Mixed or average reviews - based on 51 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 51
  2. Negative: 0 out of 51
  1. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Feb 17, 2022
    The Ascent provides you with a unique opportunity to visit the not-so-distant dystopic future of our world in an action-packed manner and also in a graphically astonishing way. Its various possibilities of character creation allow for a unique playthrough and replayablity.
  2. Jul 29, 2021
    Setting aside it coming from such a small team, I think The Ascent is miraculous in a couple of ways. First, the detailed world-building, environmental storytelling, and atmosphere are maybe the best expression of the cyberpunk aesthetic I've ever seen in a game. Second, the developers have seemingly cataloged every annoying mechanic in RPGs and action games -- from death to rapid travel to inventory management -- and found a way to make them less onerous or disappear altogether. The Ascent is not an easy game, either mechanically or thematically, but it is completely engaging if for no other reason than to see into a very convincingly realized future.
  3. Sep 16, 2021
    The Ascent is a simple RPG with great gunplay. Amazing graphics and highly enjoyable action-packed gameplay in a game where every combat is eventful.
  4. Aug 13, 2021
    The Ascent succeeds at delivering an action-shooter with challenging enemies and a diverse set of levels to explore. This is bolstered by a rich universe that’s practically bursting with interesting lore at every seam. Despite some wonkiness with the in-game map layout, it’s a quite enjoyable experience, especially if you decide to go online and team up with friends. The Ascent is a vastly impressive first outing for Neon Giant, and one that sets the bar high for the studio’s future endeavors.
  5. Aug 9, 2021
    For the price it sits at… I think it’s a decent purchase. There’s a lot to enjoy even just in looking around the world that has been built here, there are plenty of battles to keep you going and there’s the story to play through from start to finish. Scratches that neon lit cyberpunk aesthetic itch just right.
  6. Jul 29, 2021
    The Ascent proves why the cyberpunk genre is so popular right now. There isn’t anything exactly different or unique about its story, but it perfects the atmosphere with terrific environment art and an otherworldly soundtrack. Combine that with outstanding twin-stick shooter gameplay and elements of wall cover, cool-down management, and role-playing to deepen the experience. Blasting through crews of Rojins with a rocket-firing gun, the Astrosmasher, being among my personal highlights. It may have accessibility and minor performance concerns, but it’s still sensational, action-packed, and so much fun. The Ascent may be the best cyberpunk game in the last year.
  7. Jul 29, 2021
    The Ascent's interconnected world, world-building, and exciting combat make it a pleasant surprise, and one of our favourite titles of 2021 so far.
  8. Jul 29, 2021
    The Ascent is a true homage to the classic top-down shooter genre that adds some modern features without disrespecting its main inspirations.
  9. Jul 29, 2021
    The Ascent is for the most part a polished experience that's tons of fun to play and behold. The narrative will carry you along to many interesting places with different baddies to fry, though a few encounters feature enemies that are pure bullet sponges. You will need to pick the right equipment and keep up with leveling, but these issues can be overcome. Hardware requirements shouldn't hold you back too much, and glitches are few and far between. The overall quality makes this one a must play for cyberpunk and isometric shooter fans.
  10. Jul 29, 2021
    The Ascent delivers on every promise. The combat is fast-paced, challenging, and explosive. The environment is gorgeous, gritty, and dark. Everything about the cyberpunk theme screams out for attention. If you're a fan of twin-stick style shooters and the thematics of the cyberpunk universe, The Ascent offers an exciting and rewarding adventure that is worth every second.
  11. Jul 29, 2021
    The Ascent is a fast-paced twin-stick shooter immersed in an impeccably designed cyberpunk world, yet its plot fails to fully take advantage of this wonderful setting. Luckily, the shooting mechanics are quite satisfying, while the many different character customization options guarantee a fair range of approaches to the shootouts. There are also a bunch of technical issues that can be easily circumvented, but are still annoying.
  12. Jul 29, 2021
    A lovingly crafted action RPG with challenging, satisfying gunfights and an extraordinary cyberpunk setting.
  13. Sep 11, 2021
    If you don’t feel a desperate need of sinking teeth into a new game, it could be wise to wait some more time before starting The Ascent. I’m certain the devs will support this title for many months to come, addressing it’s most urgent issues, i.e. stiff difficulty level, poorly implemented fast travel or lack of endgame (including insufficient depth of itemization). Before the end of the quarter, the game could be upgraded enough to deserve a score like 8.5, and in the long term, I can imagine it ascending even higher. But can you resist these graphics?
  14. Aug 30, 2021
    The Ascent is an ambitious game that incorporates body modification, heavy weaponry and corporate war. While playing it can be stressful, stellar gunfights and beautifully crafted maps are enough to make you forgive the game’s shortcomings. If you’re a fan of violent games set in a cyberpunk world, look no further.
