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  1. #1
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    Ascend: Hand of Kul - is like nothing I've played before!

    It's new to Steam - free (to play - yes that) - in Beta but NOT Early Access (e.g. soft launch I guess?)

    How to describe it - erm - well...

    You make a Cao Warrior - a giant who will ascend to be a god or something - you choose your alignment, go around hitting things and taking over territory - finding loot - gaining levels and skills - so far so good.

    You can pickup little people - carry them around for reasons I've not figured yet - eat them for energy - throw them at people - stamp on them!!

    You can squash enemy's heads - or punch people into walls - that was fun

    People can invade your areas which is basically PvP contesting territory - you also seem to play in areas where players of other alignments are only visible as ghosts but you can 'Banish' enemies from your dimension into theirs - sounds fun ;0

    There's mention of 'Player created Bosses' which made me smile...

    As with all F2P stuff there's a lot going on and yes, there's store links and upgrades everywhere - but it's Beta and there's lots of free money thrown at you just for trying it.

    It's quite - erm - well I've played nothing like it - I imagine it could go either way but it's worth a peek

    p.s. Playfire folks get 10p for trying it and upto 85p more for some cheevos (tho they appear to be quite hard ones)

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node frightlever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    You can pickup little people - carry them around for reasons I've not figured yet - eat them for energy - throw them at people - stamp on them!!
    Attack on Titan - the videogame!!!

  3. #3
    Lesser Hivemind Node Harlander's Avatar
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    The first thing I thought of from the description was "hey, it's like Black and White's multiplayer". Guess I'll have to try it to see if I was right.

    trjp, you cunning so-and-so

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Yeah I saw Jim Sterling give it a play, very unusual game. Black & White, with a pinch of Overlord?

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Most popular video on google search is telling you how to farm effectively..
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Yeah first thing I thought from that description was Black and White

  7. #7
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    This actually looks interesting. I admit, when I saw Free to Play I groaned, but I think I will check this out, once I pry myself away from Dark Souls 2 for a break.

    Thanks for the post!

  8. #8
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    It's definately got all the F2P things you love to hate but it also has stuff which is quite unique and might just transpire to be interesting - unless it transpires than spending money = winning a lot (and I don't see it so far - it's mostly "get stuff quicker" rather than "get better stuff")

    Weirdly, its from the developers of Toy Soldiers so it's quite a change of direction for them!

    I'm not sure Black and White is a good reference tho - it's a "mash buttons to kill things" game at heart - the people are there to be turned to your cause and/or used as food I think ;0

  9. #9
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    So I'm still trying to understand this thing - but here's my take so far

    There are areas with altars - you convert the altars and the people living there to your faction and they remain that way 'to your eyes'. There is a 'crusade' version of that world tho, which reflects the overall balance of the factions - so you're contributing to that by progressing in the game!?

    There are dungeons leading those from areas - in a dungeon you can see other players (as ghosts) who are in the same dungeon - you can help those of your faction by sending boosts or harm those of different factions by sending enemies to them. Dungeons appear to only exist for souls (money) and loot tho!?

    You may be able to do the help/harm stuff outside dungeons too - but it wouldn't work for me (and those spells have to be bought or found - they're not just things you an do on-demand)

    When you get to Level 5 you get your first 'Ascension' - you can give-up your character (getting to keep a limited number of items, your level and your souls (money)) in return for being able to change faction AND having your 'ascended' champion play the game even when you're not there (invading stuff on your behalf)

    That's as far as I've gotten so far - which is barely out of the tutorial - it's novel tho!

  10. #10
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    Long weekend this weekend and the girl and I are always looking for fun co-op stuff. Anyone know if this game features co-op of any sort? Either way though it sounds interesting.

    One concern there: How bad is the paywall? Can you do everything for free, or at least a reasonable monthly rate? Thanks for any further info.

  11. #11
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    No co-op that I saw

    I saw no timers or "costs of entry" to the stuff I played - it's all "if you spend souls, you will get through the content quicker" stuff - thusfar, at least.

    Oh - repairs to your gear cost money but then hitting things makes money so if you find yourself short, you're hitting the wrong things I guess!?

    The only downside I've seen thusfar is that other players can 'grief' by throwing huge amounts of enemies/curses at you (those are 'cost' spells) - as long as they're willing to spend money, they can make your game pretty miserable (they could, in theory, stop you progressing entirely)

    There is a spell you can buy which disables that for a period of time (it also stops you returning the favour) - it's not that expensive but you're begining to get into the realm of 'money to progress' there I guess.

    I'm also still confused as to how a lot of things work - it really needs to explain itself better - esp when it comes to Ascension and the issues around "changing your God"...

    p.s. if anything will kill my interest, it's the slow walking pace added to it's love for throwing you miles back if you die (and you will die) - that's a classic way to kill interest in a game for me.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    Sounds interesting. It's a shame when people dismiss good games because they're free to play - and even worse when a good game is ruined by a bad f2p setup, of course.

  13. #13
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    I think a bigger issue than "how is the F2P stuff" is "what the hell is going on". I need to get a better grip on what I'm doing - what I should be doing - and what the overall point of the thing is.

    It's not just the in-game shop which marks this as F2P - there's a definate feeling that they're obscuring the game mechanics so you have to spend time (and thus probably money) figuring out that maybe there isn't a game there at all!?

