I can’t stop the violence when going up

Underlying the frenetic flow of The Ascent is the steady beat of the gun. It’s like an arcade shooter’s neon-lit city-wide powerhouse, powering your tight volleys against waves of enemies. When your avatar inevitably dies from taking too much damage, you can almost immediately start over, materializing again at a nearby save point. Take a few steps to the site of your bloody death and the intoxicating violence will begin all over again, where you’ll destroy legions of mechanized monsters, katana-wielding assassins and gun-wielding mercenaries. be guided by the fluency of your instincts.

Honestly, The Ascent is, for the most part, a top-notch cyberpunk shooter. It hardly has any particular nuance, with a rather obscene story for the genre. You are someone deceived into being a lifelong slave to a lifeless giant, and will remain so if a local gang leader fails to notice your gift for violence. In the process, your allegiance will change many times, as you sell your services to different faction leaders, but even that doesn’t change the gist of your quest, which always revolved around shooting people. Overall, The Ascent is mostly an excuse for the developer to recreate the cyberpunk aesthetic with meticulous details, complete with metal skyscrapers, weird Asian figures, and neon lights. brilliant. It’s very elaborate and beautiful, but the setup is mostly just deep skin.

Related: The Ascent looks great in first person even when completely unplayable

But the penalty shootout is in a different league altogether. Ascent is at its best when it befriends hordes of enemies, providing a dizzying variety of cannon fodder for your escape. There aren’t many weapons to scoff at — you should mostly only use two or three rifles of your choice throughout the game — but shooting at enemies is a hearty, meditative pleasure. Ammo flows easily from the touch of a trigger finger to the barrel of your rifle, while dodging gunfire requires some nifty footwork and well-timed dodging. These maneuvers combined into a resounding loop of firing — and looting; Precious goods and upgrades abound, and they drop from corpses like ice in a hailstorm. You’re also free to adapt your approach to combat, such as equipping a module that allows you to take down a small horde of black-clad minions with hydraulics or summoning a swarm of tiny spiders. gendered to resist encroachment. And with combat set against the backdrop of a chic cyberpunk city, these make for a non-stop shooter that pumps adrenaline into your veins, as it delivers some medium-sized on-screen action. Seamless and powerful.


The Ascent 2

In the end, however, The Ascent largely removed all of its brutality from its cyberpunk roots. It has a lot of great cyberpunk material — the nooks and crannies of its city are gratifying and creepy — but it’s also content to be an arcade shooter primarily because of its aesthetic and the power of its gun. I doubt this is enough for its multiplayer, and a part of me is also quite content to mindlessly enjoy all the reckless destruction it has to offer.

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