The Ascent is a top-down twin-stick shooter with RPG mechanics making you wonder Is The Ascent worth It? It seems like a combination of Diablo and Cyberpunk 2077 as you can feel the vibe of both these games while playing it. The game is being developed by a team of 11 developers and they have done an amazing job. It is a game with vibrant colors and effects making it a pleasing experience visually. The Ascent gives players a chance to ravage through enemies in an amazing world. Players can experience the intense combat and vibrant world of the game right from the beginning.
The world of The Ascent is known as Veles and it takes place on an Arcology in the distant future. Players start from the very bottom of the food chains and climb the rank toward the high echelon of society. The higher the players go in the Arcology, the better the world becomes. There is also an emphasis on grinding that can make the character better. Combat is good with a large number of enemy verities that require different tactics. Players need to constantly change their gear to make it work on different enemies. There is also the prospect of build-making. The map is messy and getting from one location to another can be a headache in the beginning. All this makes you wonder Is The Ascent worth It? Let’s find out in detail.
The Ascent takes place on an Arcology on the futuristic world called Veles as mentioned earlier. Ascent is the name of the group that was keeping control of the city. The group has disappeared which has created a power vacuum as different groups are trying to take control of the Arcology. You as a player start from the bottom and make your way to the top. As you climb the ladder of the food chain you will see how the world changes around you. There are different world tiers and you will start from the bottom. The higher the location, the better are tier conditions. So you are literally climbing from bottom to top to reach the higher echelon of society.
The world of The Ascent is brilliant that is brimming with different colors. You will see Neon lights all around you and the world is a lot similar to the Night City from Cyberpunk 2077. As you go to the higher tier you will see how each tier is different than the other. The bottom floor of the Arcology is where you begin. The place is waste disposal and it is also providing power to the rest of the city. These are slums and are the most underdeveloped parts of the city.
The Ascent is different than traditional open-world games but it still has a large map. Every part of the world is detailed whether its slums, back alleys, or neon-filled vibrant location. You will see robots and other creatures going about their life in the world. When a shoot-out starts, the NPCs would start running and try to escape the combat. The map is full of probes that make it seem livelier. The map is multi-regional and each region is vast that is separate from the rest of the regions.
If you want to travel from one region to another i.e one tier to another then you have to take the elevator. There will be a playable sequence inside a train or elevator whenever you use them. This sequence acts as a loading screen. You will also get a cut scene whenever you use a taxi as well which is similar to the fast traveling sequence of Spiderman Males Morales on the PS4. If you have an SSD then it is fine but if not then it can be a mess. Is The Ascent worth It for its setting and premise? There is more to it.
Missions Are Generic
The main missions can take 15 to 18 hours to complete. If you do a decent amount of side missions along with main missions, then it can take up to 30 hours. If you are a completionist then it can keep you busy for at least 40 hours. Main missions are diverse even though most of them feel generic. Side missions, however, have no significance whatsoever. Side missions usually revolve around going to a location and then killing enemies or doing some stuff. That’s all that side missions have to offer as they are plagued with repeatability. They are just there to help your character level up and get equipment. Side missions can reward you with equipment that you will not get otherwise.
Certain side missions require you to kill certain types of enemies or kill enemies in a certain manner. While doing such an objective, you have to select that mission as it won’t get completed even if you achieve the goal. These types of missteps are common in some other games as well and it never gets less frustrating.
If the area where the objective of the side mission is located is close then the game won’t tell you. You have to go there on foot since you can’t fast travel if the area is not discovered and see for yourself. It can get annoying as the indicator will constantly be pointing at a location that is close at that time. Side missions are mostly about getting better stuff and gaming experience. Is The Ascent worth It to you, based on what you know so far? Well, there is more.
Map is Messy
The world of The Ascent is good and it is quite detailed. However, the structure of the map is a totally different story. The way it functions can derail you from the missions and even after playing the game for hours. The indicator on the map is so obscure that you won’t know the location of the objective even if you look it up on the map. If a location is not discovered then it is a far better option to look at the name of the location where the objective is and then travel to the location near it. In case, the location is in the same tier then you can fast travel to it. If not then you first need to take an elevator to that tier and then you can fast travel once you reach that tier.
Knowing which elevator leads to which floor is also a hassle. So it will take some time to finally understand how to go around. The thing that can make everything a little bit easier is the indicator. You can press the button that will show you where the objective is through a line. The indicator will only direct you to the location of the objective, not the tier. It will just direct you to the elevator if the objective is on another tier. To top it all off the fast travel costs 1000 which is an absurd amount since you will be needing money for other stuff. So going around on the map is a mess that requires a quite decent amount of time to understand. Is The Ascent worth It? There is more to it than the messy map.
Combat is one of the central focuses of the game even though it does not have a combat-driven narrative. There is a lot of action in the game and it has fast-paced combat which will keep you on the edge in the intense situation. There is no difficulty setting so everyone has to start with default difficulty. The game can become quite difficult as you can die pretty easily if not careful. If enemies level is higher than yours then they can kill you in no time. The damage output of enemies also depends on their level. The higher the level of enemies, the more will be the damage. You can only equip two weapons at a time so consider damage type while equipping weapons.
Weapon and Gear
There are different damage types so depending on your damage type, you can do more or less damage. Certain weapons won’t even work on organic or non-organic enemies depending on the weapon. Some enemies are weaker against fire other lighting and so on. The gear you are using will also dictate how much resistance you have against certain damage types. Damage type is important so you would need to constantly change weapons and gear on the go. Is The Ascent worth It to you based on all you know about it so far? Let’s discuss some more before concluding.
Abilities are known as augmentations and these can help you a lot in combat. Augmentations can be offensive, defensive, or supportive. You can only use two augmentations at a time and different augmentations will have different damage effects. So you need to consider the enemies you are fighting before equipping them just like weapons. Modules on the other hand provide passive buffs. These buffs too can be offensive, defensive, or supportive. Depending on the augmentation and modules you are using, the performance of your character can change.
There is also a tactical slot that lets you equip different items. Just like augmentations, it can be offensive, defensive, or supportive depending on the item you are using. You can equip a different kind of grenade and the most basic one is fag grenade. Equipment in the tactical slot has a different kind of damage so you also need to consider that. There is even a full-blown mech suit in the tactical slot. There is no cool-down time of the grenade and you can fill it by killing enemies.
You will also level up and each level up will give you points. You can use these points to strengthen different parts traits of your characters. Depending on how you use these points you can change how your character performs in combat. The more you upgrade a trait the more points are required to upgrade it further. Leveling up does not make you stronger so you will need to carefully spend points on the attributes that you think are the best for you. Respec is expensive and get more expensive as you level up so knowing where to spend points is important.
One of the best things about the game is that the weapons have no RNG. The damage of the weapon will increase depending on your build and attribute. So you can even use the first weapon from start to finish if you choose to do so. This takes away the hassle of constantly looking for the better version of the same weapon. It does not mean that there isn’t a lot of grinding. You will still need to do a lot of side missions and other activities if you want better stuff or want more upgrade points. Is The Ascent worth It for its extensive customization? Let’s discuss general gameplay before deciding.
There are three slots for clothing which include head, chest, and legs. Cloths will not only change the appearance but also your defense and offense to enemies. Different pieces have different attributes that make each piece unique. Different pieces have resistance against different damage types. So you should equip pieces depending on the damage type of your enemies since different factions have different damage types.
There is not a lot of character customization options as you have to select from one of the premade faces. You can only change details on the faces of characters such as scars, hairstyle, skin color, etc. It does not have extensive character customization like other RPG games. The RPG mechanics are not that extensive as it does not play any significance in the story. None of the decisions that you take during conversation will alter the story. These dialogue choices are only there to make conversation varied. So choices do not really matter as the end result would remain the same.
Voice Acting is good even though The Ascent is just a generic RPG. It surprised me because the voice-over is a lot better for a game developed by only 11 people (Neon Giant). Voice-over is only available for the main story. Characters in side missions only rumble and have no actual dialogues similar to Biomutant. You have to read the text on the screen to understand what a character is asking you during the mission briefing. Effects of attacks are also good and the feedback that the attacks produce is quite decent. Is The Ascent worth It? for its general gameplay? There is still the UI problem.
UI is Messy but the Game is Smooth
The Ascent has a very confusing User Interface that creates more problems than solutions. In the beginning, you can’t even properly navigate through it. The UI gets better with time it still won’t be a smooth experience. The color of the UI makes it even seem worse. It is as confusing as the Map of the game.
The camera stays over the top of your character but if you are going under this structure then it can obscure your character. The camera angles are especially annoying when you are looking for something that is in a big area and the objective is not marked. It’s not like there is no transparency feature when you are in-door. However, from time to time certain areas won’t become transparent which can be frustrating.
Music has a Cyberpunk vibe to it which makes the setting more immersive. Music of The Ascent Reminds me a lot about the music of Cyberpunk 2077. If you want to know more world of The Ascent then you can access Codex. It has detailed information about everything in the game. If you want to know about races, factions, Arcology, or the world then it’s there.
The game can also be played in the coop. Playing in the coop will make it easier for both players as it does not scale up the battle for more players. The enjoyment will remain the same whether you want to play solo or in a coop. It has some matchmaking issues so it might frustrate you. Is The Ascent worth It? let’s find out in the conclusion.
The Accent is a decent twin-stick shooter with good action. It has fast pace combat that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The game has good voice acting and a good setting with quite a bit of detail. There are an extensive amount of side characters that make the story more interesting. The story is deep and it will escalate at the end. Little by little you will see how you impact the world around you in the story.
You will go through the same halls multiple times in different missions. Combined that with generic side missions and you get a repeatable experience. This repeatable experience is only limited to the side story but its impacts can spill over to other aspects of the game. As you keep on doing the same thing in a side mission you will burn out before reaching the end. Exploration is rewarding but the map is horrible and its terrible UI makes everything worse. Even doing something as simple as going to an objective can turn into a chor.
Now let’s answer the question, Is The Ascent worth It? Well, if you are looking for a game with decent combat and an amazing world then The Ascent could be a game for you. It is a good catch for anyone who is looking for a twin-stick shooter. If you want a twin-stick shooter that has a top-down camera angle with decent combat and story then it could be the game for you.