• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

LTTP The Ascent - do we even need AAA games anymore?

captainnapalm

Member
Oct 26, 2011
4,044
698
910
Holy crap, this game. The art design and level of detail is godlike. It's like they took inspiration from all of the best French, Japanese, British and American cyberpunk art of the last 40 years and put it all in one game. And the raytracing on PC just takes it over the top. It's pretty ridiculous. I also love how dense and intricate and unashamedly cyberpunky the game's story is as well, just full of wild ideas and crazy concepts.

If this were a turn-based rpg or something it would be close to one of my ideal games, but as a shooter its pretty fun too once you start to upgrade stuff, and you can start sending enemies splattering. And it has cool effects, explosions and destructible environments as well. I've never been a huge fan of top-down shooters, but I'll make an exception in this case.

It's pretty awesome that in the last year or so, most of the best-looking games I've played have been from smaller or indie studios. It's like the barrier to making incredible-looking games is coming down, and it's giving us a lot of stuff to enjoy while AAA studios are increasingly focused on live service dreck and open-world sludge. A Plague Tale, The Medium, Psychonauts 2, Kena Bridge of Spirits and The Ascent - there aren't many better looking or more enjoyable games out there. It really bodes well for the future.
 

ANDS

Thought gaf was racist. Now knows better, honorary gaffer 2022
Jan 18, 2012
3,775
953
965
If THE ASCENT is the reference point? Yes. The aesthetic may beat some games hands down, but there are numerous AAA games released this year that weren't dishpan deep when it comes to everything else.
 

captainnapalm

Member
Oct 26, 2011
4,044
698
910
If THE ASCENT is the reference point? Yes. The aesthetic may beat some games hands down, but there are numerous AAA games released this year that weren't dishpan deep when it comes to everything else.

Of the games I mentioned, it probably is the one most obviously made by an inexperienced studio, but boy do they show a lot of potential.
 

Aldynes

Member
Jun 24, 2016
320
598
430
France
It's pretty awesome that in the last year or so, most of the best-looking games I've played have been from smaller or indie studios. It's like the barrier to making incredible-looking games is coming down
That's interesting, maybe we are in the right timing for that to happen, we still are waiting for the "next gen" games to arrive (graphically) besides a few (Demon's Souls or Ratchet) so the gap between AAA made with last gen system in mind and indie games is narrow right now?

Also like you said OP besides having the bad side effects of having games riddled with bugs and under-cooked, the crazy amount of work, time and money more and more necessary for AAA games doesn't leave place to taking risks anymore, niche game genre or wild ideas and concepts are were the indies shines.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Guilhermegrg

captainnapalm

Member
Oct 26, 2011
4,044
698
910
That's interesting, maybe we are in the right timing for that to happen, we still are waiting for the "next gen" games to arrive (graphically) besides a few (Demon's Souls or Ratchet) so the gap between AAA made with last gen system in mind and indie games is narrow right now?

Also like you said OP besides having the bad side effects of having games riddled with bugs and under-cooked, the crazy amount of work, time and money more and more necessary for AAA games doesn't leave place to taking risks anymore, niche game genre or wild ideas and concepts are were the indies shines.

Yup, both those things could be true. I don't really know what more next-gen has in store. I think we're already seeing it with tech like ray tracing.
 
  • Strength
Reactions: Aldynes

Claus Grimhildyr

Vincit qui se vincit
Jan 30, 2018
6,773
12,176
910
We definitely don't need AAA games, but it would be stupid to get rid of them. They offer something that AA, A, and Indie titles don't. Would be incredibly boring to have less types of games to choose from.

Also have they fixed The Ascent yet? I loved what I played, but I want to get 1000 GS and last I remember one of the achievements was *still* bugged.
 

Topher

Gold Member
Sep 25, 2020
5,167
16,786
655
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
I can't speak for "we", but I know I certainly want AAA games. The Ascent is a good game, but not for a minute do I believe this replaces the big budget games. I certainly want more A and AA games because they often take risks and try things that those paying for AAA budgets won't. So there is certainly value there. Beyond that, I think game sales show clearly that a lot people definitely want AAA games. So there is definitely a market for big and small budget games.
 
Mar 7, 2017
3,231
6,699
520
Holy crap, this game. The art design and level of detail is godlike. It's like they took inspiration from all of the best French, Japanese, British and American cyberpunk art of the last 40 years and put it all in one game. And the raytracing on PC just takes it over the top. It's pretty ridiculous. I also love how dense and intricate and unashamedly cyberpunky the game's story is as well, just full of wild ideas and crazy concepts.

If this were a turn-based rpg or something it would be close to one of my ideal games, but as a shooter its pretty fun too once you start to upgrade stuff, and you can start sending enemies splattering. And it has cool effects, explosions and destructible environments as well. I've never been a huge fan of top-down shooters, but I'll make an exception in this case.

