TowerFall Ascension - PlayStation 4

Release Date:

19 March 2014

Also on:

PS4 PC

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.
8.7

Summary:

TowerFall Ascension will see players grab their bow, string an arrow and prepare to do battle against up to three friends in the most hilarious and fiercely competitive archery shooter you’ve ever played. Take on one of four character classes and battle your friends inside a series of fiendish medieval towers packed with power-ups, traps and pitfalls. Shoot arrows to eliminate your opponents while dodging their missiles, and fight to rack up enough kills to rise to the top of the leader board. Playing solo? Hone your skills against monsters and enemy archers in single player quest mode.

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Details

  • Developer(s):
    • Matt Thorson
  • Publisher(s):
    • Matt Makes Games Inc.
  • Release Date(s):
    • 19 March, 2014
  • PEGI Rating:
    • 7+
  • Official Site(s):
  • Player(s):
    • 1-4
  • Online Player(s):
    • N/A

Technical Information

  • Required Disk Space:
    • 315MB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Game Format:
    • Digital Download
  • DualShock Compatible:
    • DualShock 4
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 17 Hours
  • Add-Ons:
    • Available
avatar name

Posted:
2015-09-03

Jamie_Hall

Writer

PS4

8.7

TowerFall Ascension was developed by Matt Thorson and published via his own studio, Matt Makes Games Inc back in March of 2014. The title dropped on PC and PlayStation 4 and was immediately received as one of the most entertaining multiplayer platformers of the year. The independent nature of the title allowed Thorson to grow in ways that larger dev companies wouldn’t allow and as such gamers were rewarded with a fairly unique experience that also played fluidly. We bought ourselves a copy for the PS4, opting for the console version instead of the PC, and dug right into the game with a couple of friends. Here’s what we found out about TowerFall Ascension!

One of our favorite features of old school gaming was the implicit need for playing with your buddies on the couch next to you. Now, don’t get us wrong and think that we are dissing online gaming. Online gaming has revolutionized entertainment in a way that nothing else really has. Being able to connect wireless to anyone on the planet in order to beat the hell out of them in Mortal Kombat is a ton of fun. But we love the camaraderie of destroying our buddies and then laughing in their face before grabbing another round of drinks. At its core, that is what TowerFall brings back to the console gaming world. Anyone with a few buddies, a PS4, and a couple of controllers owes it to themselves to pick up a copy of TowerFall Ascension and set aside a weekend for some gaming.

We’ve waxed eloquent on how great the multiplayer aspect of the title is but that wouldn’t mean a whole bunch if the game itself wasn’t easy or satisfying to play. TowerFall is wonderfully easy to pick up and play and that lends the game a whole new level of charm. The core concept of the game sets you and up to four enemies onto a single screen stage that is represented in 2D SNES like glory. The goal of the game is to bounce around the different elevations of the map and outshoot your opponent. One shot is all it takes to kill your opponent and with up to four total players there is a ton going on at one time. Every shot is to kill and so rounds go quickly and chaotically.

Every game starts out with only a couple of arrows so one of the more important aspects of TowerFall Ascension is the collection of items off of your opponents. You can loot corpses for arrows or even steal them right off of your opponents backs by bumping into them. Grab spent arrows from wherever they get lodged to boost your ammo as well. It’s tough deciding whether or not to waste a precious shot and this will lead to more than a couple of stand-offs that leave both players afraid to outspend their ammunition. You do have a dash button that allows you to evade opposing shots but such a big part of the game is about the movements you don’t make. When you commit you need to know that you are grabbing a kill because the outcome is death on your end.

Our favorite moments in TowerFall Ascension came when both players were down to their last arrow or completely out. At this point you had to decide your strategy and whether you would go for the kill or play the long con. You could run into entrances at both the right and left side of the map in order to teleport on the other end. You could wait for treasure chests to spawn or you could try and jump down onto an opponent from above, thus stealing an arrow and putting the kill shot into action. This depth of strategy wouldn’t even be thought possible simply by looking at the 16 bit graphics, but there it is and it is gloriously fun.

Fun gameplay mechanics only go so long if the content is thin. In TowerFall Ascension there are a multitude of gameplay tweaks that allow you to get more longevity out of the game. You can set how many rounds each match goes for, making the experience last only a few minutes or longer like an Ironman match. You can add and remove power up items, just like in Smash Brothers, in the form of exploding arrows, wings for flight, and even drill bit attachments. You can even opt for graphical enhancements such as exploding players when they are killed. The action can get hilarious and violent all at once with the right game mode tweaks.

The biggest issue that TowerFall Ascension will face is that if you want to enjoy the title you must be playing local multiplayer. There is no single player campaign for you to play through and you cannot compete against AI. There is also no online multiplayer which is sort of staggering. Instead you can only play local multiplayer with anywhere from one to three partners alongside yourself. So before buying this game you need to make sure that you’ll have buddies willing to drop by the house and get in the game with you. These are some shortsighted flaws that we feel a more matured developer would have been sure to address, but here we are and it is what it is. Still, the experience is fun enough that finding people to play with shouldn’t be too terribly hard.

The only single player action that you get comes in the form of a few mini games. You can play in Trial Mode which forces you to shoot down targets as they shoot across your screen in order to unlock power ups. Quest Mode is similar to horde mode as you face waves of enemies before getting to the big boss. All your stats from these two modes go up to an online leaderboard.

Even though there is no campaign mode or online multiplayer there is enough content here to pull in any hardened arena fighting gamer.

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By:

Matt Makes Games Inc

Release Date:

19/03/2014

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