Preview: Descenders (Steam Early Access)

Descenders is extreme downhill freeriding for the modern era, with procedurally generated worlds, and where mistakes have real consequences. Will you lead your team to glory and become the next legendary Descender?


  • Cool looking graphics.
  • Controller support (Best way to play it)
  • 3065MB Download size.
  • Steam achievements.
  • Opening tutorial.
  • Practice open area hub where you can drive around and enter the workshop.
  • Sign up with one of three teams- Arboreal, Kinetic, and Enemy. Earn exclusive gear with each team along with a team only Discord channel.
  • Shed- Here is where you equip your new race gear and tinker with your bike.
  • Gameplay is an almost roguelike experience, Perform a variety of tricks and finish the level to earn rep. It is Roguelike in that you have a set amount of health and once it’s gone its game over and you start again.
  • Career mode is your run and every time you finish a race you can choose from a choice of three and play the other races if you like.
  • Levels are graded on steepness, Curves, and stunts.
  • Customise the name on your jersey.
  • Full online leaderboard support.
  • Daily “One shot” challenge.
  • Practice session.
  • Combo counter.
  • Graphics option- Overall quality, Shadows, Terrain, level of detail, AA, depth of field, bloom, ambient occlusion, god rays, motion blur, fullscreen, v-sync and resolution. FPS counter at the top of the settings.
  • Career mode you earn rep and lose rep for crashing. Your goal is to get to the end of the track without crashing but also racking up high combos. Crashing not only loses rep but also lose a health blip and once they are gone it is game over.
  • Optional objectives- Randomly generated and doing these in a race will earn you a health blip back. These objectives range from a set amount of airtime to doing particular tricks.
  • All levels are randomly generated so you get a different game every time.
  • Fast responsive gameplay, Pulling off tricks is effortless.
  • Drum and bass/ Techno sounding soundtrack.
  • Can “Retire” from your run to bank your current rep but also take a rep penalty for quitting.
  • Trickset to rival Tony Hawk games from skids to bunny hops to flip and twists all available from the off.
  • Earn rep to go up divisions.
  • So much fun to play.
  • Addictive.
  • Just one more go mentality.
  • Instant respawns upon crashing.
  • Fast loading times.
  • Can go off the track and not get penalized or instant bails.
  • Four areas to unlock.
  • Beat bosses to unlock new starting locations.
  • Four camera angles including first person.
  • Many unlocks .


  • No proper sound effects really.
  • Levels in terms of objectives and variety are very thin on the ground.
  • No online- More a PSA as they have stated they will look into it after launch.
  • The slight learning curve with the controls, More just getting used to right stick for moves and moving with the left stick.
  • Could do with a more fleshed out tutorial especially in terms of how the career works.
  • Mouse cursor stays on the screen.




Whilst very much an early access game in terms of variety and polish, But Descenders is a solid package for such an early stage. For years I wondered if we would ever see an updated spin on the Mountain bike genre, Not since No Fear downhill racing on the PlayStation one have I really spent any time with them. Here we got not only an updated take on the genre but also a very competent score attack game like Tony Hawks. Pulling off moves is tricky at first but soon becomes second nature, The handling is tight and immediate meaning you can pull off those insane spins and tricks whenever you like. You are not tied to the track, Take it off road and use to get the edge or line up that perfect jump. I really like the look and feel they are going for here and can honestly see it making headlines when it launches out of Early Access. Tony Hawks license got blind drunk after the Pro skater 5 reviews, Met No Fear downhill racing in a club, Got chatting and spent the night together, Then we got Descenders, Now Im not saying its their love child I am just saying that night, Gears were changed and oil got spilt, Play the game for yourself and decide.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

You may also like...