Descent: FreeSpace – The Great War
Descent: FreeSpace – The Great War is a 1998 space combat simulation IBM PC compatible computer game developed by Volition, when it was split off from Parallax Software, published by Interplay Productions. In 2001, it was ported to the Amiga platform as FreeSpace: The Great War by Hyperion Entertainment; the game places players in the role of a human pilot, who operates in several classes of starfighter and combats against opposing forces, either human or alien, in various space-faring environments, such as in orbit above a planet or within an asteroid belt. The story of the game's single player campaign focuses on a war in the 24th century between two factions, one human and the other alien, interrupted in its fourteenth year by the arrival of an enigmatic and militant alien race, whose genocidal advance forces the two sides into a ceasefire in order to work together to halt the threat. Descent: FreeSpace was well received as a single-player space simulation that integrated all the desired features of its genre, from competent AI wingmen, to the presence of large capital ships that not only dwarf the fighters piloted by the player, but explode spectacularly when destroyed.
However, the game's multiplayer mode was criticised, as it was plagued by lag and inaccurate tracking of statistics. An expansion for the game, less well received, was released in 1998 under the title of Silent Threat, focuses on events after the main game's campaign with the player working for an intelligence branch of the Terrans' armed forces that attempt to overthrow the Terran government. A sequel to Descent: FreeSpace entitled FreeSpace 2, was released in 1999 to critical acclaim. Descent: FreeSpace features two distinctive modes of play - a single player campaign and multiplayer matches - with the game's main menu designed around the interior of a ship's quarterdeck, with various elements leading to different options, such as starting a new game, configuring the game, reviewing the crafts featured in the game and various story elements, replaying completed single player missions. In both modes, the player controls their craft and other commands through either a joystick, or a keyboard, view the game's environments from the first-person perspective of a cockpit within a starfighter.
While the game features additional 3rd-person camera viewpoints, the game's interface - the head-up display - can only be viewed from the primary viewpoint, can be customised with different colours. Because of the flexibility in the control scheme, some have categorised the game as being a flight simulator, since it has more controls and commands than a typical arcade game, yet its flight model is simple, akin to that of the game TIE Fighter, incorporates some elements of Newtonian physics such as precise collision physics; when conducting a match or a single-player mission, players rely on the HUD of their craft to provide information for them. This includes: the state of their craft and its shields, the amount of energy for primary weapons and the craft's afterburners, along with management of sub-systems and which primary and secondary weapons are being used. In single-player missions, the HUD displays the condition of any wingmen the player has supporting them, represented by a circle that changes to a darker colour when the craft has taken critical damage and becomes an outline when the wingman has either departed or be killed in action, along with an "Escort" list that keeps track of notable vessels that the player either must escort or destroy, the number next to the vessel's name indicating how much hull integrity they have.
The game features a flexible targeting system that works in conjunction with the HUD, allowing the player to track any craft around them or in front of them, as well as hostiles and any craft marked in the Escort list. While the player has full manual control of the system, they can opt to have it automatically track the nearest hostile target, as well have their craft match its current target's speed through the targeting system; the starfighters available for use to the player in both modes, fall under several roles - space superiority, recon and bomber. Each type of craft available in the game for use, vary in speed, shielding and the number of weapon banks available for primary and secondary weapons. Primary weapons cover guns that vary in damage and firing rate, which drain the weapon energy banks of a starfighter when continuously used, with some designed to do damage to either shields, hull, or subsystems. Secondary weapons cover missiles and bombs, each designed to be either a "dumb-fire", heat-seeking, or aspect-seeking projectile in combat.
In both modes, the player can choose what craft they use and which weapons it is armed with, while in battle, they can opt to switch to between which primary weapons they use, as well as switch between secondary weapons and firing between single or double rounds. Along with weapons, each craft ca
In biology, phylogenetics is the study of the evolutionary history and relationships among individuals or groups of organisms. These relationships are discovered through phylogenetic inference methods that evaluate observed heritable traits, such as DNA sequences or morphology under a model of evolution of these traits; the result of these analyses is a phylogeny – a diagrammatic hypothesis about the history of the evolutionary relationships of a group of organisms. The tips of a phylogenetic tree can be living organisms or fossils, represent the "end", or the present, in an evolutionary lineage. Phylogenetic analyses have become central to understanding biodiversity, evolution and genomes. Taxonomy is the identification and classification of organisms, it is richly informed by phylogenetics, but remains a methodologically and logically distinct discipline. The degree to which taxonomies depend on phylogenies differs depending on the school of taxonomy: phenetics ignores phylogeny altogether, trying to represent the similarity between organisms instead.
