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The First Descendant endgame will push your teamwork to its limits

Developer Nexon Games discusses The First Descendent endgame content and activities to keep you coming back to the sci-fi looter shooter.

The best live-service multiplayer games need plenty to keep you coming back, whether that’s more traditional MMORPGs like FF14 and World of Warcraft or looter shooters such as Destiny 2. Straddling the line is new free Steam game The First Descendant. Ahead of its launch in just a few weeks, developer Nexon Games details some of the core elements of the “endless endgame” for its new co-op sci-fi shooter, and promises you and your friends will be pushed to the limits of your teamwork.

“We’ve prepared a wide range of endgame content to provide diverse combat experiences and the joy of character growth,” lead game designer Jung Seung-woo explains ahead of The First Descendant release date. Before diving into the endgame of The First Descendant, senior combat designer Jung Yoon-su recommends taking the time to unlock a few different characters in the co-op game, as each offers a unique skill set and some challenges will require careful team synergy to maximize your chance of success.

As for the activities you’ll be taking on, three main types of endgame content are outlined here: Infiltration missions, which act as hard, dungeon-style versions of main story quests; Special Operations, which strip out the narrative to focus on pure combat tasks; and Void Intercept Battles, which are challenging boss fights akin to raid or trial fights seen in other such multiplayer games.

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“Some missions are so engaging that playing them just once for the sake of story progression might not be enough,” Jung Yoon-su comments. If that’s the case, you can team up (using matchmaking if needed) for the challenging Infiltration missions. These offer increasingly higher difficulty, where more rewards are offered. These rewards change at regular intervals, meaning that if you hate a particular mission you won’t be forced to replay it to farm a specific gear piece.

On top of the increased default difficulty, Infiltration missions also allow you to stack additional modifiers on top in return for a bonus to your score. These are mostly simple adjustments such as tankier enemies or more incoming damage. “If you are a true looter shooter expert, I recommend you add all the challenge options when starting,” mission designer Oh Ha-gyeong says.

Special Operations are focused fully on large-scale combat – if you took part in the beta tests, you may already have seen one such wave defense offering. These “are some of the most challenging missions,” Oh remarks, and will require you to pick your loadout carefully. You might be tasked with defending valuable targets, chasing down elusive enemy bomber units while their allies attempt to stop you, or simply surviving dense waves of opponents. “Each Special Operation requires different strategies, optimal Descendants, and equipment setups.”

The First Descendant Infiltration missions - A menu where additional difficulty modifiers can be applied.

Then we have the Void Intercept Battles, which have me the most curious. These are distinct boss fights that each take place in dedicated arenas, featuring unique attack patterns to learn and requiring specific strategies to overcome them. “The Void Intercept Battles are some of the most exciting combat content that you can encounter in The First Descendant,” Jung Yoon-su says.

“We recommend trying various tactics that you can imagine to defeat them. Teamwork with party members is a crucial element in some Void Intercept Battles. While they are not easy to clear, you will feel immense satisfaction upon completion.” You’ll certainly want to, and not just for that feeling of fulfillment – they’re also a fantastic way to earn materials and resources to research new Descendants and craft powerful ultimate weapons.

It wouldn’t be a good looter shooter without plenty of gear, of course, and The First Descendant is no different. As you fight your way through combat encounters and endgame activities, you’ll earn the materials to research new Descendants and weapons. The real goal is getting your hands on these aforementioned ultimate weapons, which boast unique abilities on top of their excellent base stat line.

The First Descendant Void Intercept Battles - A player approaches a giant boss monster.

Jung Yoon-su recommends the Thunder Cage, which strikes nearby enemies with electric waves generated on impact, but notes that some of the ultimate weapons you’ll find have been designed to synergize particularly well with the tool sets that certain Descendants bring to the table. So can we expect additional characters and weapons to appear in the future? “Absolutely,” he says with a smile.

The First Descendant arrives on Tuesday July 2 as a free Steam game. You can head to the Steam store page now to wishlist it if you want a reminder when it launches.

Want to make sure you’re ready for the endgame in no time? Check in on how to unlock The First Descendant characters so you’re good to go, and be sure to confirm your PC meets The First Descendant system requirements so you aren’t caught out at launch.

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