The Ascent was my favorite game released back in 2021. For those who aren’t familiar with the title, it’s a cyberpunk-themed shooter with RPG elements mixed with eye-catching environments. I’m certainly a big fan of Diablo-styled games, a sucker for cyberpunk-styled aesthetics, and I do love playing shooters, so I knew I was going to jump on this experience from day one.
The game simply delivered and it was easily one of my favorite Series X exclusives because it was a timed exclusive until in 2022 when the PlayStation versions were confirmed. There were issues during launch day. I did bump into a handful amount of bugs, but the post launch patches have cleaned up most of the issues.
From then, I replayed the game multiple times just to enjoy the experience, experimenting with its mechanics, and improving myself as a player. I even managed to complete the game on the hardest difficulty without dying!
I had great interest in The Ascent’s Cyber Heist and I always thought it would’ve been nice to have more content that allow players to take advantage of their decked out characters. That’s what this $10 DLC is designed for and it requires the player to complete the main campaign before having access to it.
With all of this background mentioned, let’s get into this The Ascent – Cyber Heist review.
Story: Not much of it and forgettable
The Ascent features beautiful world building and detailed environments which makes you believe you’re about to experience a story-driven game. However, it was never much of a game that’s heavily centered on having an engaging plot. The DLC follows the same footsteps. The title of this expansion is a dead giveaway of what to expect as far as the plot goes. Basically, you’re robbing something precious from one megacorporation for another megacorporation. A perfect reason of why you’re going to get into a lot of interactive violence and that’s where the DLC truly shines.
Gameplay – Turbo Riots
This The Ascent – Cyber Heist review was written in perspective of someone who has a lot of experience from the base game and played entirely on solo while on Hard difficulty. The Cyber Heist expansion is certainly targeted for players who understand how to play the game properly, and it puts the player right into the combat trance quickly.
The Ascent is definitely not shy at throwing the player towards hostile threats, but this DLC takes that intensity to another level. It really wants you dead by the constant sheer enemies they’ll throw at you right when you step out of town and you’re going to have to be careful as you explore the new environments.
This new content was designed for the enthusiastic players first and foremost. If you only played through the base game and haven’t touched it in a while, this add-on can be a rough awakening and possibly be a chore to play.
The new weapons were very fun to use and the highlighted ones were the melee weapons. They are a sledgehammer, a baseball bat, and two katana variations. Normally, you wouldn’t want to bring a melee weapon in a gunfight, but they are very powerful and it can drastically increase your survivability if you start using them for close quarters combat.
My favorite out of the four is the katana. It’s very fun to use because it has respectable damage and you can slash it at a fairly fast rate. You also have the ability to perform a Diablo-styled Whirlwind move which makes this weapon even more deadly when you’re in a sticky situation.
There are also new guns that can be rewarded from the side missions. I won’t spoil too much of what they are and one of them I found to be very fun to use. If you like weapons that go boom, this one will fulfill your fantasy like no other.
The overall expansion experience has been mostly fun. If you enjoyed the base game and what it offered, it’s basically more of that, but the missions have been heavily designed for late game characters.
I found this expansion to be lacking memorable moments like in the base campaign. There weren’t too many sections I believe could rival my favorite moments in the base campaign, but it was sure exciting to take on higher density of the enemies you’re familiar with.
I did bump into some technical issues where my game would freeze and I would have to reset the game through the Xbox dashboard. Other than that, there wasn’t anything too drastic as far as bugs go.
It didn’t take me too long to finish the main missions. It took me around three hours while exploring for optional collectables and secrets. After that, I attempted to finish the side content, and explore for all the optional pick-ups. It did take me some time to figure out how to get to them, but that also took me similar length.
The DLC’s length should equate to six hours which might not be satisfying for some, but keep in mind, there’s also a New Game+ mode and you can replay the DLC after you’ve completed the base game in that mode.
Also, I did state I am an experienced player, so it might take longer for those that aren’t around my skill level. I can definitely see someone who isn’t an expert can take longer to finish this content especially if you a returning player and you haven’t played it more than just one playthrough.
Graphics and Audio
For those who enjoy a game with stunning graphics mixed with highly detailed environments, The Ascent is basically that game. The game uses Unreal Engine 4 for its visual prowess.
Eye-catching environments were one of the things that grabbed the player’s attention in the base game, and the DLC is no different. You’ll be seeing a lot of visually detailed facilities, factories, laboratories, and of course city-based environments. Make sure you take a selfie with the game’s internal photo mode.
I found myself continually being awed and inspired by the new detailed environments where I just have to stop and appreciate it. Neon Giant has done a beautiful job because I am a fan of level design and this is something I pay attention to.
The soundtrack was one of the things that were noteworthy in the base game and I find the new songs live up to them. I do wish they could’ve used some of the older tracks for this expansion because I personally would love to hear ‘Foreign Reach’ again in one the main missions. That track pleases my inner cyberpunk soul.
The tracks are either ambient when things are quiet or when a heavy combat occurs and it’ll be more upbeat and energetic. My favorite track was easily the one used in the final boss and I thought it enhanced that encounter greatly. I also couldn’t stop nodding my head while trying to take him down.
This review for The Ascent – Cyber Heist was played on the Xbox Series X.