  15. Aug 3, 2021
    Capturing the cyberpunk aesthetic perfectly, The Ascent is a fantastic example of twinstick shooters with a few tricks of its own. There are a few rough edges, especially with online multiplayer, but the RPG elements and gorgeous graphics and voice work more than keep you locked into this neon soaked universe.
  16. Jul 29, 2021
    This is pretty much the perfect Xbox Game Pass title. Persuade some pals to download it too and you’ve got a cracking co-op shooter for zero financial risk. Solo players might find it slightly harder going but for genre aficionados, The Ascent is a salve for both the eyes and the trigger finger that will scratch your cybperunk itch until you-know-what gets its act together.
  17. Jul 29, 2021
    The Ascent’s ambition is often the most surprising thing about it. I went in expecting a decent, simple cyberpunk top-down shooter. Instead, I got a compelling action game that feels great to play, and an introduction into a world I can’t wait to see expanded in future sequels. The Ascent is the type of indie superstar game you bring up to prove how much can be accomplished by a small team today.
  18. Jul 29, 2021
    Beautiful to fall for, fun and nervous, The Ascent is a generous twin stick shooter, which evolves in a coherent world with neat lore. If the optimization of the game as the ergonomics of the navigation or the interface remain to be reviewed and can sometimes be frustrating, the whole is sufficiently solid on its shoot part as an RPG to occupy you for long hours, solo or with friends . A great way to get back on track for the small team of Neon Giant, whose game is available as soon as it is released on the Game Pass.
  19. Jul 29, 2021
    The Ascent has got all the grimy character that you would want from its sci-fi cyberpunk setting, and there's a great combat system to go with it. Simply put, The Ascent deserves your attention.
  20. Jul 29, 2021
    The Ascent is a fun and galvanizing action RPG in all its parts. The Neon Giant team has managed to create a living and vibrant cyberpunk universe and for such a small group in such a limited time this is a great achievement.
  21. Jul 29, 2021
    The Ascent is a superb action game that looks as fantastic as it plays. Its plot and dialogue can be pretty hard-going but its gunplay is deeply satisfying. On Game Pass it's a no-brainer, but it would be worthwhile at full price too.
  22. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Oct 22, 2021
    Many games go for the cyberpunk vibe lately, but few can live up to this style as good as The Ascent does. [Issue#255, p.44]
  23. Aug 1, 2021
    The Ascent is a decent and well-crafted twin-stick shooter, especially in co-op mode it can release huge amounts of adrenaline. It may not avoid the flaws and shortcomings that would give it an even higher rating, but if you're looking for an action game that will keep you fully entertained for about fifteen hours, you need look no further.
  24. Dec 20, 2021
    The Ascent has an excellent shooting experience and is great for playing with friends. However, apart from "shooting another wave of enemies", the game can bring very limited fun. The dull story and gameplay will easily bore you in this cyberpunk world.
  25. Jul 29, 2021
    The Twin Stick Shooter by Neon Giant is a successful work but lacks in level design and RPG elements.
  26. Despite its stylishly designed atmosphere and graphics, The Ascent can distract the player with numerous optimization problems.
  27. Jul 29, 2021
    The Ascent has issues, but those issues don’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the game. I won’t write my thesis on its commentary on capitalism, but I’ll fondly remember my co-op sessions where I tore through this cyberpunk world. That being said, the shallow RPG elements, lack of meaningful narrative, and exploration frustration were constants that really dragged the experience down. Neon Giant has made a solid foundation to build on, and I hope we can see future installments grow into something truly worthy of ascension.
  28. Jul 29, 2021
    The Ascent constantly reminds you that it's an indie game, having both ambitious ideas you won’t find in your typical AAA blockbuster and not-so-brilliant execution. Despite the missed opportunities, it still is a fascinating universe and an enjoyable isometric shooter RPG.
  29. Aug 10, 2021
    Outstanding cyberpunk visuals and fun top-down shooting make The Ascent worth playing in single-player. But it could have been even better with less tedium, tighter pacing, and fewer bugs.
  30. Aug 11, 2021
    The Ascent equally frustrates and impresses me, one moment dropping my jaw with the city's neon-soaked beauty and the next making me clench my fists in anger. Veles is a brutal, unforgiving world, but it's one I enjoyed blasting my way through...when the game was being fair about it. Navigating the menus is a chore, but building a character is fun and the story is interesting enough that I don't mind the technical issues that pop up. It's not a perfect game, but if this is the beginning of a new franchise then it's a solid foundation from which to make its Ascent.
