Neon Giant’s dystopian vision of a future, The Ascent, arrives on July 29. The Ascent is slated to land on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC, and is joining Xbox Game Pass. I had a chance to play a demo of the upcoming title, an isometric cyberpunk romp with tons of questing, lots of looting, considerable customization, and relentless action. Despite absolutely feeling like a sort of Blade Runner or Shadowrun world, many of those modern games brands in the isometric space have decided to go with a classic CRPG feel. Not The Ascent.
The Ascent takes place in a world of shadowy deals, cybernetic implants, and neon lights, but the combat is action-oriented and far away from turn-based fare. Mastering dodge-rolling and reloading windows becomes essential, especially when you’re under duress from some giant creatures with hammers or some rowdy gun-toting goons.
While I didn’t get a chance to experiment with it in my short time with the game, The Ascent features co-op gameplay for up to four players, which should be interesting. The pacing is fast and furious, and in my session I died many, many times. However, I was always learning, leveling up, and finding new gear – all factors that made a huge difference as I would throw myself back into packs of enemies. From poppy little pistols to heavy shotguns, each weapon has a different style to master as you maneuver around, attempting to find the right dodge windows and then hammer your opponents back before reloading. There’s no ammo meter to worry about, but something like a riot gun may only offer a few shots before having you manage a long reload window, whereas an automatic rifle may unleash tons of bullets, but not have a ton of impact from hit to hit.
Alongside picking your weapons and armor, improving your character comes from allocating skill points in traditional fashion. With my build relying on hitting hard, staying alive, and making every shot count, I went with a big hit point pool and critical hit chance as my focus. Augmentations (similar to cybernetic implants) allowed me to further customize my kit, giving me the ability to dash-punch and crush anyone who dared get too close to me while I was in the midst of reloading or attempting to get out of a fray. Check out the announce trailer below:
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Are you looking forward to The Ascent? Let us know in the comments!