A few weeks ago we got the awesome opportunity to fly out to OtherSide Entertainment and check out a preview of Underworld Ascendant. We had tried the game out a few times at events like PAX and E3, but those were quick demos done under 30 minutes time and didn't really give us a long chance to explore all of the options available in the action-adventure RPG. This time around we got to check everything out with the developers on hand and saw what the game had to offer.
For the first couple of hours, we got to test out the game from the very start, as it showed us everything we could o with sight, sounds, spells, and weapons. The game does the best job it can give you an overview of the possibilities in your hand. There's no singular right way to go about handling the dungeons. A good example is that early on we came across a hallway with several enemies in it. We could either dive down and take them out, or stay int he shadows and snipe them from afar, or use distractions to get around them or sneak attack our way to victory.
The second hour is where they essentially took off the training wheels and allowed us to play with things like the spellbook. The way this system works is that there are certain runes on a chart, as you see in the picture below, which you can combine to make different spells work. It's a cool system that you don't see in a ton of games because it relies on a bit of memory and trial-and-error to make it work, but when it works, it's awesome. But it also comes with the downside that when it doesn't go to plan, you spend a lot of time staring at a wall trying to get them to work properly.
We also got to try that as well as a beefed up fighter, kinda like having a barbarian bash their way through enemies. However, the enemies we encounters were not so easy to take down, meaning there's a lot of level progression and a learning curve we needed to master as the game went on. There are a lot of cool elements to the game that made us want to explore more of the world its based in, like the main village-like area where different people can give you different tasks to go take care of. I found it far more fascinating that the world they created had a centralized point that felt like a foxhole in the middle of hell.
While the build of the game we played wasn't final, it gave us some promising hope for what the full release of Underworld Ascendant would end up being. The game was released back on November 15th, if you're looking for what feels like an old-school dungeon crawler with some elements of various RPG games you've liked in the past, it's worth giving it a shot.