Developer Neon Giant and publisher Curve Digital have perfectly blended story with action. The Ascent drops players into a cyberpunk world where they must take up arms and defend their district using any weapon in their arsenal. It’s a standard, streamlined video game that has plenty of fun moments.
Survive in a Futuristic World
As an action-shooter RPG, there is plenty of fighting to be found with the story behind The Ascent. Taking place on a world known as Veles, players take control of the role of a worker, aka an “indentured servant”. You’re owned by the Ascent group, a corporation that typically controls everything.
However, things get heated once this mega corporation unexpectedly shuts down. You’re thrusted into new chaotic world where crime syndicates and other rival corporations fight for control of the district.
So, it’s time to take up arms and work to save your home.
RPG Meets Action-Shooter
A Taste of RPG
You get the option to customize your character. Pick out their cyberware based on how you wish to play so that it best benefits your specific style.
As for the character’s looks, there is a rather limited selection of different physical attributes such as hairstyles, tattoos, and general faces.
While going through the game, you can encounter NPCs that can give you some side quests to tackle, a staple in RPG games. There is loot you can pick up, of course, such as weapons and armor.
Another classic take on RPGs is the fact that you can adapt your skills to further build this character the way you want.
Although you do work your way up to different cities as you grow in terms of being a mercenary, there still doesn’t seem to be much exploring of this vast world with stops to many places going by fast thanks to the action.
Shooting Your Way Through
As for the action-shooter portion of this game, this is available in droves. For those who appreciate the style of the game with the isometric camera angles, this will be a joy.
There are numerous weapons and gadgets you can use, and as we mentioned previously, you can augment yourself to turn parts of your body into a weapon. There’s an incredibly fun hydraulic arm installation that turns your arm into a wrecking machine, quite literally, as enemies will dissolve when you hit them.
The fighting portions even offer a cover mechanism, but with how the seemingly endless supply of enemies spawn and push in on you, you’re better off staying on your toes and moving around to avoid getting overwhelmed.
Solo and Co-Op Action
The Ascent gives you two different play options. You can work to save the district on your own, allowing you to complete the entire game solo.
Or you can bring in some friends and use the co-op option. This allows you to play with up to three people either locally or online.
We do enjoy the versatile play style as it makes it far easier for those who want to play with friends to do so, while those who prefer single-player games can still get the same experience.
Beautiful Graphics Creates a Stunning World
It’s true that there are plenty of cyberpunk and science-fiction worlds out there in terms of video games, but there’s no denying that The Ascent boasts incredible sights.
Everything is just the right blend of colorful and bright with darker elements to represent the cyberpunk theme well. It makes it all the more compelling to visit all these different levels just to see more of the world.
With how stunning the art truly is, it makes us wistful that there are not more RPG elements used to turn this into a complete open-world experience.
Variety of Difficulty
The further you climb your way through the ranks in this game, the more difficult the enemies get. They can also respawn as you go through levels, so it’s something to be on the lookout for if you’re backtracking.
Another important note is that you may have to grind through some side quests in order to gain enough skill points to actually survive some of the main quests. Since the enemies are aggressive, it’s near-vital to adapt a blend of defense and offensive maneuvers to survive.
There is a good mix of enemies to fight though as you can battle some gangs at one point and then fight aliens at another point.
A Fun Mix That’s Worth a Playthrough
At the end of the day, The Ascent doesn’t completely reinvent the wheel in terms of cyberpunk and science-fiction shooter RPGs. Even so, the world is stunningly beautiful and the atmospheric music makes it easy to get fully immersed while you go through the different levels/cities.
The action is almost endless, so there’s barely time to catch your breath on quests. But the grinding feels worth it as you gain skills and move on up the ladder, so to speak.
We say: check out the trailer and give it a try solo or with friends and have some twin-stick cyberpunk shooter fun!
How to Play
Use the official links below to get The Ascent: