Broken at the Root – The Ascent Review

The Ascent is a cyberpunk top-down shooter created by a 12-man team. The game has beautiful backgrounds, nice graphics and excellent combat mechanics. However, at other levels, such as plot, game design like Eldritch Blast 5e, role-playing elements, the project does not work. It was simply not completed.

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The main drawback of The Ascent is tons of critical bugs and imperfections. Here we are not even talking about the sticking of the character in the textures, circling around the inhabitants with their arms spread apart – these are little things with which you can live and even close your eyes to them, if the project is really good. We are talking about non-working scripts, about the impossibility of completing the mission and about the disappearance of the mark on the map.

Almost every story mission, in my case, continued only with a combination of the Alt + F4 keys. Otherwise, the game simply did not let me into the rooms on which the story mission tag hangs or did not start dialogues with the local AI assistant of the protagonist. At one point, I even had to go into a network game, create a closed lobby by invitation and continue tasks in this form.

The turning point was the exact same bug with broken scripts, but neither restarting the game, nor creating a network lobby, nor restarting the Xbox PC application helped – the game refused to work! Since the save takes place in one slot in automatic mode, there is no way to roll back and try again. The main character was simply stuck in front of the open doors of some corporation, where he could not enter.

Unfortunately, The Ascent’s problems don’t end there. Despite the perfectly executed design of the world, with huge buildings in the background and various technological structures, it is problematic to navigate in it. This is due to the inexperience of the level designer. Making a huge and beautiful world is one thing. Making it interesting to navigate is another.

In The Ascent, traveling through stylistically beautiful streets takes several times longer than shooting! To get to the point of the task, you will have to change the location, run to the elevator you need, go down and follow to the mark on the map. Moreover, the game has fast movement, but it is available only within one floor! If the player needs to get to Arcology: HighCorp from the Cluster 13 hub, then first you need to run to the landing point by metro or take a taxi, come to Arcology: Anthill, go from it to the elevator, and only then will it be possible to get to the place … Now imagine how boring it is to watch it in the game!

Finding your way around the map is not just difficult, but almost impossible. It is made in the style of a 3D model, with marked ascents and descents. And when the mission mark points deep into the main square, this does not mean that you need to go there. Most likely, you need to look for an elevator and go down to the level below. The “path tracker” helps, showing how to get to the task mark, but you have to click it every second to figure out where to go.

Optimization of The Ascent leaves much to be desired. During explosions, the picture freezes for a few seconds, and if the enemy is bombing with several missiles at once, you can put off the gamepad and drink some water – defrosting will take some time. Running at 60 frames per second, the game(Shadow Blade 5e) managed to bring the temperature of the EVGA RTX 2060 graphics card to 76 degrees in quiet locations. Exactly the same indicators had to be observed in Red Dead Redemption 2 in combat moments with a large number of enemies. Does The Ascent’s graphics look on par with Rockstar’s brainchild? No!

Another drawback, but one that you can live with, is that the project has only been partially translated into Russian. In most cases, the player is greeted with a dialogue in an understandable language, but the continuation is in English. The same applies to the interface, only a few augmentations and the database are not translated there.

As for the role-playing mechanics – at first it is interesting to play with them, and it all looks like “Diablo with guns”. The player picks up rare loot from the ground, tries different types of weapons, compares the characteristics. And closer to the middle, you put on something that has more numbers and you don’t even bother – things have no peculiarities for which it would be worth sacrificing something. The same applies to pumping: throw skill points anywhere, it is almost impossible to screw up the passage in this way.


There is no point in groveling – the Neon Giant project has already earned $ 5 million. But the average player is unlikely to enjoy The Ascent. This is due to critical bugs, bad decisions in game design, a completely unnecessary open world and useless role-playing elements. When only one element of the whole game works, even if it is licked to the ideal, it cannot be released to the market. If The Ascent came out under the “early access” program, we could close our eyes to all this and give the developers another chance. But for the game they ask for $ 30 or 1,500 rubles on Steam. And when (if) the game will be corrected is unknown.



  • Critical bugs
  • Useless role elements
  • Bad optimization
  • An unnecessary open world
  • Bad map, difficulty finding a route

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