Usual methods of phylogenetic inference involve computational approaches implementing the optimality criteria and methods of parsimony, maximum likelihood, MCMC-based Bayesian inference. All these depend upon an implicit or explicit mathematical model describing the evolution of characters observed. Phenetics, popular in the mid-20th century but now obsolete, used distance matrix-based methods to construct trees based on overall similarity in morphology or other observable traits, assumed to approximate phylogenetic relationships. Prior to 1950, phylogenetic inferences were presented as narrative scenarios; such methods are ambiguous and lack explicit criteria for evaluating alternative hypotheses. The term "phylogeny" derives from the German Phylogenie, introduced by Haeckel in 1866, the Darwinian approach to classification became known as the "phyletic" approach. During the late 19th century, Ernst Haeckel's recapitulation theory, or "biogenetic fundamental law", was accepted, it was expressed as "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny", i.e. the development of a single organism during its lifetime, from germ to adult, successively mirrors the adult stages of successive ancestors of the species to which it belongs.
But this theory has long been rejected. Instead, ontogeny evolves – the phylogenetic history of a species cannot be read directly from its ontogeny, as Haeckel thought would be possible, but characters from ontogeny can be used as data for phylogenetic analyses. 14th century, lex parsimoniae, William of Ockam, English philosopher and Franciscan friar, but the idea goes back to Aristotle, precursor concept 1763, Bayesian probability, Rev. Thomas Bayes, precursor concept 18th century, Pierre Simon first to use ML, precursor concept 1809, evolutionary theory, Philosophie Zoologique, Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck, precursor concept, foreshadowed in the 17th century and 18th century by Voltaire and Leibniz, with Leibniz proposing evolutionary changes to account for observed gaps suggesting that many species had become extinct, others transformed, different species that share common traits may have at one time been a single race foreshadowed by some early Greek philosophers such as Anaximander in the 6th century BC and the atomists of the 5th century BC, who proposed rudimentary theories of evolution 1837, Darwin's notebooks show an evolutionary tree 1843, distinction between homology and analogy, Richard Owen, precursor concept 1858, Paleontologist Heinrich Georg Bronn published a hypothetical tree to illustrating the paleontological "arrival" of new, similar species following the extinction of an older species.
Bronn did not propose a mechanism responsible for precursor concept. 1858, elaboration of evolutionary theory and Wallace in Origin of Species by Darwin the following year, precursor concept 1866, Ernst Haeckel, first publishes his phylogeny-based evolutionary tree, precursor concept 1893, Dollo's Law of Character State Irreversibility, precursor concept 1912, ML recommended and popularized by Ronald Fisher, precursor concept 1921, Tillyard uses term "phylogenetic" and distinguishes between archaic and specialized characters in his classification system 1940, term "clade" coined by Lucien Cuénot 1949, Jackknife resampling, Maurice Quenouille, precursor concept 1950, Willi Hennig's classic formalization 1952, William Wagner's groundplan divergence method 1953, "cladogenesis" coined 1960, "cladistic" coined by Cain and Harrison 1963, first attempt to use ML for phylogenetics and Cavalli-Sforza 1965 Camin-Sokal parsimony, first parsimony criterion and first computer program/algorithm for cladistic analysis both by Camin and Sokal character compatibility method called clique analysis, introduced independently by Camin and Sokal and E. O. Wilson 1966 English translation of Hennig "cladistics" and "cladogram" coined 1969 dynamic and successive wei
The Descent is a 2005 English horror film written and directed by Neil Marshall. The film follows six women who, having entered a cave system, struggle to survive against the creatures inside. Filming took place in the United Kingdom. Exterior scenes were filmed in Scotland; because the filmmakers considered it too dangerous and time-consuming to shoot in an actual cave, interior scenes were filmed on sets built at Pinewood Studios near London designed by Simon Bowles. The Descent opened in cinemas in the United Kingdom on 8 July 2005, it released on 4 August 2006 in the United States. The film received critical acclaim and was a box-office success, grossing $57.1 million against a £3.5 million budget. A sequel, titled The Descent Part 2, directed by the first film's editor Jon Harris, was released in 2009. On their way back from whitewater rafting with Juno and Beth, along with Sarah's husband Paul and their daughter Jessica, are involved in a car accident when Paul is distracted. Paul and Jessica are killed.
