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The Ascent, Neon Giant and Curve Digital's top-down action-RPG set in a vibrant cyberpunk world, is now available for purchase on Steam and the Xbox family of consoles. The game is priced at $26.99 or your regional equivalent, including the 10% launch week discount.
Here's IGN with the official launch trailer:
And the game's description:
The Ascent is a solo and co-op Action-shooter RPG, set on Veles, a packed cyberpunk world.
Welcome to The Ascent Group arcology, a corporate-run metropolis stretching high into the sky and filled with creatures from all over the galaxy. You play as a worker, enslaved by the company that owns you and everyone else in your district. One day, you are suddenly caught in a vortex of catastrophic events: The Ascent Group shuts down for unknown reasons and the survival of your district is threatened. You must take up arms and embark on a new mission to find out what started it all.
You belong to the corporation. Can you survive without it?
SOLO OR CO-OP
Play the entire game alone or work together with up to three friends in local or online co-op.
Aim low or high, switch weapons and equip lethal gadgets, take cover and use the destructible environments at your advantage and keep adjusting your tactic as you face new enemies.
Customize your character with cyberware that suits your playstyle. Allocate new skill points as you level-up and try various augmentations to take down your enemies in new creative ways.
A VIBRANT CYBERPUNK WORLD
Meet new allies and enemies and find loot as you explore the brimming world of The Ascent and its wide range of districts, from the deep slums to the higher luxury spheres.
And if you'd like to know more about this game, you should check out some of the reviews below:
The Ascent’s satisfying gun-tastic action-RPG gameplay loop mixes with its beautiful cyberpunk aesthetic to create an overall enjoyable experience. Neither its story nor its characters are all that memorable, and its enemy encounters can stumble toward the end, but its gunplay and ultra-violence in a neon-soaked world combine to craft a co-op-friendly game you don’t see every day.
PC Gamer 84/100:
But whenever The Ascent does something to disappoint me, the world always wins me back. From the lavish Golden Satori casino to the bleak, dilapidated Black Lake slums, this is a masterclass in creating a sense of place and establishing an atmosphere. Just be aware that, even though the screenshots might make it look like it's a CRPG similar to something like Shadowrun, it's a fast-paced, challenging, almost arcade-like shooter above all. A city this well-realised perhaps deserves more than that, and I'd love future games to expand on the role-playing aspect. But I can still enjoy The Ascent for what it is: a superb action RPG elevated by an exceptional setting.
Game Informer 7.25/10:
The Ascent has issues, but those issues don’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the game. I won’t write my thesis on its commentary on capitalism, but I’ll fondly remember my co-op sessions where I tore through this cyberpunk world. That being said, the shallow RPG elements, lack of meaningful narrative, and exploration frustration were constants that really dragged the experience down. Neon Giant has made a solid foundation to build on, and I hope we can see future installments grow into something truly worthy of ascension.
The more you play, conquering the arcology's upper tiers and toppling its kingpins, the less enthralling this marvelous city becomes. Quests drag you back and forth between far-flung NPCs, your journey interrupted every few seconds by hoodlums arbitrarily defending bits of floor. There's fast travel in the shape of free metro stations and airborne taxis that can be summoned for a negligible fee, but you can only use the central elevators to travel between arcology tiers, which creates more legwork and more opportunities for boring fights. Worst of all, there's no fast travelling from the maintenance districts, docks, plants and factories that account for a majority of dungeons, so if you reach a boss you're under-levelled for and need to juice up your gear, you'll need to trek all the way back to the hub.
PC Invasion 8.5/10:
The Ascent is for the most part a polished experience that's tons of fun to play and behold. The narrative will carry you along to many interesting places with different baddies to fry, though a few encounters feature enemies that are pure bullet sponges. You will need to pick the right equipment and keep up with leveling, but these issues can be overcome. Hardware requirements shouldn't hold you back too much, and glitches are few and far between. The overall quality makes this one a must play for cyberpunk and isometric shooter fans.
God is a Geek 7/10:
Ultimately, then, The Ascent really is a bit of a mixed bag. On one side it’s gorgeous in places, the combat is excellent when it works, the story is passable if not thrilling. On the other side it’s marred by difficulty spikes and take-it-or-leave-it character progression. There’s a sense that Neon Giant are very proud of their world – and they should be. But the gameplay needs more polish and the world needs to be streamlined just a little. There’s no doubt people will have fun despite my complaints, but with a bit more time The Ascent could have been something special.
Setting aside it coming from such a small team, I think The Ascent is miraculous in a couple of ways. First, the detailed world-building, environmental storytelling, and atmosphere are maybe the best expression of the cyberpunk aesthetic I’ve ever seen in a game. Second, the developers have seemingly cataloged every annoying mechanic in RPGs and action games — from death to rapid travel to inventory management — and found a way to make them less onerous or disappear altogether. The Ascent is not an easy game, either mechanically or thematically, but it is completely engaging if for no other reason than to see into a very convincingly realized future.