Descent 4

From Red Faction Wiki

Descent 4 was a title in development by Volition as a sequel to Descent 3, before its cancellation around 2000. Some code, concepts, and assets intended for Descent 4 would be repurposed for Red Faction.


Development of Descent 4 began at Volition in June 1998, near the completion of Descent: FreeSpace - The Great War.[1][2] As Descent 3 was still under development at Outrage Entertainment with a rapidly changing codebase, Volition chose to not use the game's Fusion engine for Descent 4, aware that doing so would lengthen Descent 4's development while in return allowing them to implement new features.[3][1]

On December 14, 1998, Volition announced Descent 4 to the public, launching a website for the game on which concept art was posted.[4][5] The released material depicts the tentatively-named protagonist "Parker", the Envirosuit and ship he would be featured with, the Worm and Cutter enemies, and an unnamed human character.[1][6] An internally pitched demo video also shows off the cavernous environments the game would have taken place in, as well as model turnarounds, animations, and concept art of the characters, including the Drone.[7]

Volition planned for Descent 4 to be a prequel to the original Descent, with destructible environments and a controllable player character rather than a spaceship like the previous games.[2][8]

After the commercial failure of Descent 3 upon release in 1999, Volition's then financially-struggling publisher Interplay Entertainment was not interested in a sequel, and refused to fund Descent 4.[8][3] Volition, eager to continue the game's development, subsequently parted ways with Interplay.[3] However, because Interplay owned the publishing rights to the Descent franchise, Volition was unable to take Descent 4 to a different publisher.[3] Volition decided to instead begin work on an original project, and some existing source code, assets, and concepts from Descent 4 would be repurposed for a new THQ-published first-person shooter, Red Faction.[3] Shortly after the announcement of Red Faction in May 2000, Volition stated that development on Descent 4 had been cancelled.[9] Remnants of Descent 4 observed in the final version of Red Faction include the protagonist Parker, the Envirosuits worn by Miners and Ultor Security Guards, the Worm and Drone mini-bosses, and the Cutter NPC.


Concept art

Demo video

External links