct introductions which achieve significant market acceptance and theuncertainties of consumer preferences, dependence on third party softwaredevelopers for a significant portion of new products, risks of rapidtechnological change and platform change, intense competition,seasonality, risks of product defects, dependence upon licenses fromthird parties, risks associated with future capital requirements,dependence upon third party distribution, dependence upon key personneland risks associated with international business, intellectual propertydisputes and other factors discussed in the Company’s filings from timeto time with the Securities Exchange Commission, including but notlimited to the Registration Statement on Form S-1 as amended(Registration Number 333-48473) and Final Prospectus dated June 19, 1998and the Company’s subsequent quarterly filings on Form 10Q. Interplaydisclaims any obligation to revise or update any forward-lookingstatement that may be made from time to time by it or on its behalf.