Damn it. Just as I get used to imagining a fourte of fires that rage, endangered ribs, global pandemics and extreme temperatures, The Ascent reminds me that no, the future is going to be a CyberPunk nightmare. Giant companies swallowing everything and everything in masses, dedicates resembling hives of contract workers and absolute despair lives.
Do you remember the first time you saw Blade Runner from Ridley Scott and you’ve been captivated by the black but colorful cacophony of advertising, neon and reflections soaked with rain? Now, multiply this sensory overload by a factor of ten and you have an idea of what each image of The Ascent – a new action RPG to the third person – has in reserve.
Ascension can restrict its fixed camera to focus on a relatively narrow tranche of vells, a dystopic and nightmarish world whose character is trying to escape, or at least to rise above. But above, with several distances around it, the camera reveals an environment filled with movement, ranging from hundreds of people going to their painful lives, to the Hovercars and moving to the neon and heaps infinitely high. garbage and electronic rubbish. It may be the most densely imagined cyberpunk environment I have ever seen.
You play a dash, abbreviation of contract worker – mainly slave labor – for The Ascent Group Arcology, essentially a massive structure that blurs the border between the city-state, the company, the factory, prison and social housing.. When the basic security and operation of the arcology are threatened in a catastrophic way and that your narrow slice of hell is closed, you leave at the request of a supervisor / master of the Mafia to try to restore a certain balance and of the order between the different criminal and extraterrestrial elements of the neighborhood.. Your main missions and various subcussions occur as you encounter a range of entertaining characters and always vaguely infamous with Veles, in surprisingly written and interpreted cut scenes. Surprising because The Ascent came from a twelve team.
Ascension is not a roguelike, it is not generated in a procedural way and it does not have a random loot, thank God. Instead, it is a dual shooter isometric stick designed with master hand, with quite carefully designed. Weapon cards through enemy meetings, The Ascent challenges so many independent games, now standard practices and carefully organizes experience for maximum effect. The booties are numerous and weapons, armor and consumables can be purchased, sold and improved at sellers. In addition, your character has a long list of potential increases or special capacities that are on recovery timers. The interaction of weapons, tactical equipment and increases is really ballet in the action of the action and everything can be disabled on the fly. Play the game with a team of four members and the permutations of arms and increases working in synchronization are incredibly entertaining, although in fact, the fight as a whole is probably the most familiar element of the experience.
I am often dead as I progress in the campaign and in a generous sampling of subcussies. The checkpoints are relatively common and although the enemies reappear, you keep all the equipment and booty you have acquired, which makes every attempt a little easier. The bosses can be a real solo challenge, and you might have trouble during the first minutes of the game until the fight snaps off, that dodging makes sense and that the use of the hedging mechanism of the Game and shooting up / down becomes a second nature. The progression throughout the game of weapons and increases unlocking means that the fight never ceases to be interesting.
The Ascension breathes the details and the dark irony, not only in the entertaining cinematic scenes, but in easily neglected backgrounds, filled with movements, people, creatures and incidents. I observed one of the hundred anonymous workers in a busy street. He stopped in front of a vending machine, knocked him when he refused to work, then dismissed with discouragement. He stopped to pick something in the street. He lit a cigarette and stayed for a moment, smoking, then left. During fire fights, passers-by curlles or cut off, adding to chaos of the moment. This kind of construction in the world is not the result of chance, but the result of obsessive attention to detail. Throughout the world, conversations take place in the background and disembodied advertisers threaten people of violence platforms. My only criticism here is that it is possible to feel a little visual overload and fatigue and that The Ascent could use a little empty space / stop time to clean the palace from time to time.
At least in the PC version of The Ascent, the composition of the optimal visual experience and audio is available thanks to a generous number of choices. For example, there are options for a wide selection of audio playback devices and a spatial audio / headset parameter called “Indent Mode” that places the player in a vertiginous environment of ambient noise, music, weapon effects and voices. It’s almost overwhelming. Speaking of playing music, it’s excellent: heavy synth with vangelis echoes but also capable of emotional reach.
Aside from that coming so small team, I think The Ascent is miraculous in many ways. First, the detailed construction of the world, the environmental narration and the atmosphere are perhaps the best expression of the CyberPunk aesthetics that I have ever seen in a game. Secondly, developers have apparently listed all the boring mechanisms in the RPG and action games – from death to quick trips to stock management – and have found a way to make them less expensive or disappear completely. Ascension is not an easy game, whether it is mechanically or thematic, but it is completely engaging if only to see in a future realized in a very convincing way.