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Descenders leaves early access, gains multiplayer, joins Xbox Game Pass

Descenders, the procedurally-generated downhill mountain biking game, is almost ready for its full release.

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Descenders leaves early access multiplayer

Descenders, the procedurally-generated downhill mountain biking game, is almost ready for its full release.

We have a policy here at Thumbsticks: if you can pay money for a game, it’s out. And if you can pay money for it, and it’s out, we’re going to review it. While time spent in early access is invaluable for many games – and we will of course caveat reviews with room for improvement – if someone can give you money, it’s also open for critique.

One pertinent example is Descenders, the snappy mountain biking game from developer RageSquid and publisher, No More Robots. When we reviewed the game – just weeks after it first launched in early access, over a year ago – we were thoroughly impressed with the look and feel of the game, but felt it was missing out on a few key elements (like a freeride mode). We also felt that its procedural algorithms, though admittedly very cool, needed tweaking (to prevent annoying impediments to progress and impossible objectives).

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In the spirit of early access RageSquid has been hard at work, refining, improving, and adding to Descenders. Over the game’s 15 months in early access that’s included freeride mode – the addition our review felt the game desperately needed – plus a replay system, a bunch of new tricks, and additional environments and levels.

Descenders leaves early access next week, on May 7th, 2019. But before it does, RageSquid has one more trick up its sleeve: a multiplayer mode. (AKA the additional game mode we didn’t even know we wanted, but it looks really cool.)

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The Descenders multiplayer update has been in the game’s beta branch for just over a month, so it’s safe to assume it’s all solid, stable, and ready to go when version 1.0 launches next week. According to the press release, these are the final changes and additional features RageSquid has squeezed into the final Descenders release:

  • Online multiplayer
  • New Destiny-style central hub filled with players
  • Ride with strangers, or lobby up with friends
  • Double the content, with 4 whole new worlds, including Jungle and Favela
  • New music, new modes, new tweaks, new customization, tons of new stuff
  • Free to download for Xbox Game Pass subscribers

That’s not to say that there won’t be additional patches and updates to Descenders post-release, but it’s nice to see a game that’s delivered on its time in early access. Perhaps we’ll revisit our review to take into consideration all of the updates and improvements to the game.

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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

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