Astral Ascent | Preview, rogue-lite serenity

Astral Ascent | Preview, rogue-lite serenity

Astral Ascent | Preview

Passion and talent are the two ingredients for an excellent project, often at the same level of study and technique. When developers like those of Astral Ascent tell us they started from a self-taught level and then present us a game with such a strong artistic and technical component, we can only be surprised to see how much intuition and ingenuity can push a group. very amateur in achieving what they most dream of as a game dev. Having won an Activision competition and received some funding from that award, their first thought was not to stop and throw the project on the market, but they wanted to take their time, explore their ideas and bring a vision to life. precise creative, almost hopeful in some ways. After all, by now we know, even in the independent panorama the market is saturated and if you chase a genre like that of metroidvania rogue like you end up competing with the big names in the sector.

But what do you need for really detach yourself from being a clone of any independent gem? The bravery. The courage to believe in your idea and immediately convey its strengths and original characteristics to the public. If there is passion, this comes naturally, through a sincere laugh and that little embarrassment of those who are presenting their project to a market larger than them. And it is on these strings that our chat with the development team of Astral Ascent, Hibernian Workshop, convinced us of the genuineness of the game.

Against the zodiac

Scheduled to be released on PC, Console and Nintendo Switch, Astral Ascent is a rogue-lite platformer set in a sort of fantasy world divided into multiple areas to explore in dungeon style. The player, or more players thanks to the co-op of up to two people, controls a hero out of a selection of four to traverse a series of rooms with different settings. Some will require you to fight, others to explore, and still others to resolve certain requirements. Each has different difficulties and rewards, allowing you to forge your own path and customize the hero you will use for the duration of the "race" for the final area Boss.

Astral Ascent's goal, over the long haul , is to defeat the warriors of the constellations and prove your strength enemy after enemy. Like any self-respecting roguelike, the more you die and try, the more you accumulate resources to empower you and your four heroes: each with completely different skills, techniques and styles of gameplay. The strong point of Astral Ascent, already from the small taste before the Kickstarter campaign, is to have an evident depth in terms of character growth and customization.

The abilities, based on mana and with a sort of column to manage them as scrolling cards, they change both effect and technique based on what you will find during the game, gaining new effects or spells to use as you wish. There are passive relics that give permanent bonuses, active items to pigeonhole into your setup, and even changes to the percentages or functions of the skills you can assign to each skill. For Astral Ascent, the concept of a “different game every time you play” is more true than ever, although right now the form of the free demo is reasonably limited to the first area.

Hibernian Workshop's insight for their project was to wisely collect the general feedback from fans of the genre and combine it into a structure that is not heavy, complex and too full of numbers for players of every ream. As evidenced by the style of play itself, with bright colors and serene landscapes, the goal of Astral Ascent is to be a roguelike that is able to relax those who play it while maintaining the desire for battle high. The fantasy style fits well with the concept, especially for the clear animated inspiration that exudes from each artwork. The attention to detail, both in the pixel art and in the drawings, is an essential element to intrigue the player to advance between worlds and observe their inhabitants and landscapes, and with 12 Bosses with a unique design and four worlds (at least now) that can be visited, Astral Ascent is certainly not reluctant to talk about its artistry.

In general, also on the basis of our test, what best characterizes the new Hibernian Workshop project is its particular rhythm that lives on the contrasts between the genre to which it appeals and the "light" nature of its aesthetic part. However, as opposed worlds may seem, especially if you look at the urgency of the fight, in reality the mixture works great and the credit goes above all to the brilliant ideas in the flow of the gameplay: deep, accessible and completely linked to the mastery of the player or to the choices he will make between the rooms.

The unripe nature of the demo, pre-Alpha, does not allow us to examine the extent of these strengths or their possible flaws, however in the scope of the Kickstarter there is enough material for which we can advise enthusiasts to meditate, at the very least, to support this small French self-taught study. If creativity is central to the experience you seek for you, Astral Ascent sprays it from every pore of pixels.

Astral Ascent is currently fundraising with a Kickstarter campaign and can be tested with its public demo.

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