One year Sarah and Beth, as well as friends Sam and newcomer Holly are reunited at a cabin in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina for a spelunking adventure. The next day, they descend. While in the cave, Juno apologises to Sarah for not being there for her after the accident, but Sarah is distant. After the group moves through a narrow passage, it collapses behind them. After a heated discussion, Juno admits that she has led the group into an unknown cave system instead of the explored cave system that they had planned to visit, that rescue is, impossible, she tells Sarah that she led them into the unknown cave in the hopes of restoring their relationship, but Sarah rebuffs her. As the group presses forward with hopes of finding an exit, they discover climbing equipment from a previous caver and a cave painting that suggests an exit exists. Holly, thinking she sees sunlight, runs ahead, but breaks her leg; as the others help Holly, Sarah wanders off and observes a pale, humanoid creature drinking at a pool before it scampers away.
The group comes across a den of animal bones and are attacked by the creature. Holly is killed: her neck ripped out before her body is dragged away. Sarah runs, falls down a hole, is knocked unconscious. Juno, trying to prevent Holly's body from being dragged away, kills a crawler with her pickaxe and startled, accidentally stabs Beth through the neck. Beth collapses with Juno's pendant in her hand, a traumatized Juno flees while Beth begs her not to leave her. Sarah awakens to find herself in a den of human and animal carcasses, witnesses Holly's body being eaten by a group of crawlers. Juno discovers markings pointing to a specific path through the caves. After regrouping with Sam and Rebecca, realizing the crawlers' use of sound to hunt, Juno tells them the markings she discovered may point to the way out, but she will not leave without Sarah. Meanwhile, Sarah encounters Beth, who tells Sarah that Juno abandoned her. Beth gives her Juno's pendant, which Sarah recognizes as a gift from Paul, realizing that Juno had an affair with Paul before his death.
In pain and not wanting to be eaten by the crawlers, Beth begs Sarah to euthanize her. Sarah reluctantly does so by bashing her head in with a rock. Sarah encounters a family of crawlers but manages to kill them all, becoming covered in blood in the process. Afterward, she has a psychotic breakdown. Elsewhere, Juno and Rebecca are pursued by a large group of crawlers; when they reach a chasm, Sam encounters a crawler scaling the ceiling. It rips her throat out. Rebecca is dragged back and eaten alive as Juno escapes. Juno lies to her about seeing Beth die. After defeating a group of crawlers, Sarah confronts Juno, revealing that she knows Juno had wounded Beth and left her for dead, about the affair, she strikes Juno in the leg with a pickaxe and leaves her to die as a swarm of crawlers approaches. Juno is last heard screaming as Sarah escapes. Sarah is knocked unconscious, she awakens, manages to escape from the cave, runs to her vehicle, speeds off. She breaks down in tears. After a truck passes her, she leans out and vomits.
Upon re-entering the car, she sees a hallucination of Juno sitting next to her and screams before the screen cuts to black. In the UK releases of the film, Sarah wakes up in the cave after seeing Juno, revealing she was dreaming the escape, she sees a vision of Jessica's birthday cake and Jessica sitting across from her, just her torch. The camera backs out as the crawlers are heard closing in on Sarah as the movie cuts to the credits; this part of the ending was cut out. Shauna Macdonald as Sarah Carter Natalie Mendoza as Juno Kaplan Alex Reid as Elizabeth "Beth" O'Brien MyAnna Buring as Samantha "Sam" Vernet Saskia Mulder as Rebecca Vernet Nora-Jane Noone as Holly Mills Oliver Milburn as Paul Carter Molly Kayll as Jessica Carter When Neil Marshall's film Dog Soldiers was a moderate success, the director received numerous requests to direct other horror films; the director was wary of being typecast as a horror film director, although he agreed to make The Descent, emphasising, "They
Katabasis or catabasis is a descent of some type, such as moving downhill, the sinking of the winds or sun, a military retreat, a trip to the underworld, or a trip from the interior of a country down to the coast. The term has multiple related meanings in poetry and modern psychology; the term catabasis can refer to a trip from the interior of a country down to the coast, in contrast to the term "anabasis", which refers to an expedition from a coastline up into the interior of a country. The main meaning given for catabasis by the Oxford English Dictionary describes "A going down. 112 The Russian anabasis and catabasis of Napoleon. 1899 Westm. Gaz. 17 May 4/1 Little space is devoted to the Anabasis. In the opening of Plato's Republic, Socrates recounts "going down" to the port city of Piraeus, located south of his native Athens. Several scholars, including Allan Bloom, have read this first word, κατέβην as an allusion to Odysseus' journey into the underworld. In poetry and rhetoric, the term katabasis refers to a "gradual descending" of emphasis on a theme within a sentence or paragraph, while anabasis refers to a gradual ascending in emphasis.
John Freccero notes, "In the ancient world, descent in search of understanding was known as katabasis", thus endowing mythic and poetic accounts of katabasis with a symbolic significance. In modern psychology, the term katabasis is sometimes used to describe the depression some young men experience. Author Robert Bly proposes in his book Iron John: A Book About Men several reasons for the "catabasis phenomenon", amongst them the lack of Western initiation rites and the lack of strong father figures and role models; the trip to the underworld is a mytheme of comparative mythology found in a diverse number of religions from around the world. The hero or upper-world deity journeys to the underworld or to the land of the dead and returns with a quest-object or a loved one, or with heightened knowledge; the ability to enter the realm of the dead while still alive, to return, is a proof of the classical hero's exceptional status as more than mortal. A deity who returns from the underworld demonstrates eschatological themes such as the cyclical nature of time and existence, or the defeat of death and the possibility of immortality.
Katabasis is the epic convention of the hero's trip into the underworld. In Greek mythology, for example, Orpheus enters the underworld in order to bring Eurydice back to the world of the living. Most katabases take place in a supernatural underworld, such as Hades or Hell — as in Nekyia, the 11th book of the Odyssey, which describes Odysseus's descent to the underworld. However, katabasis can refer to a journey through other dystopic areas, like those Odysseus encounters on his 10-year journey back from Troy to Ithaca. Pilar Serrano allows the term katabasis to encompass brief or chronic stays in the underworld, including those of Lazarus, Castor and Pollux. In this case, the katabasis must be followed by an anabasis in order to be considered a true katabasis instead of a death. In the 11th book of the Odyssey, Odysseus follows the advice of Circe and consults Tiresias in the land of the dead. During Odysseus' visit, the souls of many appear to him; the first to appear to Odysseus is Elpenor, his crew member who died prior to leaving Circe's island.
Elpenor asks Odysseus to give him a proper burial, Odysseus agrees. The next to appear to Odysseus is Anticlea; as Odysseus has been away fighting the Trojan War for nearly 20 years, he is surprised and saddened by the sight of her soul. Tiresias, the soul whom Odysseus came to see, next appears to him. Tiresias gives him several pieces of information concerning his life after. Tiresias details Poseidon's anger at Odysseus' blinding of Polyphemos, warns Odysseus not to eat the livestock of the god Helios, prophesies Odysseus' return home to Ithaca and his eventual death at sea at an old age. After Tiresias instructs Odysseus to allow the spirits he wants to talk to drink the sacrificial blood he used to find Tiresias, he is again given the chance to see his mother, she tells him of the suffering of his family as they await his return home; as his mother leaves, Odysseus is visited by a string of souls of past queens. He first sees the mother of Pelias and Neleus by Poseidon, he next talks to the mother of Amphion and Zethus by Zeus.
