What is going on nerds? So like most days I get up and start my grind like every other day. Generally every evening I get home, power on my console, and shift through the market place to see what gems I can find. This week I stumble upon a solid find. Signal Studios just launched their open beta of Ascend: Hand of Kul. Apparently Ascend has been in closed beta since early September. Now I downloaded the game not really knowing what to expect and had zero to no expectations. The whole jest of the game revolves around the Titans (think badass gods) ruling the earth and a golden age of humanity unfolds for decades. This results in earths inhabitants (you know…humans) given the Titans their undying worship. Until (always gotta throw in the UNTIL) the new gods show up to wage war upon the world and take it for their gain.
After a rather large download (takes around 20 minutes), I load up the game which immediately requires me to sit and stare at the loading icon spin for a good while. I am not really sure how long, but I got the gut feeling load times would be longer than my ADHD would like. After what felt like an eternity the game finally pops up the main menu. It is your basic main menu, so I click start. The game enters into an opening cinematic, setting the mood and plot of the game. After this little cinematic I get to the create character screen and make your giant called a Caos. It is a rather easy and basic character creator and really straightforward. You start with picking a face, hair, beard, and gear. There are four basic stats: attack, spell power, health, and armor. Of course weapons raise your attack, armor raises your armor rating, and later on you get weapons and armor that affect spell power and health. Souls are the currency in the game you use to buy items, armor, spells, and overall character cosmetics. You can buy these items in the store and if you don’t have enough souls you can purchase soul packages for actually currency, ranging from a few bucks to ninety-nine bucks. You start the game off with about 3,000 souls so you don’t have to lay down cash right out of the gate. If you had to pay I doubt I would’ve gotten passed the character creator.
Finally choosing some very basic gear I click finish and my chain mail clad Caos gets zapped down to the world of Ascend. There are three factions to choose from Darkness, Void and Light. Depending on which one you choose will set your role in the ongoing conflict, but I will hit on that later. Now each faction allows your Caos to control certain elements. Darkness allows you to use fire, Void is ice, and Light is lightning based spells. After a little scene of choosing you allegiance you spawn in a tutorial area. As soon as I swing my sword I see and feel Fable (this isn’t a bad. Fable is a solid game).Basic combat is just a combination of X and Y. You go on to learn spells and combo moves as you progress through the game. Which all comes in handy because the overall goal of your Caos is to take over alters for your Faction to gain power and over throw the Titans.
Running around the game actually uses an open world chat. If the other players have a head set and happen to be in the same area as you, you can talk to them. These players are different colored silhouettes in your world and you can’t actually harm the players (always lame, but I can understand this choice) you can however buy spells off each other and give tips to one another. This is probably the coolest concept of the game. This feature allows you to mess with other players and even kill them by banishing or summoning creatures from your world into theirs. Ah, nothing more sastifying than trolling someone elses good time. I must have had a rocky childhood.
However the biggest feature is the global conflict between the three factions. As you level up, you are able to ascend at certain points. Once your Caos ascends it stays at that level and is used in the global conflict as an AI to invade other player’s worlds to claim alters for your chosen deity. You then get reincarnated creating a new stronger character and choosing a new deity or stay the same. You can ascend multiple times making your ascended form stronger each time. This works both and you will be invaded by other players ascended forms. If defeated you can keep choosing to retry or just abandon and give up the Alter.
Ascend: Hand of Kul is just in beta but the worst part has to be the random server disconnects. Which if in a dungeon will make you start all over. It happened at least four times in about 3 hours. Remember what I said about long load times this, after about four disconnects will drive you mad. It is however just an open beta and Signal Studios is working hard to put up updates even in the beta. So if you wanna give Ascend: Hand of Kul a try or want to know more about the game visit their website in the link ascendgame.com/.