The First Descendant Review – A Rich Shooter Made From Available Ingredients

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The First Descendant Review

The First Descendant is a cooperative free-to-play looter shooter with a third-person view, developed on the Unreal Engine 5. Here, players take on the role of Descendants, whose task is to protect humanity from the alien invaders Valgus and destructive Colossi. What is the new Nexon project – we tell you in the review.

  • Developer: Nexon Games
  • Publisher: Nexon
  • Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 , Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
  • Release date: June 30, 2024

When the conversation turns to The First Descendant, my interlocutors invariably compare the game to Destiny 2 or Warframe . But you know what? As soon as I found myself on Ingris, it was as if I was teleported to Paragon. Back in 2016, Epic Games released a promising third -person MOBA that simply had to outshine SMITE, but it failed, and then The Overprime project, within the framework of which Netmarble was already trying to revive it, failed too.

Paragon immediately caught my eye with its wonderful graphics and futuristic setting. While in SMITE the gods were running around with spears and throwing lightning, the characters in Paragon were wielding firearms, controlling combat robots and cool exosuits. Alas, due to the unexpected success of FortniteEpic Games‘ attention was completely focused on the shooter at that time, and they decided to close Paragon. And even then, Paragon on UE4 looked like a bomb compared to today’s SMITE 2 on UE5. But I digress…

The First Descendant Review – A Rich Shooter Made From Available Ingredients
The First Descendant Review

As it turns out, the association with Paragon was not accidental. After the original Paragon was shut down, Epic Games allowed the game’s assets to be freely used, which was not lost on several tiny indie studios and one huge company, Nexon. There is even a corresponding post titled “For those who think they’ve seen this before” in the official The First Descendant group on Reddit. The post is accompanied by a video from Paragon, that’s how it is.

I don’t know about you, but for me, as a fan of Paragon, this circumstance seemed more inspiring. Especially since the Nexon project was based primarily on the visual representation of the world of the deceased MOBA and its graphic solutions.

The First Descendant Review – A Rich Shooter Made From Available Ingredients
The First Descendant Review

The First Descendant engine delivers cutting-edge effects including dynamic lighting and shadows, realistic textures and smooth animations, real-time ray tracing , and fantastic character detail. The game’s color palette is rich and vibrant, offering a visually stunning experience that seamlessly blends natural and sci-fi aesthetics.

Meanwhile, there are often less pleasant flashbacks that refer to MOBA elements that seem less appropriate in a looter shooter : collisions with invisible walls, with tiny obstacles, with each other . But my main complaint is about the impact, which also seems to have been borrowed from Paragon.

The First Descendant Review – A Rich Shooter Made From Available Ingredients
The First Descendant Review

In The First Descendant, there seems to be a reaction from enemies to hits – you can stop them, you can interrupt their attack, but it still looks kind of sluggish. There is no feeling that your shots really mean anything. You can shoot at an enemy with any weapon, and it’s as if you just pushed him lightly. In some games, when you hit the target, you immediately feel the full power of your weapon, but here it’s like you’re shooting into a pillow .

There is no feeling that you are holding a powerful weapon in your hands, even if you are firing from a huge grenade launcher. If in the same Destiny 2 each gun sounds somehow differently, here the sound is like from an old cassette recorder. But the guns look no worse than in Destiny 2, and there is more customization for them.

The First Descendant Review – A Rich Shooter Made From Available Ingredients
The First Descendant Review

Descendants – that’s what they call game characters who inherited special gifts from their forerunners – use four skills in combination with weapons. Three regular ones, one ultimate, which also kind of sends us back to MOBA, but to a much lesser extent, since most of the skills are still adapted to the realities of a shooter, and with an adjustment for the fact that it is a team game.

There are currently 14 playable characters in the game, plus five more ultimate forms for some of them, and each one has a unique role in the group. Each has their own combat tactics and uses elemental or technological abilities to implement them. Bunny alone is worth something, naturally becoming the face of the advertising campaign for The First Descendant.

The First Descendant Review – A Rich Shooter Made From Available Ingredients
The First Descendant Review

Bunny can dart around at insanely high speeds, storing up energy in the process, which she can then unleash with destructive electric skills. Combined with the grappling hook that each Scion is equipped with for quick vertical movement, traveling around the map with Bunny is incredibly fun.

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Tactical fighter Lepic, tank Ajax and debuffer Viessa are available to players at the start, and you can only choose one hero, and the rest will have to be “assembled” like the others. Players will receive Bunny during the story campaign – you will learn most of the intricacies of The First Descendant in the process of completing the story. “Assembling” the first Descendant, as well as the first serious gun, is just provided for by the process.

