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The First Descendant Review ( PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, GeForce Now & PC)

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The First Descendant Review

The looter shooter genre has delivered some iconic titles over the years, with games like Destiny, Anthem, and Warframe setting the gold standard. Now, a new contender, The First Descendant, is entering the arena, promising to mix tried-and-true mechanics with innovative twists.

This game is already making a splash on Steam with its promise to offer something fresh and engaging. And since its launch, The First Descendant, has been making quick strides into becoming one of the most-talked about looter shooter games. With buzz building and expectations high, does The First Descendant truly live up to the hype? Let's check out this review to find out.

A Feast for the Eyes

Player moving through caves

The First Descendant is a visual masterpiece that fully utilizes the power of Unreal Engine 5 to deliver breathtaking graphics. Once you log into the game, you'll feast your eyes into a magnificent home interface that speaks loud about the graphics within the game. And as you trail through the game in action, its stunning visuals will keep you hooked and wanting for more.

Although still young, The First Descendant seeks out to provide diversity through its multiple environment. The game offers varieties like forests, arid deserts, and high-tech urban landscapes with each setting crafted with a high level of realism and artistic flair. In turn, what players recieve is an exploration full of visually rewarding experience.

Additionally, its character models, and enemy designs are particularly noteworthy. Each class and enemy type has distinct visual features making them easily recognizable on the battlefield. The lighting effects, textures, and environmental details are appealing to the eye making the game-world feel alive and dynamic. On Xbox Series X, the game runs smoothly in performance mode, maintaining a consistent frame rate that ensures fluid gameplay and visual fidelity.

At the same time, the character design and animations are equally impressive. Each character is perfectly detailed, reflecting their unique abilities and personalities. Now, the real vibe comes during combat, the visual effects are particularly striking. The abilities like ice blasts and energy shields not only function effectively but also look spectacular. Similarly, special abilities and weapon effects add a layer of spectacle to the combat, making each encounter exciting.

If you have already checked out the game, you will agree the game's art direction is top-notch. It blends futuristic technology with fantasy elements, creating a unique aesthetic that stands out in the looter shooter genre. Ultimately, The First Descendant sets a new benchmark for graphics in its genre, offering players a visually stunning world to explore and enjoy.

However, the visual appeal comes with some issues. The game's performance problems, like frame rate drops and graphic glitches, can take away from its stunning visuals. While the game looks great in still images and less intense moments, these technical issues are more noticeable during heavy action scenes. 

Therefore, this inconsistency can be distracting and affects how much you enjoy the game's visuals. Despite these minor setbacks, the overall visual experience remains top-notch. It makes The First Descendant a treat for the eyes and sets a high standard for looter shooter games.

The Heart of the Game

Focusing on a target

The First Descendant excels in delivering fluid and engaging gameplay that keeps players hooked from the start. At the heart of its success is the smooth and responsive gunplay, which is the hallmark of any good looter shooter. Each weapon feels impactful, with satisfying feedback that enhances the combat experience. Plus, The variety and effectiveness of your arsenal ensures that every firefight is thrilling.

Movement in The First Descendant is another highlight, characterized by its fluidity and versatility. Players can traverse the environment with ease, thanks to smooth controls and well-implemented mechanics like the grapple system. While not as complex as some other games' traversal mechanics, The First Descendant enhances gameplay through strategy and mobility. Whether you're using the grapple to close the distance on enemies or navigate tricky terrain, it contributes to the game's fast-paced and dynamic feel.

Character abilities further enrich the gameplay experience, offering a diverse range of playstyles to suit different preferences. Each character comes with unique abilities that can turn the tide of battle. These abilities range from defensive shields and area-of-effect attacks to support abilities that enhance team coordination. This diversity encourages players to experiment with different characters and strategies.

Moreover, the presence of other players in the game world enhances the fluidity of gameplay. For instance, you can team up to take down a formidable boss or coordinate tactics to complete objectives. Overall, The First Descendant succeeds in delivering fluid and engaging gameplay that keeps players on the edge of their seats.

The Reward

The First Descendant

Customization and progression are at the heart of The First Descendant, offering players an immersive and rewarding experience. Right from the start, the game presents a bunch of options to personalize your character and gear. For instance, you can tweak cosmetic details or fine-tune your loadout for perfect performance. 

