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Game Pass’ Ascension is impossible to read on Xbox Series X / S



Three cyberpunk fighters overlooking a mega-corporation.

Picture: Neon Giant / Kotaku

It’s perfect timing too a game like The ascent. Not much else is coming out right now, so there is more incentive to break through the slow opening to get to some of the tougher game in the back of the game. It is also on Game Pass for PC and Xbox, so you can get in, try it out and jump back with minimal investment in advance. There’s only one problem: Cyberpunk action RPG is a headache to play on the console.

Yes, the game is a bit junk. No, the two-pin recording from top to bottom does not feel good. But the real problem is that the game is a visual mess to navigate on a conventional TV screen with many borders that are impossible to read text. None of these are completely new cases. I and others have been complaints about small fonts for years now. And it’s clear that while console manufacturers have been trying to make porting games from PCs easier than ever, especially on the Xbox side, the games themselves are rarely optimized for anyone who does not play with a keyboard and mouse while sitting two meters from a giant computer screen.

The ascent has, however, been a big part of Microsoft’s Xbox Series X / S marketing. The company listed it as one of its “largest exclusive game selection ever“And obviously thought it was worth locking up as a Game Pass title today as well. And look, three hours in, and I’m still low-key and morbidly fascinated by the oppressive detail and density of Neon Giant’s perception of cyberpunk. At the same time, I have almost no idea what’s going on or how the progression systems work because I can not read a hell things on the screen:

An example of a screenshot of The Ascent's menu.

Picture: Neon Giant / Kotaku

An example of a screenshot of how NPC conversations appear as text as you roam the map.

Picture: Neon Giant / Kotaku

While The ascent Has a display option in the settings menu to increase the front size, but it only seems to work for cool subtitles. Surrounding conversations in the rest of the world and a cascade of RPG-lite menus remain incomprehensible. Sometimes I walked away and stood right in front of my 50-inch TV to read some taste text or compare statistics about new armor in the store. For the most part, I’ve just ignored the story altogether and dumped skill points in random statistics. Several people tell me that this is a completely feasible way to play and beat the game. It’s also honestly a bummer way to play.

There are other flaws with the console version. Multiplayer has been a bit messy. There are currently no ray tracing or DLSS (deep learning super sampling) visual features, although they will be added soon. I can accept these trade-offs for the possibility of playing a scary sci-fi Diablo-like from my couch, but. Maybe one day it will be a real alternative. For now you can find me surfing The ascent wikier to get an idea of ​​what is actually going on outside of all the enlarged looting and shooting.


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