The Good in Ascendant


#1

Nothing is perfect. UA has flaws, and there are a lot of threads that outline the issues that currently exist. Positive feedback helps the authors to understand the parts they got right, so they can further iterate on the systems and themes that people are enjoying.

What parts of the game have you enjoyed, and want to see more of? What themes would you like to see expanded via content updates and/or DLC?


#2

Level 5 and 6, Titan’s Reach and Tyball’s folly, are very interesting design / layout wise. Their execution is bad, really bad ( glitches, holes, floating objects absolutely everywhere ). They really need a polish phase. But they’re really huge places, with lots of verticality and areas to explore. Figuring out a way to reach certain heights and platforms, whether you have enough room to jump or if hanging on that chain will allow you to reach out far enough… these feelings are spot on. Also, visually these places are pretty impressive despite the cartoony look. The lighting and the fog does actually work really well. Although the game is in a poor state, these two levels make me want to see the other remaining levels in the game. So yeah, I’ve been criticizng the game quite a bit, but don’t make me wrong: there are things to salvage in it. If they could fix at least fix all the technical issues and some of the low-hanging fruits in terms of design ( variety of loot is a big one, and more interesting mission types ), then at least you’d have a game. Not a classic like the originals, but at least a game that would offer some interesting gameplay. Oh, and the AI needs to be fixed, too.


#3

I like a lot about the game. I like how genuinely ambivalent it is to your playstyle, rather than just curated a handful of alternate paths/solutions, it feels like you just have enough tools to handle whatever and the game doesn’t care. I like that they haven’t faked anything, with the usual smoke and mirrors, which can mean the game feels rough at spots, but it feels more like a simulation.

The save thing is keeping me from venturing further. I would be enjoying this game for what it is otherwise. The mechanics don’t feel great and could use some work, but the saves are the main thing.


#4

I am very fond of the general look, feel and atmosphere in UA. At its best it has an almost Dantesque character.

Of course one could mention many things, as much I like the general feel of things I would like to see more ‘stories’ in the game, i.e. many overheard conversations, interesting documents - in short, more traces of habitation that wouldn’t require too much dev time. Also more enemy types that were fundamentally different from each other would also be a good thing.


#5

The game looks gorgeous. It may be unpolished here and there, but that is not because of lack of effort (but lack of time). The atmosphere is great, the lighting is atmospheric and eerie. The environment and architecture is great. Ambient sound is good.

I love how if you open doors, they swing a little. Haven’t seen that in games actually.

It was a bad start, but I hope Otherside wont give up on it and keep polishing it where they can, to do the game justice. If they drop it now, the game will remain a poor effort forever, but if they hold on to it, the bad launch will be forgotten with time and a great game to remain to be remembered.

I haven’t played enough to give final judgement, so I will probably discover some horrible things yet, but in any case, the first impression is not as bad as expected.


#6

I LOVE the magic system. It is everything I wanted and more. The spells are logical and can be figured out, and some are some seemingly pointless or negative spells that add risk to experimenting. Collecting mana through the little dust motes is brilliant. It’s so much better than just waiting for mana to recharge, and makes you pay more attention to the environment. I need more runes to experiment with, but I just love it.


#7

The game looks good and runs well, even in 4k (runs much better than the alpha build did for me). It is a true, dedicated immersive sim taken to an extreme that not even Ion Storm or Arkane ever touched. The available suite of gameplay systems is large and robust. It’s a genuinely deep game.

I’m hoping the biggest issues get patched out so that stuff can shine more. Because there are absolutely great things about the game.


#8

That was probably the most positive surprise for me. The alpha/beta ran poorly and knowing that Unity is not the best performer I expected the final game to do just as poorly, but it runs really good on my old machine (GTX 680 no less).

Optimization is an important aspect and Otherside did well in that regard I think. Now on to polishing.


#9

It’s funny that the look so many of us loathed at the beginning is now almost universally liked.

With technical issues fixed, a more interesting story, NPC dialog and more UU connections, it would be an excellent game and I would be playing now.


#10

I haven’t spent a lot of time with the game, but going just by early impressions, the atmosphere can be absolutely great – the ambient sounds, the darkness, the feel of the simulation (when it works). Like when you bump into a table, the items on top all move or the way doors swing slightly when you open them, as someone already mentioned… little stuff like that. Also, fire feels great and burning down things is as fun as ever.

I also like the level design a lot. Lots of verticality and ways to move around really appeals to the explorer in me. And I’ve heard it only gets better, so I can’t wait to see what the later, bigger levels have to offer.

The spell system is very fun to experiment with. It really feels like you’re crafting your own spells at times, even with only a handful of runes.

I think there’s a lot to like in the game and a lot of fun to be had when the game cooperates, but it’s really rough right now, so I’ve opted to wait for patches before I get back into it.


#11

Passing along this brief impression from a recent first-time player friend of mine in Turkey:

“With enough patience, I finally played Underworld! Loading process is a pain but after first loading, it runs like a dream. And man! Game is awesome!”


#12

I only play tested, but I really enjoyed the level design. Also, I don’t care what anyone says, the graffiti was a nice touch–kinda like medieval audio logs. I know how Otherside is against puzzles, but it would be even better if the graffiti was encoded in a secret language, with clues littered throughout the area.


#13

Makes sense with feeling trapped, wanting one’s existence to matter and be remembered, rebelling against pressures and their sentient sources, etc., and it’s just common behavior going back millennia, so yeah. Audiologs and journal entries are part of how these devs’ games dole out lore.


#14

I remember when graffiti was just starting to be implemented, and what a startling difference it made. I used to “speedrun” through the levels knowing where all of the enemies and loot were, but once I noticed the first scribble of graffiti, I started to wander down dead ends and investigate the corners of rooms more often in order to piece together the lore and the past adventurers before me.

My only gripe is that the handwriting is all the same (font issues would arise if we tried to mix and match, and it would be a nightmare to come up with multiple fonts for the other localized versions of the game).


#15

Wouldnt your first, let alone only, gripe be that all of this led to nowhere? From what I have heard, any backstory and “piecing together” of story is pretty much non-existant? Still a bit confused about all this, but I will still wait until it is complete to check it out.


#16

I think what’s tricky here is that many tidbits of the lore / additional narrative pieces are not satisfying to put together. I think a lot of games will dangle side plots in front of the player with some sort of physical or narrative reward (discovering the real truth of a separate plotline, gaining a hidden object related to that person, etc), but UA’s graffiti pieces can reflect failed missions / stop abruptly when the adventurer died, or seem unrelated to the location they are discovered in. I think the lack of specificity for some of the graffiti locations is the biggest “offender,” but you can still track movements throughout the Abyss while stumbling upon graffiti.

Memora is like an extension of this graffiti system in some ways. IF you have the time, patience, and determination to sift through a lot of the mini narratives, it is meant to tie a darker picture of the Abyss and the circumstances of the people who came before you. I believe Dewi’s managed to collect most of the graffiti and lore information and compiled Character info on the Underwiki, if you’re interested in reading up a bit.


#17

We are definitely in the process of getting all of the information split out so it’s easily accessible. Memora are all up, as are the graffiti (although not on individual pages), etc. Expect some more to go online when we have time to import blocks of text.


#18

I don’t mind the Draupnir/Dahlia saga being told through graffiti. But I have to admit I get an enormous kick out of seeing snippets of Lizardman scrawled on walls here and there. :grin: