The Ascent Reviews
Story isn't its strong suit, but the rest of The Ascent delivers a wonderfully realized cyberpunk world mixed with satisfying twin-stick gunplay to create an enjoyable action-RPG.
A lovingly crafted action RPG with challenging, satisfying gunfights and an extraordinary cyberpunk setting.
The Ascent's arcology setting is splendid, if heavily derivative - shame that all you can do here is gun and grind.
A deeply disappointing co-op shooter that squanders its excellent graphics on a bland and repetitive attempt to make a sci-fi Diablo.
While The Ascent is a true visual showcase for the Xbox Series X, it lacks depth and clarity. There's a fun game in here, but it's ultimately overburdened.
The soundtrack is a highlight, with clear inspiration from some of the most iconic sci-fi scores in entertainment
One particular mission ended in a robot boss that was resistant to the types of weapons I had spent all of my upgrade materials on thus far. OK, I told myself, that's on me. I should have been prepared. The problem then became finding the requisite components to upgrade an energy weapon I had neglected. In order to do so, I had to slog back through previous environments and take on side quests that ran the gamut of quality: One sent me on a prolonged fetch quest in search of a suitcase, while another tasked me with gathering testicles from slain enemies. One hour and countless frustrations later, I was ready to once again take on that robot boss.
The Ascent looks and acts like a video game, but mostly feels like work.
Despite my complaints, though, I legitimately love the world Neon Giant has crafted here and would love to see even more of it. There’s loads of potential in this setting for straight-up better stories to be told, and I think The Ascent itself is kept from greatness from a lot of jank, technical issues, and weird design decisions. All that said, I think once I get my hands on a Steam Deck, I’m absolutely going to treat that as an excuse to go back for more. Hopefully, by then, they’ll have a lot of the technical issues addressed.
The Ascent has got all the grimy character that you would want from its sci-fi cyberpunk setting, and there's a great combat system to go with it. Simply put, The Ascent deserves your attention.
The Ascent succeeds at delivering an action-shooter with challenging enemies and a diverse set of levels to explore. This is bolstered by a rich universe that’s practically bursting with interesting lore at every seam. Despite some wonkiness with the in-game map layout, it’s a quite enjoyable experience, especially if you decide to go online and team up with friends. The Ascent is a vastly impressive first outing for Neon Giant, and one that sets the bar high for the studio’s future endeavors.
The Ascent’s ambition is often the most surprising thing about it. I went in expecting a decent, simple cyberpunk top-down shooter. Instead, I got a compelling action game that feels great to play, and an introduction into a world I can’t wait to see expanded in future sequels. The Ascent is the type of indie superstar game you bring up to prove how much can be accomplished by a small team today.
The Ascent is a true homage to the classic top-down shooter genre that adds some modern features without disrespecting its main inspirations.
Review in Italian | Read full review
The Ascent on PS5 is the same game with a few tweaks. Best played with friends, it provides a gorgeous, if inconsistent, experience.
Despite difficulty spikes and a few odd design choices, The Ascent is an enjoyable, and gorgeous, sci-fi blaster.
Its skyline is happy to quote at length from Blade Runner, but the poetry is in short supply.
Capturing the cyberpunk aesthetic perfectly, The Ascent is a fantastic example of twinstick shooters with a few tricks of its own. There are a few rough edges, especially with online multiplayer, but the RPG elements and gorgeous graphics and voice work more than keep you locked into this neon soaked universe.
The Ascent is an atmospheric power fantasy, a cinematic cyberpunk escape where you can disengage your brain and indulge in copious virtual violence. If you’re a Game Pass subscriber, it’s worth a try – at £25, it’s harder to recommend.
Diablo meets Cyberpunk 2077 on the set of Ridley Scott's cinematic masterpiece in this action-packed RPG gem
The Ascent is a solid evolution of the twin-stick formula, offering some of the most detailed and impressive visuals the gen has to offer so far. However, The Ascent needs a couple of polish passes as of writing, due to bugs and other glitches. Additionally, the game suffers from a lack of testing, with balance problems and structural issues that weaken the latter half of the game.