Do you think you’re the ultimate VR gunslinger? What about the greatest VR swordsman? Do you have what it takes to prove you can be both? In Ascend, you’ll have the opportunity to find out, all while flying through the air in lightning-fast jet packs.
Do you have what it takes?
Developed by USC students as part of their capstone class this year, Ascend is a multiplayer arena game that can be enjoyed with up to three others. You choose between two characters — the sword-wielding Gloriana or the gun-toting Mufid. With the gun at your side, you can take enemies out range, while the sword allows for close-up eliminations. The characters each have their own special abilities, as well, with dashes and barrier moves to turn the tables on your opponents.
It’s hectic enough with two players flying around attempting to kill each other, but becomes even more hectic when four are doing so. Projectiles whiz quickly through the air as you soar forward on your jet pack. Flying is made more natural through the game’s “Lean Motion” system. Rather than have to use a control stick or move your whole body, you only need to lean in the direction you wish to go. Movement is decoupled between your head, arms, and torso, as well, letting you control each independently. Of the two classes, Gloriana will likely offer a better workout due to the more physical nature of her swords.
Alongside the standard free-for-all matches, there is also “Fracture” mode. This mode changes up the action by tasking you with delivering goods scattered throughout the arena. Its structure and the game’s overall simplicity could make it a great choice for esports. If you’re looking for friends to play with, the game supports cross-play across Vive, Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality.
Ascend doesn’t currently have a final release date, but will be available later this summer. It will release for Vive, Rift, Windows Mixed Reality, and Valve Index.