He is visited by Alcmene, the mother of Heracles by Zeus, Heracle's wife Megara. He is visited by Epicaste, the mother of Oedipus, Chloris, the queen of Pylos. Odysseus is visited by Leda, the mother of Castor and Polydeuces and Iphimedeia, mother of the Aloadae by Poseidon. Odysseus sees a list of women whom he only mentions: Phaedra, Ariadne, Maera and Eriphyle, all lovers of gods or heroes. Next to visit Odysseus is Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae. Agamemnon tells Odysseus of his death by his wife and her lover Aegisthus, he warns Odysseus to be wary of his own wife. Odysseus encounters Achilles, who asks after the well being of his father and his son, Neoptolemus. Odysseus reassures Achilles of his son's bravery in fighting the Trojans. Odysseus begins seeing figures of dead souls who do not talk directly to him: Ajax, Orion, Tityos and Sisyphus. Odysseus
Stargate SG-1 (season 6)
Season six of Stargate SG-1, an American-Canadian television series, began airing on June 7, 2002 on Sci Fi. The sixth season concluded after 22 episodes on February 19, 2003 on the UK's Sky One, which had overtaken the Sci-Fi Channel's number of new-episode broadcasts mid-season; the series was developed by Jonathan Glassner. Season six regular cast members include Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Corin Nemec, Don S. Davis. "Redemption" features a brand new opening sequence, with various shots of the gate spinning, Michael Shanks' name being removed to make way for Corin Nemec's in between Christopher Judge and Don S. Davis; the following episode, "Descent", has a different title sequence. In most of the shots in "Abyss" where Ba'al is talking to O'Neill, Cliff Simon is talking to a stand-in for O'Neill and not Richard Dean Anderson due to the limited time Richard Dean Anderson had in which to film the episode. A series of three different sets were used to represent the cells.
A blend of shots filmed in all three sets was used each time O'Neill is retrieved from or returned to his cell. "Shadowplay" was written as an homage to John Nash. Most of "Paradise Lost" was shot at Pitt Lake, near Vancouver."Disclosure" is the third clip show within Stargate SG-1, with the first being "Politics" and the second being "Out of Mind". None of the regular characters except General Hammond are featured. "The Changeling" was written by Christopher Judge, who plays Teal'c. The parts of the episode where Teal'c is a human take place in Coquitlam, a city in the Greater Vancouver Regional District. "Full Circle" is the last episode to feature Corin Nemec as a main cast member. It is the last episode where Skaara appears. "The Other Guys" features several Star Trek references: John Billingsley plays the part of a scientist named Coombs, one of the actors refers to the "Roddenberry spirit", a Klingon Bat'leth is mounted on the wall behind the throne of Khonsu of Amon Shek. Upon its initial airing, "Prometheus" became the Sci Fi channel's highest rated one-hour episode of a series, earning a 2.0 household Nielsen rating."Redemption, Part 2" was nominated for a Gemini Award in the category "Best Visual Effects".
"Descent" was nominated for a Gemini Award in the category "Best Visual Effects". "Nightwalkers" was nominated for a Gemini Award in the category "Best Photography in a Dramatic Program or Series". "Unnatural Selection" was nominated for a Leo in the category "Dramatic Series: Best Visual Effects". For "Unnatural Selection", Andy Mikita was nominated for a Leo Award in the category "Dramatic Series: Best Director". "Metamorphosis" won a Leo Award in the category "Dramatic Series: Best Make-Up". Richard Dean Anderson as Colonel Jack O'Neill Amanda Tapping as Major Samantha Carter Christopher Judge as Teal'c Corin Nemec as Jonas Quinn Don S. Davis as Major General George Hammond Episodes in bold are continuous episodes, where the story spans over 2 or more episodes. Season 6 on GateWorld Season 6 on IMDb Season 6 on TV.com SG-1 Season 6 on Stargate Wiki
Descent II is a 1996 first-person shooter video game developed by Parallax Software and published by Interplay Productions. It is a sequel to Descent. Unlike standard first-person shooters, the player must control a flying ship that has a six degrees of freedom movement scheme, allowing the player to move in any 3D direction; the original soundtrack features industrial metal contributed by notable musicians such as Type O Negative and Mark Walk of Skinny Puppy, Brian Luzietti. The game received positive reviews from video game critics. A sequel, Descent 3, was released in 1999. Like its predecessor Descent, Descent II is a six degrees of freedom shooter wherein the player controls a flying ship from a first-person perspective in zero-gravity, it is differentiated from standard first-person shooters in that it allows the player to move and rotate in any 3D direction. The player is free to move forward/backward, up/down, left/right, rotate in three perpendicular axes termed pitch and roll. Aboard the ship, the player can shoot enemies and fire flares to explore darkened areas.
