”Ascent – The Space Game is an online multiplayer 3D space simulator with Combat, Trading, Exploration, Starbase Construction, Research, Custom-built Ships, Planetary Mining and Farming, Asteroid Mining, Gas Giant Harvesting, Wreck Salvaging, Colonization (up to 200,000 structures per colony or Outer Star Base) and now, your own NPC pilot fleet!” – http://www.thespacegame.com/
On paper Ascent – The Space Game sounds pretty good with plenty to do and keep you busy with around 270 billion star systems generated with unique planets, mineral concentrations, agricultural values and climate’s. This then would offer a great deal of choice of what you’d like to do along side playing though the story such as, Exploration, Mining, Trading, Research and Combat. The Story itself, ( which i had to search for ) is as follows…..
”It began with the banks. All greed and no caution led to a chain of collapses. Businesses followed them down, and one by one the big names fell. Then the governments started going bust. First the planetary governments, then the interplanetary.
We lost our savings. We lost our jobs. We lost our homes, and we began to lose each other. There were riots for food. At first the government quelled them, but later, there was no government, and nobody to put a stop to the violence, which spread, burning through our worlds like fire through dry grass. Cities burned, and emptied, and lay in ruin.
Nobody kept the libraries, the archives, or the news feeds, and we started losing our memory, our knowledge, our technology, our future. We began to fall.
Nobody was left to keep maintaining our communications networks, our star gates between the worlds, or our space stations, and one by one, they began to fail. We have lost contact with many colonies. They are now alone in the black. Finally, burning and war torn, Earth itself was lost to us when the last of the star gates failed.
Just eight systems remain connected. A tiny portion of the military remained loyal. With no pay and little provisions, they still keep the peace. Arrayed against them are all the forces of anarchy, chaos and terror. They stand alone, holding back the flood.
Our systems are failing. Our people are starving and lost. Our factories empty and silent, our fields sown with weeds. Chaos is consuming our whole race, one town, one city, one planet at a time. We are running out of food, components, and material. We are running out of time. We are running out of hope.
We have almost lost our place in the stars.
You can change it. If you can hear this message, you are one of just 0.3% of the population whose neural patterns can interface with the control systems of a modern space craft. You can carry people and material from places of abundance to places in short supply. You can help feed the hungry, supply silent factories with goods and hands to make the light shine again. You can help us rebuild everything we have lost. Together, we will rebuild the gates and reconnect with our lost people.
And through great combined effort, we will rebuild even the gates to our lost homeworld.
Citizens of Earth. We… are going… Home.” – www.thespacegame.com
Still sounding good and something that myself personally could sink my teeth into, right lets start…..
Screen shot above is of the flight training program. Simple controls, sort of!. You’ll kind of have to work these out for yourself as you wont hear ‘Dave’ ( The ships AI ) telling you what to do and the text moves so quick I’m not even sure it appeared at all . Visually hmm, ok maybe its meant to look like that being a ‘Program’ and maybe it will look slightly better once we reach actual space. So having worked out the controls which are, SPACE to Thrust a bit, SHIFT & SPACE to Thrust forever, TAB to lock target and auto fire, and pretty much every other key and mouse to change camera off we go! ( Its not every other key but it may as well be as you have so much choice in terms of camera keys. For those who may have a third arm you should find a configuration that suits you)
Ah that looks much better and to be honestest its actually pretty nice looking up there in the starts, such a diverse array of colour. Here’s the first story mission…..wait let me find my magnifying glass, oh to later the text has past!. OK so your going to have to work out this bit too I’m afraid as there is no hope at all in being able to read what it is your meant to be doing and as ‘ Dave’ is still finding his voice, well the best ears in the world wont help you here either. Alright so, we got to go some where and do something, time to click buttons and options and see whats what. On the left of your screen you have a ‘Autopilot ‘ TAB. In there I think are your current locations of your current missions. From what I worked out I had to investigate some wreckage of something that was floating about, there was certainly a location with investigate on it so I hit that and off I went. In terms of wreakage, well it was 3 white things of something spinning wildly so I assumed that was it. Oh and when I say off I went, I mean off I went, I literally had to do nothing, clicked the button, ship turns a bit, warp in initiated and the screen goes white, hay presto I have arrived.
Above is me investigating a wreckage piece, not entirely sure what the laser thing is, it changes color a lot and eventually the spinning white thing breaks up into smaller white spiny things with a message at the top of the screen which I then can’t read. Right lets move on to the next investigation of wreckage. Same thing, do nothing, arrive and…… ok where is the wreckage? destination marker which isn’t on screen but in the autopilot tab says it’s right here. I’l use the abundance of camera keys to look for it…..nope not there……not there either……slightly disoriented now….still saying its right here at 6 meters away….. OPTIONS, MENU, EXIT GAME.
That’s is I’m done. What a real shame, I started this off by saying ” on paper ” and I’m going to leave it on paper. I wont even start talking about the ships hanger and the upgrades you should be able to do but cant because of how complicated and complete lack of instructions on what your meant to be doing. The game, once out of the ‘ Flight Training Program ‘ does look pretty spectacular but the UI, the AI ( Dave ) the text and everything else really let it down for me. Some may really like it and really get in to it but if you have played ‘Elite Dangerous’ be warned, even though Ascent is a pretty big game you could be disappointed if you think this is the same type of game with a story.