We've known for a little while that Nexon is working on a new looter-shooter called The First Descendant that charges players with protecting humanity from an onslaught of alien invaders backed by very big bosses. It's a classic, some might say overly familiar, tale of super-powered good against relentless evil from space, and it's headed to its first beta test in October. By way of celebration the publisher has also put out a new trailer, which you can watch above.
The First Descendant was actually announced more than a year ago, and it got its first teaser in September 2021, under the working title of Project Magnum. The official title was announced in July of this year, and the Steam page describes it thusly:
The First Descendant is a free third-person cooperative action RPG shooter featuring high-quality graphics. Experience the fun of strategic boss fights through 4-player co-op and various unique characters, exciting gunplay, and looting. A variety of equipment is necessary for growth, and you can obtain them through clearing scenario missions within the game or in the World Missions where cooperation is crucial and battles with huge bosses.
Narratively, it doesn't sound like Nexon is breaking too much new ground here. As "Descendants," players will battle Karel and his army of alien invaders, who for reasons currently unclear are bent on either subjugating or annihilating (that's also unclear) the Ingris Continent, which is the last bastion of humanity.
Fortunately, there's a little more depth on the mechanical side. The First Descendant will support different character classes with unique skill sets, combos, weapons, and skin options, and feature battles against "huge boss monsters with different appearances and abilities." Squads of up to four players can team up for co-op action, and while there's no mention of PvP I'd be surprised if that's not in there somewhere too.
Interestingly, the beta announcement implies that The First Descendant will feature predefined characters rather than completely DIY heroes: The trailer features Lepic (a versatile fighter with powerful guns built into his arm), Viessa (a debuffer who freezes enemies by controlling cold air), Bunny (super-quick nuke with electrical attacks), and Ajax (the tank with space-warping skills), and Nexon said that "more dynamic action can also be seen through additional characters with unique skill sets."
To my eyes the trailer is competent but not much more than that, and the very big question for Nexon is how (or whether) The First Descendant will find a niche in the looter-shooter ecosystem. The space is dominated by Destiny 2 and to a lesser extent Warframe, and there just doesn't seem to be room for much else. The most recent contender, Outriders, is still chugging along but not likely to usurp Bungie's throne, and we're not even going to talk about what happened with Anthem.
We'll get a closer look at The First Descendant soon enough. A more detailed reveal will take place this week at Gamescom, which runs August 24-28, and a beta test is set to run October 20-26 on Steam—access requests are open now on Steam.