It's pretty awesome that in the last year or so, most of the best-looking games I've played have been from smaller or indie studios. It's like the barrier to making incredible-looking games is coming down, and it's giving us a lot of stuff to enjoy while AAA studios are increasingly focused on live service dreck and open-world sludge. A Plague Tale, The Medium, Psychonauts 2, Kena Bridge of Spirits and The Ascent - there aren't many better looking or more enjoyable games out there. It really bodes well for the future.

Whilst I appreciate your enthusiasm for indie games, I think you're being way too hyperbolic regarding the sate of AAA gaming.

Also, didn't The Ascent score a low 70s metacritic score?

In which case, don't you think you're overhyping the game? You may be setting others up for disappointment.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ezekiel_666x

CitizenZ

Member
Jan 14, 2021
1,406
1,337
360
Im sure it is another solid game, but you need to play more games. And not years and years of AAA snooze fest.
 

Heisenberg007

Member
Nov 16, 2020
2,914
10,176
505

do we even need AAA games anymore?​

Season 3 Yes GIF by Paramount+
 

captainnapalm

Member
Oct 26, 2011
4,044
698
910
BTW, I don't really want AAA games to go away or saying we don't need them. I'm just speaking as someone who for a long time played pretty much exclusively AAA games and is now finding there's a lot more out there.

It also seems like you can no longer comfortably say that AAA games are better-looking than other games. So this puts even more pressure on them to create better games, which is good.
 

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
Mar 22, 2017
19,171
31,253
1,075
It doesn't matter its AA or AAA, at end of the day what we all ultimately want is good game.
 

Gameplaylover

Member
Jul 26, 2021
1,847
3,336
370
I could still be a happy gamer with Indie and AA games only. Most of my favorite games aren't AAA anyways.
 

Rikkori

Member
May 9, 2020
2,704
5,131
470
It was a very well done game but what people misunderstand is that as soon as you add more complexity then work requirements skyrocket in a non-linear manner, and each new element/system makes the job of creating the game many times more difficult. Plus overall demands & expectations for games are always only increasing.

So while I enjoyed it a lot I also enjoy AAA open-world games a lot too, and wish they'd work on them even more, hell even the poster child for worksploitation & insane staff #s + work hrs, RDR 2, in the end is a very limited experience wrt how much you can interact with the world, the consequences of actions in the world (or lack thereof), etc. Hell, even the "Chosen One" aka Star Citizen recently announced they had to get bent and experience dry friction because they can't make their networking systems work as they had envisioned so now it's gonna be just another MMO.

So from what I'm seeing we need AAA more than ever. We're still far from any game having a proper simulation for itself so that the world's actually alive rather than just a small bunch of obvious scripted routines.
 
  • Fire
Reactions: MastaKiiLA

ZywyPL

Member
Nov 27, 2018
6,295
11,152
755
Define "we" - the current AAA model exists because there's a huge audience for that kind of games, many people here (including myself) might not like the yearly GaaS releases of the same old formulas, but there's a huuuge crowd for those games, that why the companies are pumping so much money into them (hence the "AAA" tag, duh). But luckily for people like me who are not into them, the AA/indie market has indeed skyrocket in the past year or two, Unreal Engine and Unity have reached a level where a tiny studio or even a single individual can deliver a stunning looking games, that match even the biggest studios. Where those games are lacking tho is the voice acting and mo-cap, since there's no budget and resources for that, the moment a dialogue/cut-scene starts you can immediately tell it's an indie game because there's just plain text, often without any lip-sync even. That's the part that's missing in those smaller games that would otherwise help them them reach higher audience and media praise.
 

kuncol02

Member
Apr 4, 2020
1,878
2,264
465
Holy crap, this game. The art design and level of detail is godlike. It's like they took inspiration from all of the best French, Japanese, British and American cyberpunk art of the last 40 years and put it all in one game. And the raytracing on PC just takes it over the top. It's pretty ridiculous. I also love how dense and intricate and unashamedly cyberpunky the game's story is as well, just full of wild ideas and crazy concepts.

If this were a turn-based rpg or something it would be close to one of my ideal games, but as a shooter its pretty fun too once you start to upgrade stuff, and you can start sending enemies splattering. And it has cool effects, explosions and destructible environments as well. I've never been a huge fan of top-down shooters, but I'll make an exception in this case.

