The Ascent was a day-one launch title on Xbox Game Pass. Because I am ardently in love with my Xbox Game Pass subscription, I jumped on the chance to play it with my friends, Bubba and Damien, as soon as it came out.
Now, I didn’t play the game to its conclusion. Far from it. So this isn’t going to be a review. It’s more of a hilarious side story.
Okay, so in The Ascent, you play as cyberpunky indentured servants, called Indents, to a mega-corporation on a planet that is basically a giant city. You roam around waste processing plants, neon-colored streets, and packed tenements. Most of the gameplay revolves around shooting mechanized bad guys and thugs in sunglasses.
It’s as fun as it sounds.
Bubba, Damien, and I made our way through the tutorial mission pretty quickly. I may have gotten distracted by the copious amount of lore entries in my codex menu, but we still had oodles and caboodles of fun running and gunning around. We jam-packed our skill points recklessly, choosing whatever attributes we wanted with little thought to crafting a serious build. We just picked up whatever guns suited us and went forth.
At some point, we bit off more than we could chew.
Though we were leveling up decently, certain areas in The Ascent are locked off to lower-leveled characters. The game does this by having these spots spawn insanely high-leveled enemies.
Bubba, Damien, and I were rather slow to leave one of these areas, and we all got slaughtered.
When my character respawned, imagine my surprise when I appeared to be invisible.
It was like my character had just disappeared, and all I could see was the environment.
I tried moving around, and the background moved with me, as if the character model was still there. It was at that point that I noticed my character wasn’t entirely gone.
My gun was still there.
A teeny little pistol was floating in the air, the only indication that my Indent was where it should be.
After calling out to Bubba and Damien, I learned that Damien was also cursed with this invisibility. Bubba was the only one we could see.
We briefly considered restarting the game to see if our characters would come back, but after a minute or two of goofing around and playing literal hide-and-seek, we decided to continue on, playing the game as floating guns.
What followed was the most side-splitting romp I’ve ever had as an inanimate object. Damien and I looked ridiculous. We were like two Jiminy Crickets on Bubba’s shoulders, twin gun cronies helping him mow down packs of Ferals, invisible cyberpunk warriors of the night.
I mean, we still had to take cover on occasion, because our health pool could still go down, but the visual of a pistol hiding behind a wall made everything worth it.
We haven’t hopped on to play The Ascent in a while, but I enjoyed it despite the various glitches that ended up plaguing us. Damien got stuck in a gun shop twice, and Bubba was unable to leave a game at all through the in-game menu (it was like The Ascent wouldn’t let him go). But what can I say? I have a soft spot for things that make me laugh so hard I can’t breathe.