Living My Best Life in The Ascent

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.

6 thoughts on “Living My Best Life in The Ascent”

  1. That’s hilarious. If you’re going to ship a slightly unpolished game, these are the kind of fun bugs you want XD I hope to play this game *someday*.

    On another note, how many accidental screenshots have you taken with the new share button? I think it took me like two months to stop doing that when I got my Series X, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Probably a good dozen, lol.

        Oh, we started The Ascent (mostly for the Rewards Quest thingy). Seems like a really cool game! But holy moly is it janky. Playing it, I had the feeling it might crash at any moment. We couldn’t get Couch Co-Op to work for like 20 minutes (the option just wouldn’t coming up!). People online are reporting losing their entire save games, which is very concerning. And man, do they spam you with tutorial screens every time you do ANYTHING…

        I really want to play this more but I think I’ll leave it till I have more confidence that it’s actually stable. Modern gaming, right? *eye roll*

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, it was a strange experience playing it myself. Just like you, it felt like a cool game. But something about the way it worked made me feel like it would break!

        I miss the days of games working when you bought them.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great read!

    For me, The Ascent is truly an underrated gem. The cyberpunk setting and urban air is beautiful. I stopped countless times taking pictures rather than playing the game itself.
    While the bugs do affect gameplay in a negative manner, for a development team of just 12 individuals, the final piece is still commendable.
    I’ve always stalled replaying it & finally dropping a review on it too, but your write-up just gave me the itch to play it again šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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