Astral Ascent Astral Ascent PS4 Astral Ascent PS4 Review Astral Ascent PS5 Astral Ascent PS5 Review Astral Ascent Review Astral Ascent Review PS4 Astral Ascent Review PS5 Hibernian Workshop PlayStation PS4 PS5 Review Sony

Astral Ascent Review (PS4) – A Stellar Journey Into Roguelike Excellence

Astral Ascent Review (PS4) – Since its inception, the genre “Rogue-Like” in video games has added a layer of complexity to gaming. With procedurally generated levels, random items, permadeath, exploration, discovery, complex mechanics, and resource management, you as the player are tasked to adapt and overcome the odds with strategy and determination.

Many games have followed and have elevated the genre with the incorporation of new mechanics and gameplay systems. And many have taken what makes roguelikes so great and further polishes the experience.

Developed by Hibernian Workshop, Astral Ascent is a magnificent roguelike that will leave you coming back for more.

It is a game that demands persistence and encourages you to try something new, making it one of the best roguelikes for beginners.

With fantastic visuals, grand spectacle, tight & polished combat, and an incredible amount of reply value, Astral Ascent has raised the bar for not only future roguelikes but for indies as a whole.

Astral Ascent Review (PS4) – A Stellar Journey Into Roguelike Excellence

Vibrant Visuals And Retro-Inspired Art Style

Astral Ascent on the PlayStation 4 is a visual feast, boasting vibrant and eye-catching visuals that pull you into its celestial world. The retro-inspired art style adds a nostalgic touch, blending seamlessly with modern graphics to create a unique and visually stunning experience.

The world is vast and diverse, with each area offering a unique blend of enemies and environmental hazards. The attention to detail in level design keeps the gameplay fresh and exciting, ensuring that every run is a new adventure.

But be careful, you’ll really have to adapt to your environment as the game progresses in difficulty.

The use of randomly generated levels adds an element of surprise and thrill to every run. No playthroughs are the same, ensuring that Astral Ascent maintains its excitement and unpredictability.

Every room, every area, allows you to contemplate and reflect on your next steps, what do you want to choose? Would you rather go to the next room for more skills, or more currency to boost your stats? The choice is yours.

The overarching narrative, centered around a great master taking control of the zodiacs, adds a compelling layer to the game. Each zodiac boss, representing their sign through character and skill set, introduces unique challenges and move sets as you challenge them.

The story and boss design contribute to making Astral Ascent a memorable experience, in every boss room you enter you never know who you’re going to face, which will require you to adapt.

The voice acting in Astral Ascent is nothing short of stellar. The actors have done an exceptional job bringing the unique characters to life, and their engaging dialogue responses enhance the overall experience.

It’s a pleasure to delve into the game’s narrative with such well-executed voice work. Every character you speak to feels alive and real, and you just want to listen to their stories and past.

Extremely Tight And Smooth Animations For Perfect Combat

The game’s combat system is a standout feature, characterized by exceptionally tight and smooth animations. Every move feels deliberate and responsive, creating a combat experience that is not only satisfying but also challenging.

Having tight and responsive controls for a roguelike is an absolute must as you have to react in fast-paced battles and constantly adapt to new attack patterns.

With four distinct characters to choose from, each with its own set of skills, Astral Ascent offers a dynamic gameplay experience. My personal favorite, Octave, stands out for his impressive long-range capabilities, combining guns and special abilities to deal devastating damage.

The variety in character design and skills adds depth and replayability to the game. There’s also Ayla who deals close-range damage with a skill that allows her to teleport behind enemies to deal critical damage.

Next, there is Kiran, a lovable and enthusiastic brawler with the ability to counter any attack. Lastly, there’s Calie who uses magical gemstones to deal extra long-range damage.

With these unique skill sets, you can build these characters to suit your playstyle. Do you want to prioritize critical damage, and add on a lightning buff? You as the player are presented with so much customization.

Astral Ascent’s combat system is a symphony of basic attacks, special abilities, spells, and strong attacks. As you progress through this roguelike adventure, the acquisition of new skills, gambits, auras, buffs, and summons adds layers of strategy to the gameplay.

The game keeps evolving, providing a fresh challenge with each encounter.

There are close-range and long-range skills, different gambits that act as perks for spells, and auras that boost the player’s abilities and enhance buffs and summons based on foes you previously fought. Complete their unique challenges and they will aid you in battle.

The game’s replay value is off the charts. From unlocking trophies and earning new skins to leveling up your character and skills, Astral Ascent provides a constant sense of progression and achievement.

The addition of the “destiny level” adds a layer of challenge that keeps players engaged long after the initial playthrough. With every increase in the destiny tier, foes propose a more difficult challenge than before, ranging from more damage to new move sets altogether.

Oh, and the best part? The game features 2 player offline co op!

While Astral Ascent excels in many aspects, one downside is the slightly jarring UI and the inability to increase text size. Managing skills and their buffs can be cumbersome as you can’t view them without switching them out. It’s a minor inconvenience in an otherwise outstanding game.

Due to the small text and small button prompts, I didn’t realize you could switch the rewards out of lock boxes with the L1 button until I looked to the left of my screen. There are no on-screen prompts to advise the player about this.

Ascending To Greatness

Astral Ascent on the PlayStation 4 is a fantastic roguelike adventure that seamlessly blends stunning visuals, tight combat mechanics, diverse characters, and a captivating narrative.

Its minor UI issues are overshadowed by the game’s immense replay value, making it a must-play for both newcomers to the genre and seasoned roguelike enthusiasts. Get ready to embark on an interstellar journey like no other.

Astral Ascent is now available on PS5 and PS4.

Review code kindly provided by the developer.



The Final Word

Astral Ascent maintains the legacy of the Roguelike genre with polished and satisfying combat, vibrant pixel retro inspired visuals, unique concept, fantastic voice acting, and incredible replay value that will have you longing to return to the game before your latest run is done. If you're into Roguelikes or looking to jump into the genre, Astral Ascent provides a great challenge for enthusiasts, and a warm invitation for new comers.