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Apex Legends inspired Ascendant Infinity is an intense, 80s-themed FPS

Offering squad-based PvP action laced with 80s nostalgia, Ascendant Infinity is an intense Biopunk FPS that takes cues from Apex Legends.

Ascendant Infinity key art, shows squads running away from fearsome monsters.

I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed my time with
PlayFusion’s Ascendant Infinity. January’s eye-catching, sitcom-esque trailer confirmed this Biopunk world isn’t taking itself too seriously, yet beneath the nostalgic 80s presentation lies an intense, squad-based, and tactical FPS. In a recent hands-on preview, I found this approach rather refreshing.

While it’s too soon to tell if Ascendant Infinity will join the ranks of the best FPS games, it’s undoubtedly one of the better multiplayer games I’ve recently tried. A frankly absurd premise that could have been pulled directly from Futurama sets a humorous tone. After being cryogenically frozen in the 1980s, you wake up 1,000 years later to find the planet almost entirely uninhabitable for humans. While Earth’s moved on, your fashion sense certainly hasn’t. Your only protection is the Earthtree; keeping it alive involves collecting Biocores, but the problem is that you’re not alone in this pursuit.

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Each match focuses on the ‘Battle of the Biocores,’ where four teams of three players each fight over three Biocores. It’s reminiscent of Capture the Flag, with the main difference being that Biocores completely disappear once a team secures them at an extraction point. This creates an enjoyable, fierce sense of competitiveness. One squad will always leave empty-handed, and fights only intensify as more Biocores disappear. Other teams aren’t the only threats lurking across these maps, though. Earth’s new natives, who range from large monsters to giant snails, don’t take kindly to humans.

While Ascendant Infinity isn’t a battle royale game or a hero shooter, it’s taking several welcome cues from Apex Legends. Anyone holding a Biocore gets temporarily powered up, granting access to a useful ‘Ultimate’ ability. I didn’t see the full range of Ults, though an AoE blast turned the tables several times if a rival squad tried spoiling the party. During this preview, PlayFusion CEO and co-founder Mark Gerhard explained that the team is aiming for an arcade-like experience comparable to Respawn’s free-to-play hit with similar match pacing.

Ascendant Infinity screenshot, player looking through a rifle scope to aim.

FusionPlay describes Ascendant Infinity as an ‘adaption shooter,’ explaining that it uses a “procedurally unlocking map” that gradually opens up in a set way, requiring you to, well, adapt. While there’s overlap, no two maps are exactly the same. Weapon locations constantly change and Biocores appear in different areas, among other changes.

I also like that Ascendant Infinity doesn’t use classes, letting you shape characters through loadouts. You begin with five weapons – battle rifles, plasma rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles, and beam gloves that can heal allies and hurt enemies. So far, the gunplay is great. While I know that’s a lot of rifles, there’s solid variety in how each weapon handles. They simulate recoil well, standing still provides a better aim, and stronger variants are available during missions. Custom weapons are another solid addition, offering modifiers like increased damage for greater customization.

Ascendant Infinity screenshot, three players riding a car in an indoor hallway.

Sadly, because weapons vendors are locked until you reach a certain XP level, I couldn’t see how much further this goes back at your hub. Nor could I find out what passive and combat perks are available for your character. Still, it’s a promising start, and while my team initially came back empty-handed, a brilliant second match saw us secure two Biocores.

You’ll return to base once the mission’s over, and before this preview ended, we moved on to something slightly silly – hide-and-seek. Yes, that’s right. After assigning a Hunter randomly, any Hiders caught will join the hunting party. In a group of 21 players, I took pride in being among the top three Hiders on the first go. It doesn’t sound like much, yet such a simple activity makes this hub much more lively.

Ascendant Infinity screenshot, team running through forest with red tree leaves.

I’m also sold on the vibrant presentation, and Ascendant Infinity strikes a pleasingly camp tone. Even from the main menu, that’s immediately clear with the synth soundtrack and neon colors, but where the 80s theme shines most is in the character creation. Some aspects of customization were understandably limited given I was playing a pre-beta build, but I respect any game using colorful tracksuits or multiple versions of mullets and afros. Now, if PlayFusion can add a fuller beard option instead of stubble, I’m all set.

The Ascendant Infinity release date remains unconfirmed, though it’ll cost $29.99, and you can wishlist it now on Steam and the Epic Games Store for PC and Mac. It’s also coming to the Microsoft Store. While you wait, be sure to check out our list of the best new PC games, plus our rundown of the most promising upcoming games coming this year and beyond.