The Future is Yours: The First Descendant

by Intel Gaming |

The Future is Yours: The First Descendant

The survival of humanity rests on your shoulders in this online co-op shooter from Seoul-based Magnum Studio. Producer Beom-jun Lee describes it as “a looter shooter that combines RPG and shooter elements … designed for RPG and shooter fans worldwide.” Ingris, an Earth-like planet, is devastated when alien races the Vulgus and the Colossi arrive from another dimension in search of the Ironheart, a mysterious energy source. The shattered survivors seek refuge in a city called Albion; there they work to rebuild, aided—surprisingly—by some of the Vulgus who have turned against their own.

The Vulgus magisters help the survivors evolve their skills and weaponry from swords to guns, from metal to magic. They do this by awakening an ancient power, hidden deep in humanity’s genes. Those who have been awakened are The Descendants, bound to protect Albion, and they also have a quest. The Ironheart can heal the rip in the dimension that allowed the Vulgus and the Colossi through, giving hope to the citizens of Albion that they will once again be free. That is, if Ironheart isn’t found by the Vulgus first…

Choose Your Weapon

With names like magisters, Albion, and Ironheart, The First Descendant has a medieval flavor, so did the inspiration come from the European Middle Ages? Not so much. “The dev team drew a lot of inspiration from various co-op shooter games as well as diverse action games,” Lee explained. “As a result, The First Descendant was created as a unique third-person shooter game that features dynamic movement actions like grappling hooks, and fast, smooth combat, along with a variety of flashy skills unique to each character.”

“Descendant” is not just in the title, by the way, it’s who you play. As Lee says: “In the game, players become Descendants who must fight against invaders from another world. Both the players and their characters grow as they face increasingly difficult enemies. This journey unfolds through the main storyline. Players can experience a variety of characters, collect and upgrade items, battle massive bosses, challenge difficult dungeons, and enjoy cooperative play with others.”

Characters possess the inherited genetic material Arche—awakened by the magisters—and are humanity’s last line of defense. Whether your weapon of choice is explosives or guns, or you 

fancy some healing powers to help subvert the odds, you’ll find the Descendant for you. There are 14 standard characters and five ultimate characters to choose from. Albion also has a test lab, where you can try out all the chest pieces and back pieces, among other additions. “We hope you fully enjoy the diverse experiences awaiting you in the game,” Lee adds.

Crossing Dimensions

The team faced some challenges in development, as can be expected. This may strike a chord with other developers: an update comes out when you’re pretty advanced with your build; do you switch? That’s the choice that Magnum Studio faced. As Lee explains: “We had already made significant progress with Unreal Engine 4 when Unreal Engine 5 was announced. We debated extensively about whether to make the switch. Despite knowing it would be a daunting task, we decided to transition to Unreal Engine 5 to deliver the best possible experience for the players. This led to severe optimization issues, but with the combined efforts of the entire team, we were ultimately able to overcome these challenges.”  

Prioritizing Performance

The studio’s desire to prioritize the player experience was carried through to their decision to integrate Intel Xe Super Sampling (XeSS). Lee says: “XeSS is highly regarded for its excellent performance and quality, and it is a versatile technology that can be applied to all hardware, not just specific ones. Our development team has given it high marks. The latest version even includes a Native AA option, making it an ideal choice for PC gamers who seek the highest quality.” The studio worked hard to optimize the game for diverse set-ups, which can only pay off.

Magnum Studio has a bright future, but Lee isn’t looking too far ahead just yet. “The most important thing is ensuring a stable live service after the official launch. The primary goal for The First Descendant has always been to be a beloved live game. We are preparing for the launch and simultaneously developing live updates. Ensuring this runs smoothly is our top priority moving forward.”

Find the First Descendant on Steam