Video games publisher Curve Digital is delighted to announce that the highly anticipated debut title from Swedish indie studio Neon Giant, The Ascent will be released on 29 July 2021 on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC and be available on Xbox Game Pass.
A solo and co-op action-shooter RPG set in a sci-fi cyberpunk world, The Ascent is the first title from Neon Giant, a new 12-person studio composed of games industry veterans who were some of the minds behind iconic AAA titles such as the Gears of War, Bulletstorm and Wolfenstein franchises. The game will target 60 fps and have full 4K support on the Xbox Series X, offering amazing gameplay performance for new generation console players.
I am typically not a fan of top-down shooters, but I was willing to give the trailer a chance to see if it peaked my interest at all; even if it is not within a genre I tend to resonate with, every game has the possibility of being the one to break that mold. This trailer very well proves that The Ascent has a real chance of being that for me.
Starting off, my attention was immediately grabbed by the announcer saying, “To all indents entering Cluster 13, behave…or I’ll have you fucking recycled“. This might be seen by some as edgy, but it was definitely something that makes you do a double take and pay attention to the rest of the trailer. Brilliant.
The very next thing that got me was the beautiful scenery; I tend to absolutely adore games that are vibrant with their colors and the atmosphere it creates. The Ascent definitely nails down my aesthetic, so all’s that left was the actual gameplay on it.
The gameplay in itself looks pretty typical of a top-down shooter, though the graphic makes it more enticing to play. There seems to be cover mechanics, special abilities, and varying characters/class types to pick from. There seems to be a loot system in place, death and dismemberment, and reactions from the NPCs who stand around if a fight manages to break out. There’s also a spot which suggests that there will be some 2D-style sections which may feature some classic side-scroller roller elements.
The biggest problem I have with top-down shooters is that they often are not very responsive on controller; PC and mouse tends to do the job better. However, certain games like Hades have proven to me that developers can get it right, so I’m hoping it extends here. Hatred and Synthetik weren’t exactly made for controller support, this one is if it’s coming to a gaming console. If they can nail this down and enable cross-play between Xbox and PC, then we may have a real winner here.
Overall, the game definitely looks good enough to warrant a try from me. The premise of “earning your freedom” seems a bit Suicide Squad’ish, but hopefully we get more trailers that focus more on the story aspect of The Ascent the closer it gets to that July 29th release date.
“We are super excited that people will soon be able to jump into the world of The Ascent,” said Arcade Berg, Creative Director and co-founder of Neon Giant. “We love making games and we do it because we want people to enjoy the experience and world we have created – so we’ve designed a game that lets all players have fun with the element of gameplay that interests them the most. Whether you’re someone who enjoys exploring every corner, loves exciting combat or gets invested in the story and lore, we’ve tried to put something in The Ascent for everyone.”
Fellow co-founder and Creative Director of the studio Tor Frick added: “A month ago we celebrated Neon Giant’s third anniversary and we’re so happy to be launching our first title just after this milestone for our young studio. We have a very passionate and dedicated team and each person in the studio has brought something new and great to the overall experience of The Ascent, so we’re really excited to share the planet of Veles with everyone and see what people think of the world our team has created.”
The Ascent will see players dive into ‘The Ascent Group’ arcology, a self-contained corporate-run metropolis, stretching high into the sky and filled with creatures from all over the galaxy. Taking on the role of an indentured worker, the world starts to go haywire when The Ascent Group shuts down for unknown reasons. Life becomes a case of survival, with rival corporations and crime syndicates looking to fill the empty space. Players will have to take up arms and hold them off. The Ascent begins here.
The Ascent will offer players the chance to step into an action-orientated sci-fi RPG powered by Unreal Engine that takes the genre to new levels, available to play in both single-player and up to four-player co-op.Features
- A free-roam play style in a cyberpunk inspired dystopian world
- Classic RPG mechanics to enable players to build up their character including cyberware, augmentations and looting
- An unprecedented sense of verticality within its world, with different levels and platforms discernible within play
- Double-aim mechanic enables players to utilise the full screen and choose between multiple targets anywhere in the environment
- A narrative-led adventure playable in single and up to four-player co-op modes
The Ascent will launch on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One consoles and PC and be available on Xbox Game Pass 29 July 2021.
Pre-order today on Xbox: https://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/the-ascent
Pre-order today on PC: https://store.steampowered.com/app/979690/The_Ascent/
Game price £24.99 / $29.99 / €29.99 / ¥148.