Descenders is a fast paced and extreme downhill racing game that's bringing blistering biking to Xbox One. The game launches on Xbox Game Preview bringing a Xbox One X enhancement for improved visuals. With that comes interesting Mixer support featuring integrated options to help or hinder a rider. The entire game is based on procedural generation so every single race is distinct in challenge and design. This is an interesting element that works well, yet still seems somewhat too open. I'll elaborate that with the fact that it doesn't exactly have formed content, yet if you like the core mechanics it offerings a blast every time.
It was certainly a fun game to play as I'd race down the hill sides, yet I still would have liked something more structured. This is most evident by the fact you can skip the course entirely and go straight to the exit if you'd like. That sort of defeats the purpose of having a track in the first place, I think it can be funny though still something to be tweaked. There are seeds generated for tracks if you have a favorite and really, the idea is quite fascinating for this type of game. It works well, offerings lot of distinct races and mostly just needs content built around it. The seeds are similar to Minecraft in structure if you are familiar with that game.
This sense of having missions or setup courses could be remedied fairly easily, with this general generation style acting as a great side mode or even template to build it upon. That aside, the rogue-lite style for the current career mode is a really unique way to do things. I wasn't a fan of how the content is unlocked through it, yet I would have never expected that to be implemented into a sporting game like this.
You basically start off from the first point and then work across a biome area completing levels to reach a big moment jump. If you complete this moment a few times you'll unlock a permanent short cut to the next area. You can of course keep playing as long as you don't lose all your health, it just takes three times through to gain full access and unlock that new area.
This also makes the environmental area available for free ride, I honestly felt these should have just been present there. It's somewhat tedious to replay the area over and over. Another benefit of career is gaining access to teams which grant special gear, there are many customization options. My current biker has all Xbox One gear with a chicken head, it's fun.
The soundtrack is great, and free for use in videos or streams as mentioned in-game. I thought it handled well being realistic in how you biked and intuitive in how the menu was display. Tricks were simple to pull off with a solid control scheme. You could bail out and go flying which was fun, it's got some solid gameplay. The Descenders Xbox One version is at a good starting point with lots of potential, looking forward to seeing how it evolves. A final note would be that some sort of multiplayer would be neat for competitive online action.
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