We’ve been following the emerging games market for a few years now, and our interest has grown tremendously. It’s not just because of the tens of millions of dollars in funding that’s flooding the industry, but because of the passion and creativity across the board. The result is a truly unique gaming experience, a level of creative freedom that’s never been seen before.
Thanks to the latest patch, Heroes of the Storm is now available on Battle.net. Blizzard has chosen to make the game free-to-play. The game is a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game where you control a StarCraft hero, as he/she fights against AI or other players.
The Ascent is a brand new FPS game that is coming to PC on Steam in 2019. Developers have been working on the game for a while now, and it looks set to be a lot of fun. This will be our first proper multiplayer review, so let’s find out more, shall we?
The Ascent, a cyberpunk-themed game by Neon Giant, a production team of 12 industry professionals, is their first offering. In this RPG/stick shooter combination set in a corporate-dominated city, players take on the role of an imprisoned laborer with futuristic bodily modifications, a neon-filled cyberpunk environment, and tough combat.
Fans have long wished for more creators to delve into the cyberpunk genre, and Neon Giant definitely has the credentials to do so, but does The Ascent provide enough to justify a thorough dive into this dark, dystopian world?
Review of the Ascension
The Ascension is sure to wow right away. You’re greeted with a visual feast of a cyberpunk-themed environment as soon as you start the game. The lightning and surroundings come to life as you run through the first mission’s twisting tunnels. Steam gushes from every vent, huge fans overhead cast a suffocating shadow on the ground, while robots and strange creatures go about their business doing repairs and patrols. The Ascent’s visual design is both distinctive and engaging from start to end, faithful to the cyberpunk environment and full of character.
Unfortunately, there is a gap between the visually stunning surroundings and the protagonist. It seems out of place, and it often creates the sense that it is operating on a separate level from the rest of the world. While the setting’s lighting is beautiful, it doesn’t interact with the primary character model, resulting in a lack of depth and connection with the surroundings that seems jarring when contrasted to the otherwise stunning landscapes. It’s hardly a game-changer, but once I saw it, it attracted my attention continuously.
While it’s impossible to fault The Ascent’s AAA-style worldbuilding, it does suffer from a sense of familiarity. The Neon Giant team obviously put in a lot of work to achieve a degree of verticality that creates the sense of a vast city that extends from the deep depths of society to the very sky above. However, as is typical of the cyberpunk genre, everything seems extremely familiar. Many of the locations are unique, but the basic gameplay of dashing back and forth between missions is a little tedious – at least in terms of visual appeal.
That is, after all, the point of the game. The questing system is simple to understand, with major missions that advance the plot and side quests that provide prizes and more information about the world and its people. Both elements of the material provided by the questing mechanism are beneficial. The main story is dark and violent at parts, and the side content rewards significantly enhance the already extensive levels of character customization, but the continuous back-and-forth tracking causes a maddening degree of weariness near the end of the game. Fast transit is available, although it is restricted to either a highly costly taxi-style system or a few rail stations strewn around the game area.
When you’re not racing about doing missions, you’re shooting stuff, which is a lot of fun. The action in The Ascent is a twin-stick shooter with a range of weaponry, character powers provided through body augmentations and alterations, and aesthetically stunning and technically sound environmental dangers. I wasn’t able to play in a co-op environment, although The Ascent supports online and offline co-op, as well as couch play.
Combat in The Ascent is by far the most amazing element of the game, which is even more astounding when you consider the rest of the package. There are a wide range of adversaries, from tiny robots pursuing you for melee assaults to gigantic aliens launching bombs and rockets. Every battle was an adrenaline rush of managing your character’s abilities while constantly analyzing the environment for enemies crawling up from below or dropping down from above, and making split-second decisions on whether to use the cover-based system or maneuver to a more advantageous position. I wasn’t anticipating much of a challenge from The Ascent – I’m comfortable with this type of fighting and seldom have issues – yet there were many battles in which I repeatedly failed.
This was mainly owing to my inattention to the development of my characters. When you level up, you may use your stats in a number of ways. You may utilize a virtually infinite number of stat upgrades to create characters with various strengths and weaknesses, such as increasing crit rate, accuracy, health, and energy. Several additional elements complement simple stat improvements, resulting in a remarkably rich and nuanced character development system.
The gear system is designed to be simple. You can discover guns, helmets, chest pieces, and leg armor with it, but it’s not just about finding the most powerful piece of gear. The attacking and defensive stats of each opponent you face are unique. Some will use fire to strike despite being vulnerable to energy assaults. It’s simple enough to defeat the most basic opponents without paying attention to these details, but as you get to the more tough adversaries, failing to properly equip your character will almost always result in failure.
This intriguing approach to weapons and armor adds a strategic layer to combat, but it becomes a little tedious as the game progresses. Upgrades to weapons and armor are permanent, so upgrading one and then finding it again gives you the improved version. However, this leads to an increasingly large inventory as you clutch to every conceivable weapon and armor combination to face the difficulties ahead.
Every promise made by The Ascent is kept. The battle is fast-paced, difficult, and exciting. The setting is beautiful, rough, and gloomy. The cyberpunk motif begs for attention in every way. The Ascent is an exciting and rewarding adventure that is worth every second if you enjoy twin-stick shooters and the themes of the cyberpunk universe.
This review of The Ascension was completed on a computer. The publisher gave me a digital code to use.
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