Should I buy The Ascent – The Ascent Review

The Ascent is a cyberpunk Action Role-Playing game where you play as a customized character gunning and dodging in in the world of Veles, d. Due to this being cyberpunk in nature, there is an arrangement of augments you can equip for unique abilities and a leveling up system where you allocate skill points into your cybernetic implants.

You can equip two weapons and a tactical device, which charges upon dealing damage to foes. Weapons have various damage types that are extremely effective against specific enemies but weak to others. Finding that balance of what guns to equip is a great aspect of the title.

Though there is loot, don't expect colorful displays of exploding from every enemy like in Diablo. Instead, you'll pick up enemy guns and armor to equip or sell, to buy better upgrades for yourself. Of course, you'll still find the odd augments and high rarity weapons on your travels.

The best aspect of The Ascent is the unique cover system. At any point, you can Aim High, which is just lifting your gun to shoulder level, but this also causes Stagger, which interrupts enemies' movement and attacks. If you are behind cover, using Aim High allows you to freely shoot enemies without losing accuracy and without taking damage—but anything you can do, they can do too. It's an extremely innovative mechanic, especially when cover-based systems are so widely used.

Exploration is a gift and a curse when it comes to The Ascent, as areas are leveled, but there is no way to know. You'll be fighting foes your own level, and then enter the next area and some Lvl 18 one shot you before you even have a chance to blink. Luckily, there is no penalty for dying, so if you wish, you could repeatedly keep on trying. The game is full of side missions with a Recommend Level system so that you could accept a mission for Lvl 22—while you're Lvl 2, there is no way to know what level the mission is aimed at upon accepting.

Has four-player co-op, as well as couch co-op from the get-goThere is no sprint mechanic. You can roll everywhere, but there is a brief cooldown after every two rolls.
Uses an interesting fast travel system, which encourages exploration but can be used in times of need for a cost. Or use the free train stations scattered around the zones.Being able to accept higher-level side missions clutters up your side missions log.
Has a navigation line to follow to your destination at a click of a button. This is great as areas of multiple levels, so it's easy to lose your way, especially when exploring.Enemies shoot you off-screen far too much. This is worse when it comes to boss fights.
Plenty of lore to dive into.

Verdict - We Recommend

If you are after an interesting take on the ARPG genre, then give The Ascent a try. For a first title created by developer Neon Giant, it has a whole lot of polish and is a joy to play, especially co-op. Its cover system is unique and offers a tactical play, or you can opt to run and gun, which may lead to your death countless times. With an array of augments and weaponry and a four-player co-op, there's plenty to keep you invested.

The Ascent is not a full-price title and is available on Xbox and PC Game Pass from launch, so feel free to try it out if this sounds up your alley.

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About the Author

Hey, my name is Mark, and I'm a video game enthusiast! My earliest memory was playing Worms on the Amiga against my Godmother, yes the Amiga, massive box type thing, needed eighty-five thousand floppy disks to play one game, maybe a slight exaggeration. Ah, those were the days! I love RPG’s, and The Legend of Zelda series. Dogs are pretty awesome.
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  1. this game looks stunning and gets generally favourable reviews, but in my estimation, it is a deeply flawed game.

    it has the worst level desing i have seen in decades. despite the maps being relatively small in size, the rat maze layout makes any trip a journey.

    the map is often totally useless because it cramps multiple z-levels into one layer.
    without the mission guidance the game is nigh unnavigatable, but it often breaks and stops working.

    death has no real consequence, exept that it places you at the start of the maze.

    levels for quests are faked up. one of the most early side quest has a level recommendation of lvl 2, but the enemies are lvl 18 and there is a door half through the quest which wont open untill the player is about lvl 12.

    all shops have the same items and all of them drop like candy.

    with uw resolutions, the game will zoom in hard.

    the performance is a mess. even on systems that can provide very high fps and have very fast storage and memory, the game often freezes for short times (well freeze… the frames wont update but time will still progress).

    no, i would not reccomend this game.

    1. If the game was a full-priced title, I believe the reviews would have changed, but since it’s on Game Pass, and cheaper it’s not so bad.

      If they didn’t implement the navigation line, it would have been awful, but following that made it bearable. In the review build, I never had a problem with anything breaking, the navigation line worked fine, and I had zero crashes. Only a few frames drops here and there.

      The level quests, I agree with. It was poorly executed. Ultrawide was meant to be coming day one, but as you said, the zoom-in makes it unplayable. Not even sure if they added it in.

      For what it’s worth, I enjoyed my time with it, and over coop, it’ll be a lot more enjoyable.