It's pretty awesome that in the last year or so, most of the best-looking games I've played have been from smaller or indie studios. It's like the barrier to making incredible-looking games is coming down, and it's giving us a lot of stuff to enjoy while AAA studios are increasingly focused on live service dreck and open-world sludge. A Plague Tale, The Medium, Psychonauts 2, Kena Bridge of Spirits and The Ascent - there aren't many better looking or more enjoyable games out there. It really bodes well for the future.
Did I played different game? Maybe it's great looking, but in gameplay it's super shallow and in some ways terrible (whoever made UI should never be allowed to make games again). Story is also not that good.
 

Bartski

Member
Jan 15, 2020
4,017
10,420
745
Katowice
Probably my favourite game on the Series X so far. Too bad they underinvested in QA which is still biting them in the ass.
 

Heisenberg007

Member
Nov 16, 2020
2,914
10,176
505
Thanks for proving (as if there’s any need to) that this MC shit serves nothing but fuel opinion wars.
Not really. Unless a game was deliberately review bombed on a big scale, average review scores even things out and present a very good picture of what to expect in terms of quality. Individual, subjective opinions can and do differ, but they do not represent the views of the majority.

Average, based on a substantial amount of review scores, paints a reasonably accurate picture.
 

ZywyPL

Member
Nov 27, 2018
6,295
11,152
755
Interesting you ignored the user scores which are significantly higher which paints a more accurate picture.

424 reviews putting at 7.9 VS 34 reviews ("substantial amount" … 😂) putting it at 68. Tells you everything you need to know.

The review code was seriously bugged compared to the launch version, hence the lower scores. And again - it wasn't until the 2nd patch from September before they sorted out most of the issues, the game is in MUCH better shape now than when the reviews showed up.
 

Kenpachii

Member
Mar 23, 2018
9,853
12,222
815
Freaking love the output of smaller teams these days. Riftbreaker / alien maurader / valheim / ascent / grounded. All so good.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hlm666

captainnapalm

Member
Oct 26, 2011
4,044
698
910
The review code was seriously bugged compared to the launch version, hence the lower scores. And again - it wasn't until the 2nd patch from September before they sorted out most of the issues, the game is in MUCH better shape now than when the reviews showed up.
I figured this might have been the case. I just got the game recently and there's no way it's a 68.

It's crazy much love and care they put into it. You can walk to any corner of the fairly massive world and you're going to see something interesting, or the camera will pan out to show something amazing above or below you, or an incredible vista off in the distance. And it's all informed by a deep love and understanding of sci-fi and cyberpunk art and fiction. They could literally have put half the amount of work into the world than they did and you'd still say the game looked incredible.
 

wOs

Member
Sep 20, 2020
224
211
260
I thought so too about this game until the constant skill checks. What a shame I was loving it.
 

cragarmi

Member
Mar 14, 2014
685
1,696
630
The North UK
Interesting you ignored the user scores which are significantly higher which paints a more accurate picture.

424 reviews putting at 7.9 VS 34 reviews ("substantial amount" … 😂) putting it at 68. Tells you everything you need to know.
Well if we are going by User scores now, then enjoy your goat! ;

 

Fredrik

Member
Jun 27, 2005
11,409
6,268
1,720
I figured this might have been the case. I just got the game recently and there's no way it's a 68.

It's crazy much love and care they put into it. You can walk to any corner of the fairly massive world and you're going to see something interesting, or the camera will pan out to show something amazing above or below you, or an incredible vista off in the distance. And it's all informed by a deep love and understanding of sci-fi and cyberpunk art and fiction. They could literally have put half the amount of work into the world than they did and you'd still say the game looked incredible.
Have you seen the first person view? It’s nuts how much details they put in that people will never even see, looks more detailed than most AAA games.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Punished Miku

captainnapalm

Member
Oct 26, 2011
4,044
698
910
Have you seen the first person view? It’s nuts how much details they put in that people will never even see, looks more detailed than most AAA games.
Damn, that's awesome. Probably the most detailed isometric game ever.

If there's one thing the game is missing it's probably being able to zoom in and out, but I like the dynamic camera, where if you stand still long enough it starts to zoom in. Or if you walk to certain points on the screen, the camera pans out or up or down. Gives it a nice cinematic feel.
 

yazenov

Member
Dec 12, 2020
395
1,412
355
Whats the point of AAA games?

Try playing some of Sony's 1st party games such as The Last of US 2 and God of War and you'll realize they are in a league of their own. Widen your horizons a little bit and you will see why your question is ignorant to say the least.
 
Last edited:

captainnapalm

Member
Oct 26, 2011
4,044
698
910
Whats the point of AAA games?

Try playing some of Sony's 1st party games such as The Last of US 2 and God of War and you'll realize they are in a league of their own. Widen your horizons a little bit and you will see why your question is ignorant to say the least.
Oh, I agree The Last of Us 2 is in a league of its own. And I'm fine with it staying there by itself.

Also, relax fella, was just a cheeky headline.
 
  • Like
Reactions: yazenov