The First Descendant Is A pretty Decent Looter-Shooter

Beta impressions

The First Descendant

I’ve been playing The First Descendant Crossplay Open Beta for about 3 days now and I am pretty impressed. I had heard about The First Descendant and had added it to the PlayStation Fanatic Games Database, but I had no idea there was an open beta until I read about it on X.

The First Descendant is a free-to-play third-person looter-shooter. It’s pretty similar to games like Destiny 2, The Division and Outriders. I was keen to try out the beta as I had played Outriders recently and absolutely loved it, so playing a similar game, especially one that is a third-person shooter seemed like something I should try.

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The First Descendant’s premise is that you play as a Descendant, essentially a superhuman with superhuman powers. The lore of the game follows the age-old trope of an alien race called the Vulgus who invade Earth and pretty much destroy everything. The humans who survived gathered in a place called Albion.

Albion acts like the central hub in The First Descendant a bit like Destiny’s Tower. This is where most of the NPCs are whom you can talk to to get missions and upgrade your character.

Turns out not all the Vulgus were bad aliens though as a group of Vulgus called The Magisters – who had a lot of tech, joined up with the surviving humans. Then this thing called Arche was found in human genes and a group of chosen humans awakened their Arche and this turned them into The Descendants.

The lore is probably a lot more interesting than I am making it sound. Read more about the lore on the official website.

A good looter-shooter

My overall impression of The First Descendant after playing the Beta for 3 days is that it is ” a good looter-shooter.” It is not amazing – yet, but it has a lot of promise I think.

One of the main things I really like about The First Descendant was the actual shooting. There is a great variety of weapons and they all feel great to shoot. I didn’t notice much use of the adaptive triggers on the DualSense but there is vibration which adds to the immersion. Hopefully, Nexon can take more advantage of the PS5 features when it comes to the full launch of the game.

The First Descendant weapons inventory

There is a really good variety of weapons you can loot in the game and there is every type of weapon that you would expect in a shooter. Assault Rifles, Sub Machine Guns, Grenade Launchers, Shotguns, Sniper Rifles, handguns, Scout Rifles and probably even more.

Like similar games, the weapons have varying levels, tiers and DPS output. During my playtime, I did find that simply equipping the weapon with the highest DPS was the most effective against the enemies. My favourite types of weapons so far have been the Assault Rifles and the Scout Rifles (Scout Rigles were my favourite in Destiny.)

Combat-wise, I think this is where The First Descendant excels. Partially due to the solid feel of the guns and shooting mechanics and partially due to the various other skills your character has to help you fight the Vulgus.

Your character also has a grapple ability you can use by pressing R1. I found this to be a fairly effective way to traverse and reach higher heights but it feels a bit “loose” and could do with having a bit further range.

As you would expect from a free-to-play game there are customisation options like skins for your character and weapons. The customisation options allow you to change your appearance but one thing I did notice that seemed to be missing was armour. Although the game features an absolute ton of different weapons you can loot, there seems to be no armour for defence. There are skills and modules that you can use to enhance your Descendant though. I didn’t mess around with these too much so maybe there are some things you can add in place of armour to increase your defensive capabilities.

A ton of loot

A looter-shooter wouldn’t be very good if it didn’t actually have good loot to loot. Thankfully, The First Descendant has loot galore. Yes, there is no shortage of loot in this looter-shooter.

The First Descendant has loot all over the place

Pretty much every enemy Vulgus you kill drops some kind of loot. Whether it’s a health pickup or a new weapon, a lot of your time will be spent running around hoovering up the loot drops. After only playing for maybe 3 hours and doing a few missions my inventory was full, that’s how much loot there is.

If you do find your inventory bursting at the seams you can always dismantle items for crafting materials. Another good thing about the loot in The First Descendant is that it is useful. If you’ve ever played Destiny 2 you’ll know that most loot is pretty much garbage (who needs blues when you are max level and kitted out in exotics and legenderies?) But with The First Descendant, I quickly found myself levelling up and getting higher DPS weapons after each mission. This made me more confident to tackle the harder missions.

I hope the loot drops remain plentiful into the main release of the game and the devs haven’t just turned on the loot button to make the Beta look good.

Can you play The First Descendant solo?

One question I always ask when I hear of a great-sounding online game or co-op game is can you play it solo? As a sad loner with very little PSN friends being able to play a game like The First Descendant solo is a must. And I am happy to say, yes, you can play The First Descendant solo.

Some later missions I did find a bit tough, there were times when I was literally surrounded and completely overrun by enemies and I did die a lot. But the game has a text chat feature where you can type a message and I guess other players in your instance can see it. So I typed that I needed help as there were too many enemies and in less than a minute another helpful Descendant came to my aid. With the help of my fellow Descendant, I was able to complete the mission without much trouble.

So if you are considering playing The Descendant solo then help is merely a message away.

The First Descendant screenshot

Final thoughts

My overall experience with The First Descendant Open Beta has been very positive. I haven’t managed to experience every mechanic or every mission on offer, but what I have played, I liked. The gunplay is pretty much spot on but the missions can be a bit repetitive.

If Nexon listens to the feedback provided during the Beta, irons out some bugs and keeps improving and supporting the game then I think The First Descendant is going to be a pretty popular free-to-play looter shooter.

The Crossplay Open Beta ends on September 25th so if you fancy giving The First Descendant a try you still have time. The Beta is available on both PS5 and PS4 as will be the main release. I am not sure when Nexon plan to release the game properly but it can’t be too far away I would imagine.

For more info on The First Descendant check out the official website. And there is also a Subreddit for the game as well.