Overload is a new 6DOF shooter from the makers of Descent


In April of 1995, PC Gamer posited that the hot new 6DOF shooter Descent might just be the Doom-Killer. Clearly, we were wrong, but even so it was an important and influential game, and really good, too. And now a number of the people responsible for creating it, including the co-founders and programmers of original Descent studio Parallax Software, have headed to Kickstarter in search of funding for a new 6DOF shooter called Overload.

Overload's hook is that it is basically a new Descent from the guys who made the old Descent. And in fact it will cleave fairly closely to its ancestor's “find the reactor, blow it up, haul ass” style of gameplay. “Carrying out your objective is where the true essence of the game lay, and that’s what we’re focusing on with Overload. Each level will be full of gameplay reasons to move and look and shoot all around you, with secrets to discover, traps to trigger, powerups to find, and cryo-frozen hostages to rescue,” the Kickstarter pitch explains. “Along the way you’ll encounter plenty of robots to battle or flee from. There will be keys to collect, shortcuts to take, and reactors to eliminate. You’ll race to the exit as the timer counts down and be thrilled when you make it out just in time.”

At the same time, the developers also promise “a rich backstory and universe ripe for expansion,” being written by the writer of the brilliantly good Freespace 2. Naturally, it will also sport top-notch graphics technology, with physically-based rendering, dynamic shadows, realtime global illumination, and “beautifully rendered particle effects”—robots will blow up real good, in other words—and feature music from the composers of Descent 2, Freespace, Red Faction, Dungeon Master 2, and many other games.

It's interesting to note that this is actually the second recent Kickstarter to be directly descended from Descent: In April 2015, the officially licensed sequel Descent: Underground, being developed by a team that has no connection with the original game, just barely squeaked past its $600,000 goal. Overload, the unofficial follow-up being developed by the (largely) original squad, is looking for half that amount. The Kickstarter campaign runs until March 11.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.