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The Ascent Review

If Cyberpunk and Diablo had a baby, this would be it

by Kegan Mooney

For those of us that grew up on games like Diablo, The Ascent is a great way to sink 16+ hours into mindless twin-stick shooting, hoarding XP, and farming for gear and weapons to spice up ways to take on hordes of enemies.

The Ascent’s Story

You are one of the thousands to flee to planet Veles in search of a better life. Transported by mega-corp The Ascent Group, you agree to work in order to pay off your debt. This is the case for everyone else who is offered this ‘better life.’

The only issue is you must not perform extremely dangerous jobs in order to pay off this debt. You soon find out this will likely take the rest of your life to pay off. But the good news is, you probably won’t live till old age.

As you begin your new life as a slave, or an Indent as The Ascent Group prefers to call them, things start to go a little wrong for the company.

The Ascent’s story does also branch off occasionally. The game has you make several choices that can alter the game, inevitably, the story alters slightly to account for these choices.

Video Credit: IGN

The Ascent’s Gameplay

The first thing I noticed about The Ascent is just how amazing it looks. While the Steampunk theme is dull and rusty, even without Raytracing on the console versions of the game, the lighting looks stunning.

I normally find with these types of games that more attention to detail has been placed on the gameplay over graphics. The developers behind The Ascent clearly have put some serious work into making a near-perfect-looking Steampunk world.

The Ascent Graphics

Character Creation

The Ascent starts off by walking you through the game’s detailed story. Shortly after, you can create your own character, in a lot of detail. In fact, much more detail than I’m used to in these kinds of games.

For those of you like me, that have no flare when it comes to creating a character, don’t worry! There is also the option to create one at random, which will also randomize if you are male or female too.

Enemy Encounters

Once you’ve gone through a short tutorial, it doesn’t take long before the killing starts. Tons of rat-like creatures will start to descend upon you.

While it’s helpful to have some easier creatures to help you get to grips with the game and its controls, it does feel like The Ascent takes a little too long to throw some better enemies at you, excluding one giant rat boss near the beginning of the game.

Just like any good RPG, there are player customizations that you must loot. This includes primary and secondary weapons, grenades, and augmentations.

Augmentations give the player new abilities that can help overcome hordes. To some degree, they are more important than choosing the right weapon. Having the right augmentations in your build can provide you with abilities that can help you easily wipe out some enemies.

There are tons of weapons, augmentations, and skills that you can obtain in The Ascent. Each of them can completely change the pace of the game, and how you tackle the hordes of enemies coming your way.

In some way, the chosen build affecting your playstyle somewhat reminded me of Deathloop. With some builds, I would be able to keep my distance and go at a slower pace, while others promote a faster more shoot and run feel to the game.


Sci-Fi and Steampunk have never really been my thing. When playing games I find myself happier going back in time, not forwards. Sometimes, just occasionally, a futuristic game comes out and changes that. The Ascent has been one of those games for me.

The simplicity of the twin-stick style shooter, combined with the detailed and game-changing augmentations makes The Ascent a lightening quick RPG that can be picked up easily and immerses you into its vibrant world.

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