The First Descendant Review – A Rich Shooter Made From Available Ingredients
The First Descendant Review

In this regard, by the way, The First Descendant is very similar to Warframe. You can get a new Descendant in the game in two ways – either by donating for it in the store , or by requesting research from Anais in Albion. A request for research on the Descendant can only be made after you have collected all the necessary materials, and these are four components, three of which are assembled from many other parts, and the fourth may not drop for a long time from some, often difficult, activity.

The First Descendant has an extremely convenient tool that allows you to see what specific components are needed for a particular study, how many of them you already have, and where the necessary ones are mined. The built-in database is convenient and intuitive, a deep bow to the developers . By the way, the maximum number of Descendants available for the game is limited. This is one of many small, imperceptible at first glance nuances of an absolutely free project, which will subsequently force you to donate.

The First Descendant Review – A Rich Shooter Made From Available Ingredients
The First Descendant Review

Another, much more noticeable nuance is paid additional sets of equipment. When you change a Descendant, all the equipment of the previous one is transferred to the new one, but it may not suit him due to his playstyle. We are not talking only about guns – each Descendant carries four gadgets with passive bonuses to characteristics and a powerful elemental core with an element suitable only for a specific fighter.

Otherwise, The First Descendant is more like Destiny 2. Players go to open, very picturesque locations with missions and fairly uniform additional tasks, help each other complete them, sometimes involuntarily getting involved in the activities when they find themselves nearby. They go to local varieties of dungeons in groups and fight with quite serious bosses , and also challenge Colossi – giants, on which you can even jump to manually chip off a plate or two of armor.

The First Descendant Review – A Rich Shooter Made From Available Ingredients
The First Descendant Review

Each carries three guns with them, each loaded with bonus effects, which are divided into four tiers and require four types of ammunition – standard, special, special (green) and powerful (purple). In total, there are 11 types of weapons, each of which must be upgraded separately.

For each type of weapon, you will find and install special modules that speed up reloading, improve accuracy, increase the chance of a critical hit, add the effect of an elemental element, etc. Similar modules are provided for the Descendants themselves. Together, this system provides an impressive scope for customization and individualization of the character to suit your style of play or a specific game situation.

The First Descendant Review – A Rich Shooter Made From Available Ingredients
The First Descendant Review

In between adventures, they visit the hub city of Albion, which has supply depots, a mailbox where letters from the developers and items that you didn’t take from the battlefield arrive, a terminal for infiltration operations, from which you can quickly get into an available instance, and a scientist with whom you can quickly challenge one of the Colossi.

In Albion, you will find a terminal for leveling up your account – here it is called Mastery Rank. Increasing the rank increases the amount of energy and slots in Descendant modules and weapon modules, increases the number of equipment slots, storage slots, reduces the limits of form stabilizers and opens up new gameplay possibilities.

The First Descendant Review – A Rich Shooter Made From Available Ingredients
The First Descendant Review

At the Mod Master, you can upgrade, disassemble, or combine modules that you insert into your Scions and weapons. At the workbench, players will be able to transfer weapon levels like in Destiny 2, customize weapons by changing their passive stats, and also upgrade their unique abilities and reactors. Of course, all of this will require a ton of different resources.

Finally, you can leave a request for research with Anais. You can research new Descendants, new types of weapons. You can research individual Descendant materials, which will require up to four components. Individual weapon materials and individual materials for improvement. Different research takes different amounts of time, as well as decent amounts of gold, which can be obtained by completing quests, as well as by selling weapons to the same master gunsmith who sells mediocre guns.


The First Descendant is Nexon’s ambitious attempt to create a fun loot shooter that combines the best elements of popular games in the genre. Borrowing the visual style and some mechanics from Paragon, the game offers impressive graphics and a diverse cast of characters with unique abilities. The progression and customization system, reminiscent of Warframe, gives players ample opportunity to experiment and create their own playstyle. At the same time, the mission structure and overall gameplay clearly echoes Destiny 2, providing a familiar and comfortable experience for fans of the genre.

However, despite the promising concept and impressive visuals, The First Descendant is not without its flaws. The lack of a noticeable impact when shooting and some inconveniences inherited from the MOBA progenitor can reduce the pleasure of the gameplay, as well as the plot, which was made “for show”. Nevertheless, given the free distribution model and the potential for further development, The First Descendant definitely deserves the attention of fans of sci-fi shooters. The game offers a fresh look at the genre, combining elements of successful projects of the past with its own innovations, and can become a worthy competitor to all analogues available today.

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