Cyberpunk shooter-RPG The Ascent is making the jump to PlayStation platforms after roughly seven months of exclusivity on Xbox and PC. It's a title that we've had our eyes on for a while, so we caught up with creative director Arcade Berg to find out what the updated game has to offer on PS5 and PS4.
Push Square: To start with, can you give us a brief overview of what The Ascent is all about? What was your goal with this game?
Arcade Berg, creative director: The goal as a studio with our first game was to show that you can make high quality games even with just a few people. With the game we saw an opportunity for what ended up being The Ascent.
The Ascent is an action shooter RPG set in a cyberpunk world where megacorporations own everything and everyone. One day everything’s goes very wrong and the player is set out to figure out what and why alone or with up to three friends in online or local co-op.
What were your main inspirations for The Ascent? We're going to assume that you're huge fans of cyberpunk as a genre!
That’s a very fair assumption! When it comes to magic vs. science, we’re very much on team science. Fiction or not. Some very strong inspirations were of course Bladerunner and defining pieces of work like Neuromancer. But also Judge Dredd, Robocop, Akira, Ghost in the Shell, and Cyber City Oedo 808. The list goes on and on.
It's obviously been a while since The Ascent released on PC and Xbox, but can you tell us what's new for the PlayStation version?
PlayStation 5 in particular has sweet improvements with the haptic feedback of the new controller. With over half a year since the original release, all PlayStation versions get all the improvements in both bug fixing and quality of life we’ve made. We’re also including all the free additional content that was patched in, like cosmetics and gear. The game is further balanced and we’ve added major features like Photo Mode, transmogrification and New Game+.
Have you made any changes to The Ascent based on player feedback? Can you tell us about any updates you've had in the works?
Most of everything we’ve done has been based on the feedback we’ve been getting. We saw some difficulty spikes that’s been mellowed a bit just in time for the PlayStation release. Us making a Photo Mode was in direct response to us seeing the community taking screenshots in the PC version using a hack, so we figured it’s obviously something people want so we made an official version that works on consoles as well.
That in turn helped weigh in on if we should make a transmog system. And with people really enjoying the game and wanting to play more and even asking explicitly for New Game+ — that’s what we did.
What are your plans for The Ascent going forward? Do you have any further DLC or updates in mind?
We fully intend to keep supporting The Ascent and our community. Right now we are looking at what to do, both short and long term. We know there’s more in the world to explore and have some ideas floating around.
Do you have any advice for new players ahead of The Ascent's launch on PlayStation?
Ooh, good question. I’d encourage new players to try out different types of weapons and special abilities to see what they find the most fun to use. Explore the world to find cool stuff that will help you on your missions and let yourself be immersed in the world by listening in on people’s conversations, read the datapads laying around and just have a great time.
And just to wrap things up, if you had to describe The Ascent in just one word, what word would you choose?
The Ascent is out now on PS5 and PS4. You can also read our The Ascent PS5 review by clicking the link. But are you locking and loading in this dystopian shooter? Don't spare any ammo in the comments section below.
Huge thanks to Arcade Berg for taking the time to answer our questions. Special thanks to Sophie Carter and the team at Renaissance PR for making this interview possible.