Remember Descent? The first-person shooter spawned a couple of sequels, but the last one came out way back in 2000. We haven't really seen another shooter offer the same six degrees of movement freedom since, leaving my awesome SpaceOrb 360 game controller to gather dust. Good news, though. The Penny Arcade Report brings news that Descent is being ported to Unreal Engine 3.
Apparently, making Descent's six degrees of freedom work in the Unreal engine is somewhat complicated. Instead of walking along the floor with a fixed horizon, as in most shooters, you pilot a ship through zero-gravity mining environments that don't always have a consistent sense of up, down, left, or right. For the uninitiated, the sample video below provides a sense of what to expect.
Maximillian Schulz, the man responsible for the port, hopes to follow in the footsteps of the Black Mesa remake of Half-Life. He'd like to replicate Descent without using its name or any of the original assets, which will hopefully keep the lawyers at bay. That approach requires all the in-game content to be created from scratch, and Sculz is inviting the modding community to help out on that front. Interested parties can contact Shulz through the port's website.
I've gotta say, the short video brings back a lot of good memories of Descent's gameplay. I'm eager to check out the first release, which is expected to come out in 2-3 months. Perhaps it's time to dig out the SpaceOrb.