It is not a new game, as it made its debut in 2018 for PC, but it is an absolutely challenging experience and not easy to master.
When I saw it in the e-Shop I thought it would be another annoying and repetitive game of common circuits and series jumps, however, I decided to give it a vote of confidence in honor of an activity that I practiced for many years and that I miss a lot: Mountain Bike.
Well, Descenders made me swallow the words.
Developed by the No More Robots studio, and running on the Unity engine, it debuted in 2018 on the Steam platform, but it is the arrival on consoles that gives visibility to its excellent features and playability.
The first minutes of contact can make you even hate it, but then it opens up to a series of challenges that manage to captivate your attention, especially if you have been involved with mountain biking.
Rolling downhill on uneven terrain with a mountain bike is an adrenaline-pumping experience from the moment you finally kick off and your foot lands on the pedal.
Descenders has managed to transmit in a very good way what this experience represents from a mechanical and physical point of view. That thought that runs to you in the tutorial, that you already know what it is about and that in 5 minutes you have it mastered, vanishes as the minutes of play pass and the real downhill begins.
Just like in the real world, in Descenders decisions made in fractions of a second can lead you to the satisfaction of the obstacle that has been overcome or to a good crash on the steep ground. Your stick skill is key, your hand-eye coordination is everything.
Another thing that the game offers you is freedom, an intrinsic characteristic of mountain biking. Getting carried away by the landscape of the path you travel is part of the charm of this activity, both in real life and on your Nintendo Switch. Nobody penalizes you for enjoying the road at the speed you want to do.
My only criticism is the graphical performance of the game. Nintendo Switch obviously does not have the level of a PC, which clouds the experience a bit, because the environment is part of the fun and in this sense, the graphical capacity of the Switch does not stand out.
But despite that, I had a lot more fun taking on the challenge on the Switch than on a friend’s PS4, which I was able to play it on too, just for comparison.
Its best feature? The Multiplayer.
Descenders multiplayer adds a totally different dynamic, as playing with friends, or randomly online, creates many exciting experiences. Whether you choose to just run to the bottom or try to pull off as many stunt combos as possible, being able to experience it all with your buddies means that Descenders feels like new all the time.
Descenders is addictive enough to keep the player busy. The handling is well conceived, the frame rate is solid and the environment, despite the graphics performance, offers a pleasant result.
With an interesting campaign featuring eight diverse biomes, a very good multiplayer component, and those all-important online leaderboards, this is a surprisingly solid package that comes highly recommended.