In the game's single-player mode, the player must complete 24 levels where different types of AI-controlled robots will try to hinder the player's progress. In each level, the player must find and destroy a reactor escape the mine through an exit door before the mine self-destructs - failing to escape costs the player a life and all of the points earned on that level; every fourth level has a boss robot. Each level is composed of a set of rooms separated by white, yellow, or red doors. White doors can be opened by firing weapons at them or bumping into them, however the other colored doors require a key of the corresponding color to be opened. Along the way, the player may find and free a Guide-Bot, an assistant that shows the player the way to a specific target. Within each level, the player may collect power-ups. Weapons are categorized into two different types: secondary weapons. Primary weapons range from a variety of laser weapons to the Plasma Cannon and the Vulcan Cannon, while secondary weapons include different types of missiles and mines.
Most primary weapons consume energy at different rates, but some, such as the Vulcan Cannon, use physical ammunition instead. In contrast, each secondary weapon has its own quantity; the player can collect equipment items which grant special abilities. For example, the Quad Laser modifies the laser weapons to fire four shots at once instead of the standard two, while the Afterburner allows the player to temporarily fly forward much faster than normal. Additionally, many stages have human hostages that give an additional point bonus if they are rescued before completing the level; the player's ship is protected by a shield which decreases when incurring damage from enemies and collisions. If the shield is depleted and the ship takes any additional damage, the player loses one life and all rescued hostages, the ship explodes, leaving most of its power-ups nearby; the player continues back at the start of the level with only basic armaments - to resume where he/she left off, the player must return to the site where the previous ship was destroyed to reclaim his/her power-ups.
If a player loses all lives, the game will end. Shield and ammunition suppliers are dispersed among the levels to help players increase their resources, while life points are awarded at certain point levels and by picking up special hidden power-ups in the level. Descent II features a multiplayer mode wherein two to eight players can compete against each other in several game types. Notable game types include Anarchy, where the objective is to kill as many opponents as possible, Capture the flag, in which two teams compete against each other to capture opposing flags. Aspects such as time limit, number of opponents killed to end a game, map to play on, among others, can be customized to match player preference; the game features a co-operative mode that allows players to work together to complete single-player levels. The official release version of Descent II was designed to support the IPX and UDP/IP protocols on local area networks, while third-party services such as Kali provided the ability to play multiplayer games over the Internet.
Third-party update projects such as D2X Rebirth have over time made it easier to play Descent II on the Internet without additional programs. After the Material Defender has destroyed all of the mines in the solar system in the original Descent, he stops in the Asteroid belt for refueling. PTMC executive S. Dravis contacts him and blackmails him to accept a new mission: "If you've studied your standard mercenary agreement, you would notice that PTMC reserves the right to keep you on retainer for up to 72 hours, post-mission. If you choose to decline further service, we may consider you in default of your contract, your fee may be suspended, pending litigation. Good luck Material Defender. Dravis out."The Material Defender's ship is fitted with a prototype warp core. He is sent to clear out PTMC's deep space mines in planets beyond the Solar System; the planets are Zeta Aquilae, Brimspark, Limefrost Spiral, Baloris Prime, Omega. The Omega system is subdivided into the Puuma Sphere and Tycho Brahe, with the latter being the final level of the game.