  31. Aug 6, 2021
    It's impossible not to be impressed by The Ascent's graphics and presentation: Veles has a remarkable vividness, while it manages to be simultaneously crushing and suffocating. The RPG side of the game falters for being superfluous, which unfortunately removes some potential from the game's action elements. Still, it offers a good two dozen hours of fun, especially if in co-op mode.
  32. Aug 2, 2021
    A twin-stick shooter that looks and feels great all the way through, but doesn't do enough new to keep your attention as you invest more time in its RPG systems and world.
  33. Jul 30, 2021
    The game will easily hook you with its well-crafted, hyper-focused narrative and immersive worldbuilding, if not its combat.
  34. Jul 30, 2021
    The Ascent is by far the most beautiful top-down shooter we have ever played. Fun combat and a glorious world make the experience worthwhile, even though the story, RPG elements and co-op modes leave a lot to be desired.
  35. Jul 30, 2021
    The Ascent is a gorgeous adventure that, while enjoyable, is held back by some design flaws.
  36. 70
    The Ascent is mostly a mindless, violent jaunt through a meticulously rendered cyberpunk city; what little portrayal of the themes of depravity and inequality are merely set-dressing for the game. Yet for all its facelessness, what was most indelible was still its city, the disparity between the powerful and powerless depicted in its spaces: from the cramped, unsanitary alleys home to the ceaseless chatter of its most downtrodden, to the shine of the marble floor in the wealthier districts, soon to be sullied by the dead bodies you leave behind.
  37. Jul 29, 2021
    The Ascent’s satisfying gun-tastic action-RPG gameplay loop mixes with its beautiful cyberpunk aesthetic to create an overall enjoyable experience. Neither its story nor its characters are all that memorable, and its enemy encounters can stumble toward the end, but its gunplay and ultra-violence in a neon-soaked world combine to craft a co-op-friendly game you don’t see every day.
  38. Jul 29, 2021
    Despite difficulty spikes and a few odd design choices, The Ascent is an enjoyable, and gorgeous, sci-fi blaster.
  39. Jul 29, 2021
    The Ascent wants to make changes in a genre but it falls short and is not polished enough to offer a satisfactory experience. The setting is successful, it picks up the essence of the Cyberpunk style, giving it a further point of decadence and an extra element with the alien touch, with interesting character designs and offers an interesting action proposal that may fall short too. The biggest drawback comes in its optimization where there are many rough edges that present problems.
  40. Aug 11, 2021
    To summarise it in a way that should make sense, The Ascent features a mix of systems and mechanics that don’t play all that well with each other. Exploration suffers too, with certain Side Missions being locked to the main story without any word as to why.
  41. Aug 2, 2021
    The Ascent looks fantastic and offers grandiose combat. Frequent technical problems and annoying bugs, however, spoil the fun.
  42. Sep 5, 2021
    Visually stunning, The Ascent offers a incredibly rich universe visually speaking. Which is the main reason you want to play it. And keep on playing it, as it is kind of a satisfying but basic top down shooter experience. You won't remember its story nor its characters, but will surely think about its world and some gunfights. Let's hope Neon Digital will be able to take us back in it with some tweaks.
  43. Edge Magazine
    Aug 14, 2021
    That becomes a bigger problem late in the game, where it resorts to the cheapest method of raising the difficulty by simply throwing high-level enemies at you in increasing numbers. In one battle, you're tasked with holding a position for a given amount of time, before being told that isn't enough; you must now finish off all the remaining enemies. At which point it has become clear that no matter how effective the synergy of our augs, mods and weapons may be, our survival hinges upon us grinding side-quests to raise our level. What a shame The Ascent should make the final steps of its climb so arduous - even if there is evidence here that its maker could yet go all the way to the top. [Issue#362, p.110]
  44. Aug 3, 2021
    The Ascent is an atmospheric power fantasy, a cinematic cyberpunk escape where you can disengage your brain and indulge in copious virtual violence. If you’re a Game Pass subscriber, it’s worth a try – at £25, it’s harder to recommend.
  45. Jul 29, 2021
    The Ascent is a tough game to recommend for solo players in its current state. Its buggy, tedious at its best and utterly frustrating at its worst. While I’m sure playing with friends will resolve some of my chief complaints, more fundamental issues like a rather boring overworld can’t be fixed with a few laughs with friends.
  46. Jul 29, 2021
    Definitively the kind of game you'll use to show of the power of your high end PC or Next Gen console : the visuals are amazing. But the gameplay or the story don't offer anything of note. The Ascent is Kinda fun for a while, but quickly repetitive and is obviously lacking depth.
  47. Jul 29, 2021
    Even if The Ascent was fully functional and balanced in a way where building up a character to become the ultimate Indent warrior felt great, there's the fact that so much of the game is designed to feel like servitude. As you climb the superstructure housing all of Veles, you serve a progression of masters, and the payoff for the game's central mystery--where did the mysterious group running Veles suddenly run off to?--isn't nearly enough to offset the hopeless grind. Your bosses insult you when you go on your task, ignore you when you've done well, and provide no rewards for success. For so much of the play time, The Ascent feels like, well, an uphill battle.