Additionally, the loot system is particularly robust, providing a constant stream of new weapons and gear as you progress through missions. Each piece of loot offers enhancements that can significantly impact your combat effectiveness. Therefore, it continually refines its arsenal.

What sets The First Descendant apart is its approach to microtransactions. While the game does offer cosmetic items for purchase, these transactions are optional and don't diminish the main gameplay experience. Unlike the aggressive monetization seen in other games, players get to enjoy the progression system without feeling pressured to spend real money.

Furthermore, the character progression is handled thoughtfully, allowing you to tailor your playstyle through various skill trees and abilities. This ensures that each player's journey through the game is unique, bringing a sense of ownership over your character's development.

The Highlight 

Blasting at enemies

Fighting massive boss monsters together in cooperative play is a thrilling highlight of The First Descendant. These epic encounters are where teamwork truly shines, as players must strategize and coordinate to take down their enemies. The game's cooperative mechanics add an exciting layer of challenge. 

Each boss battle presents unique challenges and requires different tactics to overcome. To survive, players can combine their class abilities and coordinate attacks to exploit the boss's weaknesses. Moreover, the boss fights in The First Descendant are exciting and tough battles that highlight the game's action and strategy. Each boss has special ways to defeat it, so you need to work with your team and use your best moves. 

Beating these bosses feels great because you get cool rewards and it's a big challenge that makes the game really fun to play again and again. Ultimately, these boss battles contribute to the game's dynamic world, making it feel cool and unpredictable. Similarly, the intensity of these encounters, coupled with teamwork, make them memorable experiences that highlight the cooperative play in The First Descendant.

The Bad

The First Descendant

While The First Descendant impresses with its visuals and smooth gameplay in missions, some players have reported performance hiccups, particularly in the hub areas. These instances of frame drops can disrupt immersion, especially when navigating through crowded spaces with numerous NPCs. 

As of now, the game focuses solely on PvE gameplay, which may disappoint players seeking competitive PvP experiences. While the cooperative multiplayer aspects are amazing, the absence of PvP modes limits the game's appeal. Especially to those looking for competitive challenges and social interactions outside PvE missions.

On the other hand, while the game offers a free-to-play model with optional microtransactions for cosmetics, the community has expressed concerns about the pricing of these items. The cost of certain cosmetics can be perceived as high, especially when compared to other free-to-play games in the genre. Adjusting the pricing strategy or offering more affordable options could make microtransactions more accessible and appealing to a wider player base.

Additionally, while the game offers diverse mission objectives and character classes, its world design and storytelling feel lacking. The narrative primarily serves as a background for combat, lacking depth and engaging storytelling. Overall, these issues may hinder the game’s appeal to some players seeking a more balanced and immersive gaming experience.

Verdict

The First Descendant

The First Descendant distinguishes itself within the competitive landscape of looter shooter games with its stunning visuals, immersive gameplay mechanics, and amazing customization options. Despite occasional performance issues, the overall experience remains captivating. It's free-to-play model is a significant advantage, making it accessible to a wide audience without financial commitment. For enthusiasts of titles such as Warframe and Destiny, The First Descendant offers a compelling alternative worth exploring.

However, while the game delivers engaging combat and a rich variety of weapons and abilities, it is not without its drawbacks. The game's heavy reliance on microtransactions, technical glitches, and somewhat simplistic world design are notable concerns. These factors contribute to a monetized atmosphere that may affect the enjoyment and potentially encourage a pay-to-win environment. 

Despite these challenges, The First Descendant remains a promising entry point for newcomers to the looter shooter genre. It provides enjoyable gameplay and diverse character classes. Furthermore, its strengths in combat mechanics and customization options are truly appealing. 

However, prospective players should be mindful of the game's monetization strategy and technical limitations. With further refinement, The First Descendant could evolve into a more polished and engaging experience for all players.

The First Descendant Review ( PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, GeForce Now & PC)

The Descendants’ Secret

The First Descendant is indeed making waves with its intense boss fights and challenging gameplay. Despite its initial challenges, the game promises thrilling moments and rewards for those who persevere. It’s a perfect choice for fans of action-packed sci-fi adventures looking for a thrilling gaming experience.

Cynthia Wambui is a gamer who has a knack for writing video gaming content. Blending words to express one of my biggest interests keeps me in the loop on trendy gaming topics. Aside from gaming and writing, Cynthia is a tech nerd and coding enthusiast.