There are still people playing this game online like 10 yrs after release! You want to know why? Because they dont make games like this anymore. They dont make games with such freedom of mvoement and directions and crazy bullets coming at you from all directions in space. Everything is fps now. On top of this, this I believe direct x 7 game was way ahead of its time graphically. It still holds up to games today and shows you dont need direct x 11 or whatever other sales pitches they have now to make a wonderfully looking game. I believe it was made for dx 7 and I prefer its shiny look over msot games released today requiring 300 dollar video cards to enjoy.
i agree to a point, descent 3 was an awesome game at the time, and there hasn't been a decent* space combat sim since, but didn't i read somewhere recently that they are thinking of doing a new version?
* do you see what i did there; descent, decent... arf!
I've played ever Descent ever made. One of my all time favorites. I still have a force feedback joy stick that I used. It would be awesome for a new version of the series to come out. You say X3 is similar? I'm going to give it a shot.
X2-The Threat, X3-Reunion and X3-Terran Conflict are more like Elite on steroids. Story lines are basically weak, but game play is fantastic if you really like open ended games. You don't need to follow the story line if you don't want to.
Word of warning!!!! The X series has a steep learning curve, so patience is a must. It might take you 6 - 12 hours just to get the hang of it. Checkout the forum and stay away from threads that Spoilers unless you don't really care about letting the plot unfold.
There is also another game coming out in the near future that is currently up to alpha stages. I've been watching the development for about 2 years now. Pre alpha purchases have had the ability to partake in test builds. Miner wars is the name of the game and its polishing up nicely. Take a look! If descent was what you were looking for, this game will take it far beyond where descent was and to a modern level.
Just a bit of an update:
Miner Wars 2081 has moved on to beta stage. Also, it got greenlit by steam. It is...the closest I've found to a modern decent. Most of the gameplay occurs within the mines, but you can/do also go outside. It even has co-op play.
Also... for a limited time, you can buy it at half price (It's still in beta, but they have finished several of the missions). But if you don't want to buy it, you can still download it an try out the demo (1st level). Download link is here: http://www.minerwars.com/Downloads.aspx?aid=zaptower