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Cobra Kai

The Ascent

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I just started playing The Ascent this week. It's a cyberpunk Diablo-ish action RPG. Here you get machine guns and biomechanical/robotic augmentations to your person, instead of fantasy and magic.

 

I don't know if I like it yet, but I haven't played it all that much, just a couple of hours. I need to get used to the iconography, and learn my way around the mega-city. Controls are smooth, and the graphics are outstanding.

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Ok, I had a good play session today, and I am totally getting into this game now. It is basically Diablo III with machine guns, and in a blade runner mega-city. 

 

There is a main story to follow, plus side missions. There are mobs of enemies to fight, plus elite named enemies that are more difficult but drop better loot. I've cleared a few missions, defeated some big bosses, leveled up a bunch of times, and done some crafting...did I mention CRAFTING? Yes, you can upgrade your guns, of which there are many varieties. This game is all about the guns, from various pistols, submachine guns, shotguns, rocket launchers, heavy machine guns. You also have a variety of 'tactical' weapons, most of which I've seen so far are various grenades with different effects, such as EMP grenades to the standard explosive kind. 

 

The controls are twin-stick, one for movement, one to aim. Pulling the right trigger fires the weapon. This scheme reminds me of Cannon Spike (Dreamcast). You can have 2 weapons for quick use, simply pressing the Y button swaps weapons. LB or RB activates your augmentation skills. Pretty simple about the combat really. 

 

Along with armor to outfit your character with (head, torso, and legs), you can add improvements in the form of augmentations to your body. You can have 2 augments at a time, and these are basically just extra skills you can do in combat. You start with a body-slam of sorts where you act like a piston slamming into an enemy for big damage. These augment skills take energy, a differing amount depending on the skill. This energy recharges with normal combat. You are also alotted 2 slots for 'Modular' upgrades, which are passive boosts. The only one I've found so far is a max health upgrade.

 

 

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...continuing;

 

The graphics are outstanding. This is a well developed world, you can see so many details all around you, and in the distance. It's like the city in Blade Runner, with advertisements and corporations littering the cityscape. Flying cars and little ethnic restaurants everywhere. There is no nature here, it's all city. I think the term for this is ecumenopolis (for you Magic The Gathering players, think Ravnica), or possibly just the mega-city as in Judge Dredd. There's also tons of destructible objects that reveal loot, or just objects that move around when you bump into them. It's highly interactive.

 

You can't work the camera, which is a downside because sometimes I'd like to adjust it so I can look at stuff in more detail. It hasn't hurt the gameplay that I can tell though. 

 

There's quite a bit of dialogue here, with a fleshed out story for the RPG elements. You get to assign your skill points how you wish after leveling up, split between about 8 attributes. So with this stuff, plus the selectable missions, I think if you crave a bit of RPG with your action, this game can do something for you.

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