Naming something is a funny old business. Get it right and it’ll stick with people for decades, get it wrong and you’ll be looking down the barrel of the forgetfulness gun. Or worse, someone could even mix it up with something else. That might be what’s happening in the case of The First Descendant and a small episodic adventure game by the name of, you guessed it, The Descendant.

Outside of the name there isn’t much to link the two titles, though both The First Descendant and The Descendant center their themes around the end of the world. The Descendent is an indie adventure game which dates back to 2016 with the larger title being an upcoming looter shooter. They’re both free, at least in part, which definitely doesn’t help with the potential confusion some players may be experiencing.

In recent weeks The Descendant has seen a surge in player numbers, beyond anything it’s ever seen in its entire lifespan. On Monday June 10, the game was averaging roughly 1,000 players at any one time. Not bad for an eight year old adventure game, though its first chapter being free doesn’t hurt its prospects. On Tuesday June 11, however, that number rocketed to a colossal 54,689 players. These numbers have yet to drop either, at the time of writing 25,500 players are in-game in The Descendant.

Obviously caveats apply and there may be nothing linking these two games and it could simply be coincidence. That said, the Summer Game Fest 2024 trailer for The First Descendant dropped on Friday, June 7 – just a couple of days before the spike in traffic for The Descendant. It doesn’t seem outside of the realm of possibility that the stream of players flowing towards the adventure game were simply looking for The First Descendant.

Of course there can be other reasons. Notable among some reviews for The Descendant point out that it’s an easy way to earn a few Steam cards, while others are just strings of numbers so may point to something altogether more fishy going on. The Steam forums don’t shed any light on the subject either, with only some small bafflement at the player numbers.

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Either way, by all accounts The Descendant is a robust and intriguing adventure game and is well worth checking out, especially as the first chapter is free. You can head over to Steam to take a look. If you, too, are here looking for information on the larger game – The First Descendant launches on Tuesday July 2 and you can add it to your wishlist here.

You can also head over to our guide to the best indie games you can play, and you can take a look at our picks for the best free games on PC.

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