If the current crop of Doom-clones doesn't give you motion sickness, you might want to check out Descent Maximum for the PlayStation. The premise is simple: You fly around futuristic space mines in a souped-up craft with an array of weapons at your disposal and plenty of enemy robots to blast. While navigating these obstacles in a true 3-D environment, you must accomplish each mission objective then find your way out before the mine blows in a decidedly Star Wars-like fashion. Sounds good, right? Well
This "final" Descent game features thirty action-themed levels, and while some of them are new, the majority are a rehash of Descent II on the PC. Navigating through each set of 3-D corridors can be somewhat confusing, especially since there is no "up" or "down" because of the game's free-roaming 360-degree movement. Once you've got the hang of the game's play control, where you steer using the control pad and thrust in any direction with the PlayStation's four buttons, accomplishing each level's task is fairly simple.
The graphics in Descent Maximum look about as good as the PC version, although some of the objects here look a little low-res at times. The frame rate is smooth, as my slight nausea after extended play can attest, but the game never feels like it moves fast enough. The additional background textures and FMV cutscenes added to the PlayStation version make for interesting eye candy, but the end result isn't flashy enough to compete with the better PlayStation games on the market. The same can be said for the tinny psuedo-industrial soundtrack, which will have you reaching for your stereo after five minutes. The coolest feature of Descent Maximum is the two-player link mode, which allows two players to go head-to-head in specially designed levels. But the minuses outweigh the plusses, and the end result is a classic case of too little too late.
Descent Maximum suffers from the same problems that plagued Descent and Descent II on the PC. Sure, it's neat to fly around a futuristic mine in outer space, but how much compelling gameplay does it offer in the long run? If you're a fan of the computer game, or you love first-person 3-D adventures, you may want to check this title out. If this doesn't describe you, your money will be better spent elsewhere.