Nexon’s The First Descendant: A Sci-Fi Shooter Like No Other

Inventing a Futuristic Cooperative Shooting Experience

Lots of cooperative shooters have emerged in recent years, but one that stands out from the crowd is Nexon’s The First Descendant. Developed by Nexon Games’ internal Magnum Studio, this sci-fi shooter introduces players to superpowered characters known as “Descendants,” who are tasked with defending humanity against an invading force. As they embark on this thrilling journey, players will face hordes of enemies and colossal bosses, engaging in intense shoot-and-loot combat. To gain more insights into the vision behind The First Descendant ahead of its Steam beta next month, we had the chance to speak with Lee Beom-jun, the Producer and Head of Magnum Studio.

Standing Out in the Cooperative Shooter Genre

In our interview, Lee Beom-jun sheds light on how The First Descendant aims to distinguish itself and what Nexon hopes to learn from the upcoming Steam beta. We also delve into the decision to transition from Unreal Engine 4 to Unreal Engine 5, as well as exploring character customization, the evolving narrative, and the game’s approach to free-to-play monetization.

A Unique Service Philosophy and Innovative Gameplay

When asked about what sets The First Descendant apart from other games in the genre, Lee Beom-jun emphasizes two key factors. Firstly, the game boasts a service philosophy focused on creating a long-lasting and enjoyable experience for players. Nexon is committed to providing continuous updates and ensuring stable online services to satisfy their player base. Secondly, the game itself features diverse and captivating characters, each with their own unique skill sets and an impressive arsenal of weapons. This dynamic combat system sets the stage for epic co-op battles against formidable bosses. While there are many other distinctive aspects to the game, these two elements take the spotlight.

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Unleashing Customization Potential

Character customization is a crucial aspect of The First Descendant. While each character’s skill set is fixed to reflect their background, personality, and strategic combat style, players have the freedom to personalize their characters and weapons using special gear called “Runes.” By attaching these Runes, players can enhance specific stats, unlock additional performance abilities, or activate passive effects. However, due to limited resources, players must strategize and select the most suitable Rune combinations that align with their play style and character traits. Whether you prefer gunplay-focused combat or skill-based encounters, The First Descendant offers a wealth of customization options to enhance your gameplay experience.

A character aims and shoots a gun in The First Descendant.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Overcoming Challenges in Crafting a New IP

Creating an entirely new intellectual property comes with its own hurdles. Lee Beom-jun explains that, like any development team, they faced challenges and excitement along the way. With the constantly evolving gaming industry, preserving a unique identity while appealing to a broad audience is no easy task. Through refinement and collaboration, the team found an ideal visual theme, transitioning from fantasy to sci-fi based on feedback from their surroundings. Witnessing the creative contributions of multiple teams coming together to shape a brand-new universe has been a rewarding experience. They eagerly anticipate how this world will continue to evolve.

Unveiling Narrative Content

The First Descendant delivers its narrative content through quests and in-game cinematic scenes, immersing players in a captivating story. Building upon the main storyline, the game introduces various side stories and background lore, providing an exciting and enjoyable experience as players uncover these hidden narratives.

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Embracing Unreal Engine 5 for Visual Brilliance

Regarding the choice of game engine, Lee Beom-jun reveals that The First Descendant initially began development using Unreal Engine 4. However, with the release of Unreal Engine 5, the development team became captivated by its superior visual quality. Despite the progress made on Unreal Engine 4, they boldly decided to upgrade to Unreal Engine 5 to achieve the best possible visual fidelity. The team is particularly impressed with the Nanite and Lumen technologies offered by Unreal Engine 5. The real-time global illumination provided by Lumen is considered essential for next-gen projects, and the team couldn’t be happier with the results.

A large enemy approaches the player in The First Descendant.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

A Fair and Balanced Monetization Approach

In response to concerns about pay-to-win mechanics, Lee Beom-jun reassures players that The First Descendant strives to avoid excessive monetization. While paid products will be available, crucial elements such as characters, equipment, and stages can all be earned through gameplay. Nexon aims to maintain a monetization model consistent with other games in the genre, ensuring a fair and enjoyable experience for all players.

Seeking Feedback for Continuous Improvement

With the upcoming beta in October, Nexon eagerly awaits feedback on all aspects of the game. However, they are particularly interested in evaluating the areas that have received special attention and improvements since the closed FGT earlier this year. As a looter shooter, they recognize the importance of focusing on battle mechanics, progression systems, and the overall fun factor of co-op play. The enhancements made to co-op content and functions are expected to provide an enjoyable cooperative experience. Nexon also values user opinions on visual quality, smooth controls, core PvE content changes, and the refined user experience based on feedback from the FGT.

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The First Descendant is currently in development for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. The PC open beta will be available on Steam from October 20 to October 26.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun gets what makes for a satisfying boomer shooter
  • Starship Troopers: Extermination turns sci-fi satire into a co-op shooter
  • Competitive shooter The Finals will make rivals ‘panic,’ devs say
  • Nexon’s Project Magnum now known as The First Descendant
  • Aliens: Fireteam is a new co-op shooter based on the iconic sci-fi franchise

OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

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