The First Descendant: When a Looter Meets Overwatch, the Interview

In an interview with the producer of The First Descendant, we discover the origins and how this looter shooter inspired by Overwatch and Apex Legends is supported.

The First Descendant, the new free-to-play looter shooter developed by Nexon, has greatly intrigued sci-fi MMO fans thanks to its high-speed gameplay and a genre-unique class/hero system. To shed light on this new project, one of the first to be developed in Unreal Engine 5, We interviewed Lee Beom-jun, Producer of The First Descendant and Head of Magnum Studio at Nexon Gamestold us how the game universe was born and how it will develop.

“Whoever plays will be a descendant whose mission is to protect humans from the Vulgus, dangerous aliens – said Lee – In the past, the invasion attempts by these aliens have brought humans to the brink of extinction, but the residents of Continent Ingristhe scene of the game, together they were able to stop the crisis.

As the Descendant, players must protect humanity and lead the counterattack against the Vulgus. In doing so, they will be able to unravel the mystery behind the invasion: this will be the focus of the main story.” The premise may not be the most original, but The First Descendant promises an ever-evolving story that will leave players amazed becomes .

“There’s a lot of lore to uncover as the game will be a live service: Continuous storyline and gameplay updates will arrive. Our goal is to present exciting stories with every update.”

Inspired by Halo and Metal Gear

The game's sci-fi aesthetic has many sources of inspiration outside of the video game universe as well

The game’s sci-fi aesthetic has many sources of inspiration outside of the video game universe as well

After the release of the first trailer, one of the aspects that intrigued the community the most was theaesthetics Mixture of characters, with quotes from around the world of science fiction, video games and not. “We were influenced by a lot of dystopian and post-apocalyptic works as the game’s setting is a world on the brink of extinction. From the universe of fault (both the movie and the comics) to Metal Gear Solid, but it wasn’t just other shooters or other looter shooters that influenced the graphics in our game. In terms of gameplay, however, we took inspiration from the battles of masterpieces that have now become classics like Doom and gloriole“.

In terms of managing the typical aspects of an MMO, Lee explained how important it was for the development team not to feel left out for those who want it. play alone. “The First Descendant is set on the continent of Ingris, which isn’t a big map but is made up of several separate sections. We have two ways to enter this world: the private mode and the public. The former allows players to enjoy the story alone based on their needs, while the public mode is designed to play with other users. The city of Albion, on the other hand, is our gaming hub where Descendants can interact with other members of the server.”

classes and loadouts

The First Descendant took inspiration from Overwatch and Apex when designing its heroes

The First Descendant took inspiration from Overwatch and Apex when designing its heroes

The First Descendant wants to differentiate itself from the competition primarily through the way it has designed its characters, while taking heavy inspiration from hero shooters. “The game it has no class system but a set of unique characters, each with a different fighting style. However, the visuals, story, and voice acting are also important elements for players, and we believe that perfecting the mix of all these factors results in truly immersive gameplay. Since each character’s combat style and design must be unique, we decided to avoid class design and opted for a system similar to that of Apex Legends or Overwatch. Ten descendants will be available in the next beta and we plan to add more as part of the live service after the official release.

The characters are not monolithic blocks like in the Blizzard shooter: they can be customized with different ones workload consisting of weapons and skills. “Descendants are the central axis that players can customize with a series of Weapons, accessories and runes. Weapons and runes have different effects and extra functions that can be combined to create custom strategies.” So it wouldn’t be a looter shooter without a rarity system for the items available in the game: “There will be three levels, but it does.” does not mean that the more powerful an item is, the rarer it is. As the rarity increases, there is a greater number of features, but the slots available for each character are limited. Combining objects by weighing the costs and benefits of each one is one of the key mechanics of our game. They will be available during the next Steam Beta eleven weapon classeseach with a different ease of use: there will be many ways to customize your loadout”.

The third-person perspective is an almost identifying aspect of the game

The third-person perspective is an almost identifying aspect of the game

Just to emphasize the uniqueness of its characters, The First Descendant wasn’t designed as an FPS like many of its competitors. “We chose the third-person perspective because it has a significant advantage: players can see their characters during gameplay. As mentioned before, the Descendants are central to the experience and to emphasize them we’ve opted for the third-person perspective. Also, The First Descendant is a very action-oriented shooter: about abilities, melee attacks, high movement speed and special moves like the grappling hook to combine them harmoniously, we found third-person perspective to be more beneficial. .

Switching to Unreal Engine 5

The move to Unreal Engine 5 was exhausting for the developers, but they are very happy with the result

The move to Unreal Engine 5 was exhausting for the developers, but they are very happy with the result

We talked about their miracles for a whileUnreal engine 5, but Epic Games’ graphics engine is still young and it was a risky decision for the Nexon Games team to adopt it for such an ambitious video game. “We started development of The First Descendant using the latest version of Unreal Engine 4. Unreal Engine 5 was released during development and our team was amazed at the visual quality. I decided to make a bold decision and switch to Unreal Engine 5 just to be able to show unforgettable graphics, although I have to admit that I was a bit worried since the development was already in a semi-advanced stage Stadium was – said Lee. The functionality that really convinced us to invest this time and effort was that Lumen was unfamiliar with it, in practice it’s a way to control the game’s lighting in real time. After seeing it, we said to ourselves that we could not release a project that would be defined as a new generation without implementing it. Now all team members are delighted with the results.

Updates and monetization

Monetization and updates are always a tricky part for free-to-play titles

Monetization and updates are always a tricky part for free-to-play titles

The Specter of Anthem, Bioware/EA’s MMORPG that failed because it didn’t receive post-launch support, hovers over all new live service titles, and Lee wants to reassure future players about the longevity of The First Descendant. “We will have major and minor updates after launch. Major updates continue the story with new levels and new enemies. Minor updates, which will be more frequent than the big ones, will add new characters, weapons, runes, and bosses. We are not yet able to communicate the exact frequency at which they will go out.”

However, there is another aspect that worries new fans of the game even more. “I know many players are concerned about monetization and we were surprised to see that many were concerned about the excessive pay-to-win aspects of Nexon games following the announcement of The First Descendant. We strive not to pursue this kind of aspect and model. The monetization will not differ much from that of other games of the same genre. There will be paid products, but the equipment, runes and characters needed to progress in the game can be earned through gameplay. ” Only by trying it out by hand can we understand how much grind it will do to bridge the gap between those who spend money and those who choose to play free.

Nexon games don't have a very good reputation when it comes to pay-to-win

Nexon games don’t have a very good reputation when it comes to pay-to-win

The first open beta of the game will take place from October 20th to 26th on PC only and to participate you must apply via Steam on The First Descendant page. The first Descendants will be able to experience some story missions in both solo and co-op modes and try out some endgame activities. Speaking of which, the developers at Nexon Games told us that they’re particularly excited about how they designed the game’s strongest enemies. “The huge bosses in our raids require a team of four, and each has their own arena. There are different types of bosses and we have divided them by difficulty. Each has a returning mechanic and a unique mechanic for being defeated. For example, all bosses have specific parts that can be targeted with the grappling hook, but grabbing and damaging it requires an effective strategy. There will be intuitive bosses and complex bosses with secret mechanics that require a high level of cooperation. “


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