The Ascent is an excellent game. Straight out the gate let’s just say this. We at X35 Earthwalker enjoyed The Ascent. This game was a lot of fun. We recommend this game to multiple people but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any flaws. It does. Let’s jump in this quick review by X35 Earthwalker.
The Ascent is an action role playing game where you control an indent. What’s an indent? Basically a slave. Indents are owned by either a person or company or organisation. If you want to know more, then read our first gaming blog post about The Ascent. Simply put you are at the bottom in this world with many others but aim to make it to the top. Players should be prepared for a lot of fire fights, explosives and chaos wherever you go.
As you can see from our first The Ascent gameplay video you get a good idea of what’s going on. Very futuristic, very sad and dark though in terms of the universe you are in. There’s machines, robotic enemies and beings, human enemies and even what looks like wild creatures. We like the different enemy types but are disappointed by the lack of variety amongst the enemies. For example when it comes to the wild creatures like the feral, that’s all we have. Just the ferals and maybe the papa ferals who are just bigger ferals who have additional abilities. There’s no other wild creatures. When it comes to the human enemies they are basically all the same but with different weapons and act differently based on those weapons. The humanoid beings have some sort of variety. Even the robotic enemies are basically the same. That was lame. We needed more variety. This game had the room and environment for such a thing.
What The Ascent did very well though was that the enemies put up a fight. Some enemies will always run to cover to fight. They fire over the top and can’t be hit unless you flank them. There’s melee equipped enemies who rush you and try to get some swings in. There’s a bigger dude who fires semi homing missiles but that’s it though. The most variety goes to the humanoid, the aliens of different races. There’s a massive creature with a hammer reminding us of brutes from with gravity hammers from Halo. Their heavy big swing doesn’t make sense because you could be far away and you still get hurt. Seems a bit glitchy to us. There’s a small annoying enemy that acts like the support. Will run in and set p either a stationary artillery or healing zone. Another one acts is a serious hacker that can mess with your systems, disable you, send a drone after you and even shield its allies (your enemies) from all forms of harm and more. You have to disable them with your hacking ICE abilities. The robotic enemies behave exactly like the human enemies, either ranged or melee but they tend to have more energy weapons. So yeah, throw more exciting enemy variety in.
There are quite a number of characters here is some good flavour. Noghead is a cool dude. He is basically one off those super hackers who can listen in on conversations, extract information from basically anything, bug and plant anything, hack through things and more. He got a hideout, secret set up defence turrets. He got jokes too. Very good character. Then there’s the trash the game… kira. We hate her so much. She thinks she superior to everyone because of the species that she is. she talks heavily down to humans and makes it clear she believes humans are stupid. What’s worse is that we end up having no choice but to work for her. She is so obnoxious, annoying and ugly that we couldn’t wait to kill her. She isn’t a good person either. She steals property, killed a lot, caused destruction and all for her personal goals. Bit more on this later. Characters like Poon make sense, we get his motivation and why he is the way that he is. Simply put, most characters are cool and fit in this world well and make sense. There’s only like two characters that suck… one of them being kira.
The best and coolest thing about The Ascent is definitely the weapons. This is the best part about the game easily. There’s so many weapons. There’s sooooo many weapons. Not as much as Earth Defence Force 2025… nothing has that much! There’s rifles, automatic weapons, heavy and light pistols, sub machine guns, rocket launchers, sniper rifles, shotguns and more, including special weapons like a flamethrower, a buzzsaw launcher, constant energy beam and other crazy stuff. The weapons are serious. They aren’t trash either. X35 Earthwalker has multiple times, no actually constantly been switching weapons to fight enemies. Mainly not because it was more effective against enemy types but because it was fun. Again the weapons aren’t trash. All of them are useable. Some off course are better than others… much better, but all especially when upgraded become effective. WE literally swapped for fun and variety. Many games need to learn from The Ascent when it comes to weapons. Make a bunch of weapons, multiple of each type but make them all good with clear advantages to some over others. It can be done. There was a strong hitting rifle that had explosive rounds. There was even Diamondz L45’s dream weapon, a mini shotgun. No, not a small shotgun. A mini gun + a shotgun. It has a very low rate of fire at first but then fires fast like a minigun but each shot is a shotgun with very tight spread though. The Ascent went all out with weapons and we love that.
The augmentations shake things up a lot in The Ascent. They are basically abilities you install in yourself. You could do an energy punch which has some area of effect. You can summon a bunch of mechanical spiders that chase down, pounce on enemies to explode. You can create a life link with enemies and when you damage them, you heal. Call in razor bat like mechs that surround you damaging any who get near you. Do a stomp that freezes and launches enemies in the air with stasis. Jump at enemies with an explosive fiery landing. Even summon mechs who follow you around and fire at enemies, or if it’s the melee mechs then get they get physical with enemies. You can even summon a huge mech armour that you get into. It has a huge mini gun and tons of armour. It’s better than the power armour in Fallout. X35 Earthwalker obtained every augmentation in the game and most except two are good. Some like the one that resets your health to the point of activation are clearly the best. You can truly mix things up and when combined with passive boosters and certain weapons. We created our own combos to handle whatever the game throws at us. For example if robotic enemies show up, we have a build for them since ballistic rounds do way less damage to them so you need energy weapons. We use the augmentation that converts all damage into data damage which robotic enemies are vulnerable too. We won’t give away our whole combos.
Now for the worst part of the game. The ending. It sucked. We don’t believe the good guys should always win and there’s peace in the land. Spoilers in case you haven’t beaten the game yet. The character we hate the most wins in the end. Yeah Kira gets what she wanted, all that power, money and control. All the time while we were under her command we wanted and desired to kill her. She is evil and we hate her, yet she lives and wins. We know she’s powerful as we saw her one shot that large mechanical spider enemy, so she isn’t a wuss and got powerful technology but we were ready to face her. We got powerful augmentations, crazy weapons and maxed out stats, ready to fight her but that never happens. Noghead came in clutch which was perfect as it make sense for a master hacking technology guy like him to do what he did but other from that, the ending sucks. We weren’t happen. We need to kill kira but the game said no. It feels like we got no where in The Ascent which was seriously disappointing.
Overall The Ascent is an excellent game with a few problems. Facing tons of enemies and multiple encounters while travelling is annoying but killing enemies helps you level up, so it’s needed. The trains allow for fast travel and they do their job well and heal you as a bonus. We wish the maps where easier to read when it comes to upper and lower areas as it’s not clear, especially in the Corp zone. The locations and environments work well for a sad depressing futuristic place. We like how the pinnacle isa above the clouds, natural light and beautiful while the deep stink is all death, grime, stink and death. Almost a whole heaven and hell thing going on. Truly shows the difference class makes in the world. It’s free on xbox game pass and it’s worth playing for sure. This is a more quick review so don’t expect us to dive into all the details as there is more to say. Now The Ascent may have numerous crazy weapons but those weapons are nothing compared to… the ‘Earth Walk!’
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