The Ascent is a cyberpunk sorta action rpg twin stick shooter created by a 12 person team at Swedish developer Neon Giant. Released 7/29/2021 it uses the Unreal Engine with all the ray tracing / DLSS bells and whistles to create an immersive isometric gritty cyberpunk world.
The game starts you out as an 'indent' (indentured servant) who is working off their debt to the Ascent Group in the basement of an arcology on the planet Veles. When Ascent Group suddenly goes bankrupt, it's your job to fight off rivals and protect your home while trying to solve just what happened. Using guns, armor, grenades, and abilities / augmentations you'll murder
battle your way to solving that mystery.
Reportedly the game has about 20 hours of standard gameplay and at least the first few areas are beautifully crafted with high density crowds and incredible lighting and detail. Combat is fun and consists of standard twin-stick gunplay with unlimited ammo (in your limited weapon slots) and recharging abilities.
After a couple hours of play it's clear this game is not Diablo with guns. It's not a looter-shooter, and while it has some light RPG elements I'd hesitate to call it a traditional ARPG. Really the game it feels the most like is the reimagination of Crusader: No Remorse. Movement, gunplay, atmosphere, it definitely has that feel and grittiness of that classic and that's a good thing.
For $25-30 it definitely feels like it's going to be a better value than that other cyberpunk game that came out a little while ago. It supports up to four player co-op and looks to support both remote players and couch co-op. It also reportedly supports cross-platform play for the Live / Gamepass version, but if you purchased it on Steam you can only play with other Steam accounts so that's a bit of a bummer.
There are moments when its pretty clear this isn't an AAA title, the UI is pretty clean but there are some places that could use polish or another pass by a translator / editor. There are a few performance hiccups in crowds, but at the same time with 100+ characters on screen with full ray traced lighting on it's not too bad. Some reviews note there isn't a huge variety in items and no randomization rolling of stats - every weapon will be the same at the same upgrade level but I haven't had quite enough time to be sure of that. There doesn't appear to be any random play so when the story is complete it looks like that's it, I haven't beaten it and I'm not sure what NG+ options there are.
The character creator is decent but somewhat limited in options and clothing / equipment is limited to just a few slots.
Still in spite of the valid criticisms ever review seems to agree it's a ton of fun kiting groups of enemies, rolling around, and blasting them with a SMG in the first few zones. If this sounds like something you might like I'd definitely recommend giving it a try. Especially if you have the Gamepass where you can try it out for free.
Combat with just the first slow firing pistol was also kind of annoying, but once I got the SMG and a couple abilities it felt a lot better. I got to the first hub area and then got annoyed that it seems to be just a giant open space with a bunch of noninteractable NPCs and vendors etc are just spaced massively far apart for no reason, so I put it down for the night. Probably will give it another whirl, but I would say overall a disappointment and not sure I'm going to continue.
(Also the game itself seems fun, and is visually stunning. It's far and away the most "lived in" dystopian sci-fi/cyberpunk aesthetic world I've encountered, maybe what Cyberpunk 2077 was hoping to be, but didn't quite manage for anyone but the highest-end PC setup, but with a much stronger emphasis on the alien and dilapidated.)
Had one bug that required a restart, quest area where the quest mobs wouldn't spawn, and the game doesn't seem to be tracking the skins I picked up but otherwise it's been a clean launch for me. I'm playing solo on Series X.
Letting LS change menu screens is a weird choice and I hope they drop that cause it messes me up all the time. The hold to confirm is twice as long as it should be and they probably don't need it on chests that hold items but I like that big health packs let me be strategic about when I collect them.
Radar instead of mini-map is a bad choice, particularly with the complex environments but I'm not sure how you'd do a satisfying mini-map in this so I understand the decision.
Environments are a little too large but traversal feels a bit better once you unlock the metro and taxi. Dropping points into evasion helps too.
I'm running around with a fire handcannon that has an interruptible reload like a pump shotgun and a rocket launcher so I'm happy on the guns front. Need to see if the rate you gain components increases, it feels alright getting everything to like mk3 but things start getting tight real fast.
The game is gorgeous and the tower feels real and lived in. I've gotten jumped multiple times because I'm too busy looking at scenery and run into a pack of mobs.
Let's Play Final Fantasy 'II' (Ch10 - 5/17/10)
PSN/Steam/NNID: SyphonBlue | BNet: SyphonBlue#1126
Not 100% sure of who I'm killing but they turn red and attack me so I'm gonna kill them first.
