The Descendant is a post-apocalyptic tale of survival. As the player you take on the role of two people at two different points in time trying to figure out what happened to an entire population of survivors known as Descendants. The two main characters, Mia and Freeman, are Janitors. The Janitors were people hired to keep the giant underground bunkers known as the Arks running and keep the Descendants alive until the earth was considered to be hospitable again. As the story begins Freeman is asked to assist a Descendant in finding out why one of the Arks did not properly open when it was supposed to and the presumably still surviving Descendants inside are trapped within.
The game plays off of a point and click adventure type of play style with conversation elements similar to that of TellTale’s games where you are required to think on your feet and make your decisions quickly. The butterfly effect those decisions have is slightly missing though, the majority of your reward or punishment for your choices being given in the form of an affinity system between your character and the other NPCs.
Although the game is very new, it’s audio and video quality is not exactly up to par. Although the voice acting is very well done, the atmospheric sounds are not as high quality and sometimes grating, especially to someone using headphones to immerse themselves in the story. Graphically the game is comparable to an HD remaster of the Half-Life series. The quality of which is not nearly up to par with modern games using engines like Unity but still not so unpleasant to the eye that it takes away from the story.
This game is honestly a little cliché in its concept. A lot of games nowadays are going with the post-apocalyptic storylines; some entire franchises being built out of the notion of what would life be like if man caused an event that led to the annihilation of the world’s ecosystem. Not only that but the story is pretty much the same as that of the Fallout universe. The world went to war over resources as mankind continued to refuse to curb its use of fossil fuels and natural resources until the supply no longer could maintain the demand. This of course led to the world’s most powerful nations taking control of all the resources they could and eventually led to war over what remained. A war that ended in the destruction of the world via atomic weaponry.
Now just because the story is a little overdone does not mean it wasn’t done well. The use of live news footage at the active narrative of the main characters makes the story very compelling and pulls you in, hoping to find out what happened to the lost Ark of Descendants. As you begin the first episode of the season and travel down in the decrepit looking Ark the situation begins to look like it will take a very grim turn.
It’s around this point in the story you are introduced to a new perspective: Mia’s. You are sent back in time to the moment the Ark was originally sealed and the Janitors first took on their roles as the protectors of the Descendants within. As Mia and her fellow Janitor head off into the Ark just as the bombs start to drop the feeling of dread towards the fact that life on the surface has just ended hits you like a megaton blast. From this point on the narrative goes back and forth between Freeman and Mia as you progress into the Ark and learn more and more of the story. By the end of the first episode you are left hanging onto your seat, wondering what really happened here and whether or not the Descendants are dead or alive and whether your actions can save them.
The one thing The Descendant lacks most is replay ability. The only foreseen award for repeat playthroughs being the ability to change a few choices to improve your relationship with other NPCs and hopefully save more of the Descendants. All in all, The Descendant is a very emotional and dramatic story that you will want to know the rest of by the end of the first episode.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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