  48. Jul 29, 2021
    The Ascent isn’t the game of the generation but it is a lot of fun, and with its addition to Game Pass on day one, the cyberpunk world, great weaponry and so-so everything else might make it good enough to be the game of right now, at least. Worth a blast for fans of shooters or cyberpunk.
  49. Oct 12, 2021
    This 10-15 hour journey at $30 on release is riddled with bugs and housed in boring game design and even worse execution. Nothing excites me about playing The Ascent. If only this were an adventure game.
  50. Jul 29, 2021
    In theory, a co-op, loot-based isometric RPG like The Ascent has the potential of being a great cyberpunk-themed experience to play with a group of friends. The world-building is appealing visually and aurally, but it’s ultimately unsatisfying and often unrewarding during exploration. The lack of replayability, broken cooperative play, bugs, and unbalanced artificial enemy difficulty make it tough to appreciate its positive elements. It’s sad to say that The Ascent is another over-hyped cyberpunk game that is all fluff and no substance.
  51. Jul 30, 2021
    Dashing from cover to cover while peppering enemies with bullets and lasers as you wait on cooldowns to reset is a truly exhilarating and tense moment The Ascent offers time and time again. Those moments are memorable and are unfortunately far less common than The Ascent’s pitfalls. I’m right near the end of the game’s main story after crossing off plenty of side missions, but with the charm of The Ascent’s firefights and scenery long since expired, there’s nothing much left to inspire confidence in what remains.
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  1. Jul 29, 2021
    The Ascent is a masterful take on the cyberpunk genre, where the main storyline falls as the worldbuilding rises rocketing into the sky. Wandering around, engaging with enemies and taking on bosses as you build on your character is a pure delight, messed up however by a confusing map and UI and some (very) annoying bugs. [Recommended]
  2. Jul 29, 2021
    The Ascent's arcology setting is splendid, if heavily derivative - shame that all you can do here is gun and grind.
  3. Jul 29, 2021
    For all the flaws, the regular stutters, quirks with the UI, the bug in co-op where you can’t mute your microphone and occasional restarts to get a quest door to open, The Ascent is astonishingly good fun. I’d be stunned if it didn’t end up on many game of the year lists; I’m absolutely certain it’ll be on mine.
  4. Aug 10, 2021
    As it stands, The Ascent is less a purposeful amalgamation of ideas, and more a palimpsest of warring philosophies. Like the precarious dystopia it takes place in, The Ascent’s glittering sheen so often feels like sleight of hand, distracting my gaze from the flimsy pillars holding everything up.
  5. Even playing by yourself, though, I'd give The Ascent a hearty recommendation if you're after a fun, shooty RPG in a stunning cyberpunk universe. Just bear with its wild difficulty spikes and slow-burn early game, because it does become more engaging once you finally transform into an actual cyborg with a hydraulic fist for a hand.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 348 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 56 out of 348
  1. Jul 30, 2021
    The game is amazing I don't understand the reviews. I played 10hours already and its such a nice break from 3rd person action adventures andThe game is amazing I don't understand the reviews. I played 10hours already and its such a nice break from 3rd person action adventures and fps games. The game just is insane for the fact that only 12 people made it. Brovo Full Review »
  2. Jul 31, 2021
    This game is ok, but it's a little repetitive.. And the amount of gear isn't great so far, I'm level 11, you mostly pick up duplicates ofThis game is ok, but it's a little repetitive.. And the amount of gear isn't great so far, I'm level 11, you mostly pick up duplicates of guns.. seems a little too cookie cutter.. the character creation lacks a lot, no classes, no tech tree, just leveling up and picking from certain stats.. Honestly it's a decent game.. But I don't know what all the hype is about.. Cyberpunk is much better when it comes to weapons, gear, stats, upgrades.. this is more if a run and gun twin stick shooter.. I'll give the devs props for creating a beautiful, detailed environment with only 12 developers, that's impressive. But other than that. . It's eh.. I haven't tried co-op yet.. I will have to see if that changes the game.. Full Review »
  3. Jul 31, 2021
    It's a solid 9. No questions about it.

    A cheap game that offers extremely beautiful gameplay, aesthetics, an incredibly immersive world and
    It's a solid 9. No questions about it.

    A cheap game that offers extremely beautiful gameplay, aesthetics, an incredibly immersive world and lots of fun. Every detail will leave you absolutely stunned.

    It is seriously one of the best games released in a very long time.

    A cyberpunk game done right.
    Full Review »