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The Ascent review: the slickest of twin-stick action RPGs gets a PS5 treatment

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The Ascent seems to be a tricky game to like. For some reason, I keep hearing very different opinions about it, from complete disregard to wild elation. One way or the other, The Ascent was a big release in 2021 when it appeared on Xbox. Gorgeous graphics and intense gameplay made it one of the hottest games on Game Pass, but now that it’s finally on the PS5 as well, is it worth your time and money?

I’d say yes (you can stop reading now). You don’t often get twin-stick action RPGs, and this one has been one of my favorites for a while. But what makes it stand out?

The Ascent

The place is Veles; the time is the future, where corporate overlords and tyrants rule the world. The barely paid workers (“indents”) live a miserable and short life below the neon city. Slavery is normalized under a different name, and above the world’s elites enjoy a life of luxury. In short, it sucks. And it’s up to you to punish the ones who made it possible.

When it comes to gameplay, it’s more or less straightforward. Move with the left stick, shoot with the right trigger. You can roll, use upgrades, and change gear. There’s a certain tactical element, too, and overall the game has more depth than we expected. 

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The Ascent

It’s never easy, but the game is always fair, and there are always new guns to try. If you like the looter shooter genre, there’s something for you, too. The guns in The Ascent are the star of the show: they feel great and are never dull.

I enjoy the feel of The Ascent, but I absolutely adore the aesthetics. Being “cyberpunk” is no longer original, and there are many games with a similar vibe, but The Ascent does look gorgeous. Never boring, always brutal and atmospheric; it just might be my favorite cyberpunk game out there. 

Read also: Apico review: bees all the way down

The Ascent

The Ascent looks and plays beautifully on the PS5, but the loading times are abysmal in the era of high-speed SSDs. It’s an achievement in itself to make such a slow-loading game on the PS5.

Verdict

Gorgeous, slick, and multilayered, The Ascent is a wonderful experience on the PS5, just like it was on Xbox. If you enjoy cyberpunk, there’s no reason not to try it.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Presentation (design, style, speed and usability of the UI)
10
Sound (original cast, music, sound engineering)
9
Graphics (in the context of the platform)
9
Optimization [PS5] (how does it run, bugs, crashes, use of system features)
8
Gameplay and Controls
8
Price tag
7
Gorgeous, slick, and multilayered, The Ascent is a wonderful experience on the PS5, just like it was on Xbox. If you enjoy cyberpunk, there’s no reason not to try it.

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Gorgeous, slick, and multilayered, The Ascent is a wonderful experience on the PS5, just like it was on Xbox. If you enjoy cyberpunk, there’s no reason not to try it.The Ascent review: the slickest of twin-stick action RPGs gets a PS5 treatment