The Ascent – Review – Games Room

The Ascents cyberpunk future offers successful violence, but is dragged down somewhat by technical shortcomings and frustrating design decisions.

The future painted in The Ascent may well be classified as a very clear dystopia for everyone, except possibly by companies like Klarna. In this world, most people belong to different, gigantic companies like slaves. The companies themselves do not want to call it slavery, but in the end that is exactly what it is. You take on the role of such a slave, who happens to be very good at shooting people to pieces.

It quickly turns out that propensity for murder is an extremely important trait in this pitch-black (albeit neon-lit) depiction of the future. Like so many cyberpunk worlds, people have skimped on all forms of color. Maybe because the companies’ neon signs should be visible so much better against the dark facades, and reflected so much better in the rain puddles in the dirty alleys. It’s atmospheric, of course.

Of course, it all feels extremely familiar. Uppsala-based studio Neon Giant has taken inspiration from all sorts of cyberpunk depictions, but perhaps above all from Blade Runner. In fact, an obvious tribute to the police headquarters from Ridley Scott’s classic can be seen in one place in the city. The Ascent picks no points for originality, but both one and two style points, because it looks fantastic.

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You can play alone or with up to three co-op players.