If you’re looking to get your cyberpunk fix, The Ascent will. When the game first takes place, we are shown a huge multi-story arcology belonging to The Ascent Group, from which the game takes its name. But unlike most titles these days that use incredible backdrops as showcases for much more limited worlds, in The Ascent you will explore and fight in a true fully realized environment that can in fact be considered almost one. real megalopolis.
There isn’t a whole lot of plot to be found in The Ascent, which is a bit of a letdown as the game world is literally filled with thousands of interesting nooks and crannies that would be perfect for an RPG. But developer Neon Giant instead chose to focus on making a capable dual-stick shooter for its first adventure in the gaming industry, and given the sweetness of the combat and the ridiculously beautiful (almost entirely destructible) given to the players, it was a good decision.
In The Ascent, you start the game as a low-level corporate employee, which means you’ve been taken to The Ascent arcology from another planet with all of your expenses paid so you can start a new life. The only catch is that now you are an indentured servant of the company, which is pretty much a cut above being a slave. You’re tasked with doing mostly dirty and possibly dangerous housekeeping duties in the lowest and dirtiest levels in town, with your first job basically unclogging your boss’s toilet, which sort of has merged with her shower for a truly stinky experience. For some reason, this seemingly simple task is to restart a reactor-sized machine surrounded by monsters in the grimy basements of the city. But it is also a good tutorial on how to play the game.
I mentioned that The Ascent is a two stick shooter, which is a game where using one stick on the controller is for movement and the other is for your face. And given that The Ascent started on the Xbox console before moving to Steam, that makes sense. However, with the PC version, you can use a mouse and keyboard for controls instead. For most games like this I wouldn’t recommend doing this, but it works surprisingly well in The Ascent. Mouse aiming is much more accurate when playing the game this way, although using a controller was much more comfortable, so I often chose to play this way. Regardless, the combat in The Ascent is incredibly fluid.
That’s not to say The Ascent is easy. The combat is fluid, but it’s absolutely necessary here due to the sheer volume of enemies the game throws at you. Even wandering around the city (which, again, is almost the size of a real city) can trigger fights with gangs who don’t like you walking through your turf, so you’ll be in combat a lot. Your helpful and always cheerful PDA sometimes alerts you when you are approaching a bad area. He will say something like, âThis region is known to have a large population of young entrepreneurs looking for reluctant investors. “
These random fights can get a little crazy, but the scripted ones are even more brutal. If you’re about to engage in a boss-type fight, you can bet that plenty of other enemies will start crawling up the side of the railings, running at you from areas you thought were already clear and even descending from the hovercrafts to try. and crush your face or shoot yourself in the head. Almost every fight turns into one of those savage battles.
Oddly enough, the game really pushes its cover mechanic where you can duck behind something (although you have to be careful because a lot of things in the environment are destructible) to absorb bullets. You can then hold your gun over your head and shoot safely over your blanket. Sounds good in theory, but I’ve hardly ever used it. There are too many enemies appearing from all angles in most fights. By the time you get into cover, two or three people will come up behind you to make your little makeshift fort unnecessary. Instead, I spent most of the game backing up and shooting all the bad guys behind me. You can dodge as well, which is useful when someone throws an explosive or if you just need to get out of line of sight for a second.
The upgrades to your character are almost entirely based on The Ascent’s gear. If you want to become more powerful in battle, you have to find a better weapon or more effective armor. Fortunately, weapons can be modified and upgraded using components you find during your adventure. This means that even your starting guns can have a lot of longevity and usefulness. This is because a heavily modified first weapon will often be much more powerful than the basic equipment you will find even later in the game. Yes, these more advanced weapons have the potential to be total kicks, but you have to. probably keep them until you get to a modding station before you can really start ripping things up with new gear.
As you progress through the game, the amazing environment continues to be the star. Climbing higher in the arcology brings new maps, new environments, and richer housing. It’s really interesting that the higher you get into the gaming world, the better things get. There is less trash and debris on the streets and everything looks a lot nicer, which is especially evident in the small city-like areas you come across.
And you’ll also come across better enemies like corporate security and well-funded fighters that make the first killers you face look like a warm-up exercise. Fortunately, at this point in the game, your character should also become much more powerful to cope with the increased challenge. It’s smart that the world changes a bit the more you go up, which may be another reason for the game’s title beyond your company name.
I played The Ascent in single player mode, but the game also supports multiplayer with up to four people. Considering the size of the environment, it’s probably best to play with a tight team so you can all support each other fully. Doing this would likely add another element to The Ascent, much like an action-based MMO. So if you have good friends who play these kinds of games, The Ascent might give you a great time.
For a first release, Neon Giant did a great job with The Ascent. Of course, there are quite a few bugs here and there. At one point, we couldn’t continue a quest because the enemies we were supposed to kill just weren’t spawning in the area we were supposed to be fighting. We had to exit the game and reload before they actually spawned. Maybe they were afraid of us?
But either way, The Ascent is a great title when it works well. Honestly, I can’t think of another game with such a beautifully rendered and made world. It’s a lot more interesting to watch than the world we have with Cyberpunk 2077.
Try The Ascent. It’s a fun game, offering smooth combat and one of the most mind-boggling cyberpunk worlds you can experience right now. Like The Ascent Corporation itself, there are a lot of little flaws and ugliness at the bottom, but overall it’s a pretty impressive offering.