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Descenders: Extreme Procedural Freeriding

Truly epic landscapes await you on this insane Mountain Biking adventure.

Descenders procedural course design makes it impossible to replicate any success had on previous runs. A fast paced, extreme mountain biking game Descenders takes you across 4 landscapes for the career campaign but no matter how well you do on any particular run it will never look the same twice.

Starting off in Highlands, it's mostly a down hill run through a replica of the Scottish Highlands that doesn't feature much in the way of obstacles aside from the occasional Stonehenge type ruins that are thrown in for effect . It tests the very basics of your ability to bunny hop and land effectively without an early demise.

After about a minimum of 4 different levels you face the boss jump which on Highlands is essentially jumping a train crossing a track. There is a hack that actually hitting the jump is not necessary. It is for an achievement on the early runs but after that can be skipped to ensure that you make it to the next level. The Forest.

Along the way you can get health by doing side tasks such as never letting go of acceleration or don't break a long with some more complicated time based ones and front flips and backflips. It begs the question of whether or not time and care is the best way or taking a run at a massive stockpile of lives is the best way to approach the end of the game.

You can play this game with any style you want really. You can attack the hills with explosivity and do all kinds of flips,tricks and spins but as you navigate through the forest you will find the game throwing new obstacles your way including narrow bridges and logs in the middle of the path. You can gain crew members that help you choose the way you want to play the game. Anything from increasing your spin speed, scouting a head on the map to lowering or increasing the curvature of the track are available. The choice as to what you have is entirely yours and if you do more to gain rep through tricks the more crew you unlock.

Once you complete The Forest by jumping over a watchtower you are half way through the game. Don't worry about time until you have completed the game for the first time. That's a hard enough challenge. The SpeedRun Clock is not your friend nor is it something you should really worry about starting off in the game. Trying to master a quick time will often leave you hitting the ground hard and often and not while riding the bike and hitting jumps.

When you reach Canyon you realize it's more about precision timing and hitting jumps with balance and accuracy so you don't fly off and smash into the side of the canyon. There are drilling related obstacles in the way and this is the first boss jump that cannot be avoided as you literally jump a canyon. The danger of not going fast enough is smashing into the side of a Canyon. However once you traverse said Canyon it's into the hardest and final landscape. Peaks.

Set in the Icy mountain Peaks is extremely difficult. It's steep and often has gaps in the track you need to expertly avoid as well as ski resort obstacles facing your skills such as bunny hopping and spinning quickly to land right. This game doesn't get easier and it's not an easy game to get that elusive first completion. It took me nearly 3 months to earn that first completion and in the nearly 6 months since that first completion I have only done it 4 more times. However it's the aforementioned procedural design that keeps you coming back to conquer the next weird and whacky designs it throws at you.

It's not the type of game you play if you want to become the best at something and finish it within the first 5-6 hours on easy mode. There really is no mode. You either refine your skills and cords the land or you miss the mark and crash. If you like trial and error type games where learning the skills are essential then this game is for you. It's one of the many reasons I love it. The worlds are massive and immersive and their are so many bonus worlds designed by players and the developers to keep you entertained even once you have defeated both Career and Career Plus (Yes there is a second career option that is way more challenging than the first. I have beaten both under my Xbox Username Shamrock6576)

Descenders is definitely one of the most fun and engaging games. I brag to my friends about how good I am at this game and they look at me like I am wasting so much time. Sitting top 65 in the world for time completing a career is no easy feat. It's the same as wanting to advance in any games ranking except you must do it without buying perks or receiving gear that makes the game easier. The only thing you get in this game to make it look more aesthetically pleasing is gear and bikes (none of which can be modified) to customize your look for trying to conquer the world's most extreme downhill mountain biking. It's a game worth a finish, no matter how long that takes to accomplish.

Kenny Belliveau
Kenny Belliveau
Read next: Pitch Ya Game Round 2
Kenny Belliveau

Family man first, writer second. I love cinema, comics, television and any other pop culture. When not busy being super dad to my three kids I am usually fully immersed in the latest film, comic or series.

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