    There are leaderboards for everything - the people who top them get to sit in the Sanctum in various places etc. - but I think I need a BIT more than that to press-on into a game.

    There's the faction 'crusade' but you also get to change factions (so you can access different skills and spells and customise yourself) so that seems a dodgy form of motivation?

    It's certainly unusual but that leaves me wondering why I'm playing it tbh ;0
    Last edited by trjp; 22-05-2014 at 11:37 PM.

  14. #14
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    Amusingly, I asked the "What the hell is the point if this game" question on the Steam forums and some of the answers were quite good.

    The summary of them would be "Kill the Titan - and aggravate as many other players en-route as you can"

    It's a weird game - I've never played a game where the ghost of another actual player was visible to me and I could send my enemies over to them (or just curse them - or choose to help them, even!)

    I think the idea of a game which 'plays even when you're not playing' is fantastic and more games should do it (not just in an F2P-timers way - in a meaningful work/earnings way)

    I'm still bloody confused as to how some of the stuff works tho - it's been on XBOX for eons and no-one there seems much wiser - most people seem to just "hit things a lot" and hope ;0

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sabrage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    It's a weird game - I've never played a game where the ghost of another actual player was visible to me and I could send my enemies over to them (or just curse them - or choose to help them, even!)
    Sounds very Dark Souls. The new Dynasty Warriors has a feature where you can send enemy reinforcements (or health or a speed boost) to someone streaming on Twitch.

  16. #16
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    I wanted to like this so much - it has some novel ideas in an industry DESPERATELY short of those - but I gave-up earlier, there's too much which isn't properly explained, too much which isn't really fun and too many crashy bits (which I guess they might solve - it's sold as a Beta right now)

    I don't think they'll change the game itself - it's been on XBOX for a while and all that - but they really MUST explain the Crusade stuff better. I played for many hours and I have only the vaguest grasp of what's going on - that's not how games should work IMO

    The combat also gets tiresome - you're a big guy, you move slowly and hit hard - but that should feels 'powerful' and require 'timing' wheras it just feels 'like the controls are broken' at times. Even with upgrades, the combat is also pretty staid - no new moves seem on-offer - all the upgrades are gear/stats/spells and the spells are - at least early on - desperately underwhelming (and the nicer ones/upgrades are staggeringly expensive)

    I got as far as the F'Taga miniboss - he hits like a mule, can't be blocked, takes minimal damage, glitches, resets, crashes the game. The solution would be to chip his health with spells whilst running away - it's the solution everyone offers - I find that so sad that I'm walking away...

    Shame - there's the bones of something good here, the F2P doesn't really detract from it but the execution is just a bit ropey - the combat is too samey - the bits don't make a whole.

    All IMO - you should check it out tho, maybe you'll see it differently - certainly there's nothing else like it on PC

  17. #17
    Network Hub EPICTHEFAIL's Avatar
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    Ok, first of all - this is basically Heavy Metal Album Cover - The Game. And an F2P Dark Souls, in a way. The combat difficulty ramps up to a ridiculous degree past the first few zones (and I have yet to leave the tutorial segment AFAIK), and the first boss is purpose-made to make you regret not playing a spellcaster. The combat is otherwise quite fun, especially if you are surrounded by worshippers and get a few dozen of them to climb up on you.

    However, the game does not explain itself at all. Most of the core gameplay I discovered through pure trial and error, especially the dungeon mechanics. Apart from that there is also the equipment breaking, which is guaranteed to happen at the worst possible time and ruin your momentum in combat.

    Overall the basic idea of the game is really cool, and I think that might just be enough to carry it despite the somewhat obtuse mechanics and the random spikes in difficulty.

  18. #18
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    I assume your "first boss" is F'Taga? That fight is just retarded. He's almost unhittable, hits you even if you're miles away/behind him - but he's easily killed with spells and 'running away to heal' - yes, that sucks.

    I've not found anything else too hard tho - my main complaints remain

    1 - EXPLAIN YOURSELF - the game is to obscure, esp how the Crusade and Ascension stuff works
    2 - Combat is boring/repetitive with few enemy types to keep you interested
    3 - Upgrades get pricey and are often barely worth the effort
    4 - Repair costs are stupidly expensive - ridiculously so once you get remotely decent gear.
    5 - players can spoil your game if they're willing to waste money

    There's a great idea in there tho - the F2P doesn't kill it - the sloppy execution of the rest of the game does.

    Make the combat a bit more varied and interesting - make the upgrades more useful - allow some flexibility in how people spend their money (e.g. fairer refunds for shit skills) and you'd have a cracking game here

    I'd like to see a better sequel for sure ...

  19. #19
    Lesser Hivemind Node frightlever's Avatar
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    Just tried it last night when I read that the Xbox version had been pulled from the store by Microsoft without explanation. Wanted to try it on the off-chance it gets pulled from Steam as well (no reason why it would that I can see but justification is justification).

    Kinda weird, kinda grindy. Can't see me playing it much beyond the tutorial area, but yes it's different.

  20. #20
    Network Hub PeteC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    You can pickup little people - carry them around for reasons I've not figured yet - eat them for energy - throw them at people - stamp on them!!
    Giants: Citizen Kabuto was the first thing that came to mind when I read that.

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