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The First Descendant immediately shoots up the Steam charts, and could even pose a threat to Elden Ring soon

The First Descendant may not be the most memorable game title, but it sure is generating a lot of buzz right now.

Do you remember The First Descendant? It’s Nexon’s free-to-play loot shooter that’s been in the news for about two years. It first landed with an impressive cinematic trailer that was followed up months later by various beta tests.

Connor and I played it a year-and-a-half ago and found it competent, if lacking that special hook. After announcing a release date at Summer Game Fest just a couple of weeks ago, The First Descendant has now officially launched and a lot of people are playing it right now.

The First Descendant is a free-to-play, third-person shooter with RPG mechanics and loot, so it was pretty much set up for success. That success is never guaranteed, however, especially given how saturated the loot shooter market is.

On its first day of release, the game has been welcomed by thousands of players. As of this writing, the loot shooter occupies the number six slot on Steam’s most played games list, with its next target being Elden Ring.

Concurrent player numbers have rising rapidly, with the most recent peak being a little over 180,000, achieved just a few minutes ago. This is a pretty sizeable number, free-to-play or not, but the reception hasn’t been entirely positive.

Looking at player reviews, The First Descendant currently has a Mixed Steam review rating, based on about 2,400 reviews. 49% of player reviews are positive, which is a bit of an unusual split for games with a Mixed rating.

It’s hard to say how many of the negative reviews criticise gameplay or monetisation, rather than call out server disconnects and other launch day woes. Much of that negativity also stems form the fact the game was made available to download well before servers went live, leading players to believe they couldn’t log in, when servers had in fact not gone live yet. It’s a bit of a communication blunder, more than anything, but it’s very much reflected in the game’s score on Steam.

Thanks to a Twitch Drops event, the game has over 105,000 viewers as of this writing, too, landing it squarely in the streaming platform’s top five. It’s been so popular, in fact, that Nexon had to apologise for a delay in the delivery of rewards. Some of the negative reviews also report not getting access to the battle pass, despite paying for it - so server issues are certainly a problem right now.

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