The last mine on Tycho Brahe seems to run all through a planetoid, revealed in the final cutscene to be a large spaceship. After the planetoid/spaceship breaks apart, the Material Defender radios in to alert Dravis to his return home, but his warp drive malfunctions a
Descent 3 is a first-person shooter video game developed by Outrage Entertainment and published by Interplay Entertainment. It was released for Microsoft Windows in North America on June 17, 1999. Descent 3 is the third game in the Descent video game series and a sequel to Descent II; the game takes place in a science fiction setting of the Solar System where the player is cast as Material Defender, a mercenary who must help an organization known as the Red Acropolis Research Team to stop robots infected by an alien virus. Unlike in standard first-person shooters, the player must control a flying ship that has a six degrees of freedom movement scheme, allowing the player to move and rotate in any 3D direction. In addition to a single-player campaign mode, Descent 3 features an online multiplayer mode where numerous players can compete against each other in eight different game types; the game features both indoor and outdoor environments, made possible with the use of a hybrid engine that combines the capabilities of a portal rendering engine with those of a flight simulator-like terrain engine.
Descent 3 received positive reviews from critics, holding a score of 89 out of 100 at review aggregate website Metacritic. The most praised aspects of the game were its graphics, artificial intelligence of enemies, outdoor environments. An official expansion pack, Descent 3: Mercenary, was released on December 3, 1999; the expansion pack includes a new series of missions, multiplayer maps, a level editor. After its release on Microsoft Windows, the game was subsequently ported to Mac OS and Linux platforms. Like its predecessors Descent and Descent II, Descent 3 is a six degrees of freedom shooter where the player controls a flying ship from a first-person perspective in zero-gravity, it is differentiated from standard first-person shooters in that it allows the player to move and rotate in any 3D direction. The player is free to move forward/backward, up/down, left/right, rotate in three perpendicular axes termed pitch and roll. Aboard the ship, the player can shoot enemies, turn on the ship's afterburners to temporarily increase its acceleration and speed, fire flares or turn on the ship's headlight to explore darkened areas.
In the game's single-player mode, the player must complete a series of levels where different types of AI-controlled enemies will try to hinder the player's progress. The game takes place inside labyrinthine underground facilities, but the player can travel over the surface of the planets where the facilities are buried to reach other nearby areas; the underground facilities are composed of a set of rooms separated by doors. Most of them can be opened by either firing weapons at them or bumping into them, but others require special actions to be performed first before entry is allowed. For instance, some doors require special keys to open them. To finish a level and proceed to the next one, the player must complete a certain set of objectives, ranging from collecting items to activating switches, defeating enemies, destroying objects, among others; some levels feature optional objectives that are not critical but add to the player's overall completion score. As the player progresses throughout the game, two additional ships become available for use.
Each of the game's three ships offers a different balance of speed and maneuverability. Within the levels, the player may collect power-ups. Weapons are categorized into three different types: primary weapons, secondary weapons, countermeasures. Primary weapons range from a variety of laser weapons to the Plasma Cannon and the Napalm Cannon, which projects a stream of burning fuel. Secondary weapons include different types of missiles, while countermeasures range from proximity mines to portable turrets. Most primary weapons consume energy in different rate, but some, such as the Napalm Cannon, use their own type of ammunition. In contrast, all secondary weapons and countermeasures require their own ammunition suppliers; the player's ship is protected by a shield. If the shield is depleted, the player dies and must start the game again from a previous section of the fight without any collected power-ups; the player can reclaim the missing power-ups from the ruins of the destroyed ship. Shield and ammunition suppliers are dispersed among the levels to help players increase their resources.
The player can collect equipment items which grant special powers. For example, the Quad Laser modifies the laser weapons to fire four shots at once instead of the standard two, while the Cloaking Device renders the player invisible to enemies for 30 seconds. During the game, the player may deploy the Guide-Bot, an assistant that keeps track of the next objective and shows the player the way to a specific target. In addition to the single-player campaign mode, Descent 3 features an online multiplayer mode where numerous players can compete against each other in eight different game types. Notable game types include Anarchy, where the objective is to kill as many opponents as possible, Capture the Flag, where two to four teams compete against each other to capture opposing flags, Monsterball, in which players must shoot and guide a ball into their opponents' goal. Aspects such as time limit, number of players, map to play on, selection of what weapons are allowed, among others, can be customized to match player preference.
The game features an observer mode which allows players to watch a multiplayer game as a spectator and a co-operative mode that allows players to work together to complete campaign missions. Multiplayer games support the DirectPlay, IPX, TCP/IP protocols. Online gamepl