I wouldn't mind more movement options though. The world is big and it feels like I spend a lot of time just running. It is pretty though.
I dont want to compare to Hades too much because I dont think that is entirely fair, but I feel like the space and maps could have been used a bit better.
Still liking it. I killed 3 out of 4 full chrome rocket guys in the grinder but had to quit before I finished the quest so we will see how annoying the save states are tomorrow.
I've also found a movement augment that changes your roll into a dash. Covers less distance but doesn't have the animation lock at the end so it feels faster to me. Smoother for sure. Not sure if item chests are randomized but I got mine
Bravely Default / 3DS Friend Code = 3394-3571-1609
I checked this on my Series X and the toggle headgear option does work correctly. My character in the field matches the model in the menu..
I feel like this team will get better, there’s nothing here that’s unfixable, and a lot of promise, so I hope it does well so they can make more shit in the future even id they don’t end up being able to polish this game fully
'Where are you going?'
'Heading to the deepstink to collect 10 feral testicles.'
Other than the map and the occasional hitting crouch instead of dash it’s been all good fun so far.
I think my only complaint is that the maps are so large and full of enemies that having to track back through them constantly gets a little old at times. That and the fact that they haven't intelligently gated side quests. Many side quests have destinations that are often locked until you get through a certain point in the story, which is super annoying when you spend 10-15 minutes fighting through to a quest marker to find it quest-gated.
I'd suggest ignoring most of the side quests until the main quest takes you back down to the deep stink. Some of them can be done at their suggested level but others are blocked behind story progression or need you to go through higher level enemies. By the time you head back to the deep stink you'll have a bunch of metro stations and zones unlocked and all the side quests will slot neatly into either a zone you've discovered or one you haven't. If you know the zone you can do the quest at that point otherwise it's easy to ignore. Downside is that this delays a couple weapons and abilities a little bit but I found that trade-off worth saving out on the frustration of poorly gated side quests.
That stinks, I wonder if the PC client has a different auto-save setup because on console I don't think I've ever lost more than a minute to a death or quit.
Yeah I'm not sure. I have been dealing with timestamps in hh:mm:ss I assumed that the "last saved 00:32" meant minutes (since that was roughly the amount of time I'd been playing). But I could be wrong.
Spoiler for combat mechanics in some sections
Having to survive wave after wave of enemies with random rng for healing and sometimes fucking hard bounties showing up just to fuck you? Yeah not a great time bob.
I'm playing on XB1 too and I've only played the first mission but I feel kind of the opposite. I wasn't doing so hot with the revolver to the point I was constantly exiting the combat area so I'd auto-heal to full but once I got the SMG and some auto-fire, it felt much more soothing to get into fights.
Let's Play Final Fantasy 'II' (Ch10 - 5/17/10)
I was the same way early game, but once I could upgrade my aiming revolvers had more of a stopping power against enemies versus the smg. Really the key for me was using the punch to keep enemies away, but god damn did I miss with that a shit ton. End game I used two augs that did all their killing without me having to target shit.
Yeaaah, I put the game down when I got to the first big town area and saw that. I've got a trash sense of direction and memory so I didn't wanna be bothered with wasting time in town being lost trying to find stuff. Game's neat but it needs some polish patches. It's all totally fixable tho so I've got hope it gets some love.
Yeah I was just wondering what happens if you pause your game and walk away > 1 hour. I just wish they'd at least do 00:00:38 because MM:SS just didn't process in my brain
Art is *chef's kiss*.
UI controls are a mess. I can only assume their UX person's salary all went to the artists instead.
Combat mechanics feel a little odd with having slower paced low cover mechanics in an otherwise relatively fast twin-stick shooter.
Guidance to mission objectives is good. But due to the complexity of the level layouts, the map is in dire need of allowing the player to select the various non-mission icons to set for guidance.
Running it in DX12 is haha, nope.
Gonna start this up tonight with a buddy for some coop, so fingers crossed it's good.
We tried that DnD game and after the 5th lvl we were pretty tired of it. I'm at least glad crossplay is getting a lot of attention.
Cons: Fine Aiming, Menu Navigation (because of the bizarre menu control scheme)
Pros: Fine Aiming, Menu Navigation
But to me they're not different enough to push it away from just personal preference.
PSN/Steam/NNID: SyphonBlue | BNet: SyphonBlue#1126