The Ascent First Impressions [Based on my Personal Taste]

What The STRUCK is The Ascent?

(a Cyberpunk isometric 3D action RPG that feels like a mix between twin-stick shooter & shooter-looter)

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The Ascent is a fresh 3D action RPG that adopts a Cyberpunk setting aesthetically and combines that with isometric twin-stick shooter-looter combat. Some might say Alien Shooter meets Diablo, while others might say Borderlands meets Alien Shooter, in either case the game is fun and can keep people busy with a wide variety of guns, augments, tactical abilities, mods, and other elements of one’s “build”. Fast paced combat, amazing visuals, big enough world to explore, top notch soundtrack, all the elements one needs in a good game are there. The only thing that i might consider a “problem” is that the “easy” difficulty did not feel easy enough and a casual player might suffer a lot at the start even when playing on “Easy” which at times is anything but.

Video Version:

The Story:

Without spoiling or revealing too much, I’d say that the story starts with The Ascent program shutting down and us needing to sort some things out in the aftermath of this event. There are some nice cutscenes and for those who actually care about the story there will be one to follow as you level up and grind.


The game’s combat is one of its best redeeming qualities. Even tho it might be a bit too difficult for a solo player at times, it’s fast paced, filled with gore and explosions, and pretty intense. There are a ton of various guns like assault rifles, precision rifles, shotguns, pistols of all kinds, rocket launchers, miniguns, etc. that allow you to choose you preferred playstyle core by equipping a primary & a secondary weapon. On top of that there are a few layers that further the diversity of builds such as 2 mods slots (passive boosters), 2 augment & 1 tactical slots (active abilities), skills/attribute points (passives). If this is not enough there’s also 3 pieces of armor – for the head, torso, and legs that further boost our resistances to certain dmg types as well as provide boosts to certain passive attributes.


There are two weapon slots – a primary and a secondary. On each of those slots can go any weapon you want to use without any restrictions. You can go for two of the same type if you want like two rocket launchers or 2 shotguns or mix-and-match something heavy with something more lightweight.


The “Loadout” section also includes a “Tactical” gadget slot. This one is an active skill/ability that can be a turret, a drone, a mech suit you can enter, all sort of granades, a leap attack, a rejuv field (heal over time) and others.


The are also 3 types of Armor that you wear for the: Head, Chest, and Legs. Each of those comes with bonuses to 4 resistance types: Physical, Energy, Digital, and Fire. There are also various bonuses such as: Critical Hit Rate, Vital Signs, Weapon Handling, Spread Reduction, etc. (see the “Skills (Passives)” paragraph for the full list.

Skills (Passives):

In terms of customizing our character there are also 8 passive skills /attributes that can we can invest up to 20 point into each. Considering that we get 3 points for each level and not knowing the max level I’ll guess here to say that we most likely won’t be maxing out everything and will need to make wise choices unless we want to spend 1900 credits per point for a full respec. 1900 credits for every skill point invested is a MASSIVE amount for new players and i think this needs to be reduced a lot with a QoL/Re-balance patch.

The 8 Skills we can invest into are:

  • Tactical Sense – Determines amount of tactical charge gained for damage afflicted. Associated with Cybernetics Attribute.
  • Critical Hit Rate – Determines the Critical Hit Rate. Associated with Cybernetics Attribute.
  • Weapon Handling – Determines reload and weapon swap speed. Associated with Motorics Attribute.
  • Aiming – Determines spread recovery rate. Associated with Motorics Attribute.
  • Balance – Determines resistance to stun, knockbacks & staggers and the movement penalty for moving while firing heavy weapons. Associated with Frame Attribute.
  • Evasion – Determines evasion cooldown speed. Associated with Frame Attribute.
  • Vital Signs – Determines max health. Associated with Biometrics Attribute.
  • Body Battery – Determines max energy capacity. Associated with Biometrics Attribute.

Each of those goes up to level 20 so most likely we’ll be able to max out 4 or 5 of those.


Another layer of our “build” are the 2 Augment Slots. Those are the equivalent to skills/spells in other games. There are a variety to choose from such as shield bubbles, leap attacks, various summons (drones, exploding spider-bots, big robots with a rifle or an energy rifle, etc.), homing missiles, and more.


The next layer are the 2 slots dedicated to Modules – passive boosters. Those can boost our Max HP, modify our evasion to perform a different animation, increase the amount of Healing we receive from various sources, and many more.


This is out hacking deck of “tricks”. We’ll need a better deck to unlock some doors and loot chests, as well as hack ATMs. We start with the basic Icepick that includes Ice lvl 1 for chests and doors and eventually we’ll be able to get our hands on better decks.

The World & Map:

The world of The Ascent has a distinguishing Cyberpunk feel and you will see a ton of attention to detail everywhere you go. The game does not have your typical “flat” level design that most isometric aRPG games adopt but rather has a ton of elevators, stairs, etc. that will let the players explore vertically and horizontally the game’s world. The map is vast (on my screenshot below I’ve only revealed a small part of it and it only shows one “tier” of the map) and it shows you all sorts of hidden loot that players might want to check as they pass nearby. It might get a while to get used to the extra layer of vertical level design when looking at the map but eventually it will become easier to “read” the map.

The NPC Shops:

There are several NPCs/Shops that players will interact with:

  • Gun Shop
  • Gun Smith
  • Armor Shop
  • Cyber/Cybernetics Shop
  • Grafter (yes with a ‘G‘)
  • Bounties (a Barman)

The Gun Shop:

This is where you can buy Guns of all kind. There is also a “see details” option that tells you what each icon/image refers to.

The Gun Smith:

This is where you can upgrade all of your weapon using components that can be found as drops from mobs, chests, or general pickups around the map. Once a weapon is upgraded, it’s Mk. rank goes up and all of it’s starts get better. Upgrading a weapon is permanent and even if you sell it, you’ll be able to buy or find as a drop only the upgraded version of that weapon from now on. Not sure what the max MK is but it most likely is 10 (i’ve gotten as far as Mk. 8 so far). EDIT: I can confirm Mk. 10 is the cap.

The Armor Shop:

This is where you can buy Armors of all kind. There is also a “see details” option that tells you what each icon/image refers to.

The Cyber Shop:

This is where you can buy Tacticals (active abilities/gadgets) of all kind.

The Grafter:

This is where you can buy Augmentations & Modules of all kind.

This is also the place to go for respecs of your passive “Skills” points as well as if you want to undo any mistakes made during the character creation (or if you just wanna change what your hero looks like).

The Bounties:

This is where you can take “Bounties” (which you get by killing a wanted enemy – no need to take a bounty beforehand) and sell those for credits.



  • Beautiful World
  • It’s Cyberpunk
  • Fast Paced Combat
  • Amazing VFX
  • Top Notch Soundtrack
  • Plenty of Build Diversity
  • Plentiful Drops
  • Permanent Upgrades
  • Couch Co-Op


  • “Easy” can be a bit too hard for solo players at the start
  • No “random” matchmaking it seems
  • Local Saves = Cheaters
  • EDIT: No Endgame (which hopefully will change) – this was not included in the video as i had not finished the story back then

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This concludes my First Impressions of The Ascent. If you’re interested in the game below are links to the various platforms where one can buy it (you can just click the links to open a new tab):

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