The First Descendant: A Promising Looter Shooter


“The First Descendant” Nexon’s newest free-to-play title was released on the 2nd of July. Nexon who also own Embark Studios the developers of another free to play game called “The Finals” have received mixed criticisms about “The First Descendant”, steam reviews have reflected this as it sits at a 50% Mixed review.

What are these First Impressions then?

Gameplay-wise it compares to Destiny 2 and Warframe and as such it was partly inspired by these games as well. Players have a central hub and a singular map with 9 sections in the map which open up as we level and progress in the game. There are multiple kinds of missions that drop various kinds of guns and materials needed to improve your character.

Up to 3 weapons can be equipped when playing but it follows the system of Destiny where each gun type has its own ammo associated with it, the types of ammo being, general rounds, impact rounds and High Power rounds. The movement is certainly similar to Warframe and in the early game players can use grappling hooks to quickly traverse to high grounds across the various maps.

Weapons can also be upgraded with “Memory Chips”, weapons have 8 slots to insert chips to enhance various characteristics of the weapons such as increasing critical hit chances, increasing overall damage. This system has its own set of mechanics such as to match certain symbols of the memory chips with the symbols in the slots which in turn would lower the total cost of attaching the specific memory chip.

There are 14 descendants to unlock each having their own set of unique abilities to use in combat. Here since it is a free to play title players can pay a premium to unlock all 14 characters along with some 4 ultimate versions of the said 14 characters.

There is a crafting system but that itself has the feature of waiting a certain time period of the item to be crafted where players are encouraged to go out and play missions till the timer is done this works fine for players who are at the start of a game but it will prove annoying for veteran players or grinders who need that item crafted in order to play mission with a good chance of completing it.

There are many different kinds of bosses featured to play against after completing a set number of missions but here again to make things “difficult” one of the boss’ has a mechanic where if certain conditions aren’t met it will just regenerate its health back to full, this makes it all the more frustrating to play since it devolves in running around the arena to pick up whatever type of ammo was dropped by lesser enemies in the hopes of properly defeating the boss.

In terms of story, it feels like we’ve seen this before, an alien race called the “Colossus” has attacked humanity and there are humans with unique powers called “Descendants” fighting to save humanity. The “Descendants” here feel a little too similar to Warframe’s Tenno.

Each descendant does have their own story missions to flesh out the character but here it sort of felt lazy as the mission structure were just simple fetch quests to gather some information to flesh out the character but by the end the mission felt tedious rather than rewarding to find out about the descendant chosen to play with.

Is it a Good Free-to-play?

“The First Descendant” has to be developed a little bit more to make it interesting for players, the story needs something to make it not seem like a copy of Warframe, the gun play could be tweaked to become a little bit more satisfying, there should be a lot more mission variety than those that ultimately end in killing everything on screen.

Despite these flaws, “The First Descendant” has the potential to become another top tier free-to-play as these aren’t major and game breaking flaws to begin with. What it needs is a brand new idea, an innovation on the formula from the games it’s trying to mimic to offer a somewhat familiar but unique enough experience rather than it fully mimicking Warframe or Destiny.

The developers are working hard to address all the gameplay bugs and are also making changes to the progression mechanics for players to get rare drops and such. Given time the game can reach the heights of Warframe and Destiny and solidify its position among them as another top-tier looter-shooter to play with another compelling story.

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