The Ascent (Review)

Apr 4, 2022

If you have been reading my reviews for a while, you know that I am a sucker for a good indie game. When The Ascent was announced last year for Xbox and PC, I was disappointed that was not coming to Playstation at launch. Thankfully, The Ascent is now available for Playstation players. Now that I’ve had the chance to play The Ascent, man am I enjoying it.

Developed by: Neon Giant
Published by: Curve Games
Released: March 24, 2022 (Playstation)

Responsive Gameplay

The story in The Ascent puts you in the shoes of someone that’s at the bottom of the barrel in this cyberpunk society. Your goal is to bring down a mega-corporation that owns you. The story here is pretty okay, I was not really invested in it if I’m being completely honest. Fortunately, story is not really why I was looking forward to this game.

The thing that caught me off guard the most about The Ascent is how deep this game is when it comes to its systems. This game has so much to unlock and so many different abilities and equipment to try. It reminded me a lot of Borderlands and I completely loved that. These abilities and equipment all feel great to use. The gunplay in The Ascent is really tight and responsive for a twin-stick shooter. Each gun and ability that you unlock feel different. This feel is very important for the kind of game The Ascent is trying to be. I loved finding the “right” gun for me and pairing it with the right augmented ability and just letting all hell break loose on my enemies.

Stunning Design

This brings me to my next point, The Ascent presents a great enemy design. I was mesmerized by some of the bosses you encounter in this game and by how detailed they are. The other area in The Ascent that feels so well realized is the city itself. The city in The Ascent feels completely alive. There were moments when you’ll be in the middle of a shootout and merchants that are around you begin to run away in fear. This kind of moment tends to happen in big triple-A games. I was pleasantly surprised to see this kind of detail in an indie title. The city in The Ascent is visually stunning and it’s one that I couldn’t get enough of.

Concerns

The Ascent is not perfect though. My biggest issue with the Ascent has to be with its map. The map in this game feels very cluttered and it’s difficult to navigate. The neon colors all blend together. The ability to change the color of the map would make reading the map easier. The other area where The Ascent is not as strong is in its mission design. The side missions and main missions all come down to the same thing, go there and shoot enemies. It’s a good thing that the shooting feels so good.

Recommendation

Overall I would recommend The Ascent to anyone that’s looking to try a new cyberpunk action RPG game. If you like twin-stick shooters, you’ll love The Ascent. Looter shooter fans will love The Ascent. Players looking for a good co-op game with the option to play with 3 of your other friends, guess what? You’ll love the Ascent. This game is definitely worth your time.

Score: 8.0

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