Games of the Year

Trials of Ascension: Exile

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NOTE: Trials of Ascension: Exile will not be updated much as we are working on Trials of Ascension! For more information see the site and social media.

Trials of Ascension: Exile is a hardcore sandbox fantasy game where you will play as a human mastering your skills, evolve for the hunt as a Raknar, or defy all odds to grow as a powerful dragon!

Survival is the goal of every life that finds its way to the Lost Isles. With hunger and thirst a constant threat, food and water will be top priorities. But dangers lurk around every corner and many environmental factors need careful consideration. Shelter and other means of protection will be necessary to fend off all threats, including aggressive predators.

In addition to Health and Stamina, the Balance attribute brings a new aspect to combat. Maintain your balance and you are rewarded with solid footing; attack recklessly and you chance exposing yourself instead. Unbalanced characters find their swings are less effective and they run the risk that a well placed blow will knock them down. Additionally, each race has their own unique way of treating wounds.

Time is in constant motion on the islands, with day cycles that bring truly dark nights and changing weather patterns that forecast rain, wind, and storms, all of which will affect your character. Every piece of flora, fauna and minerals are interact-able and offer an abundance of resources to assist in your survival.

Each island can be set with a wide range of options so that you can play just the way you like. From flora and fauna spawn rates, to PvP settings, even to the number of lives each character is allowed, ToA: Exile can be set to your liking.

For untold centuries the Lost Isles have been the hatching and nursery grounds for your kind. Only those strong enough to survive on these hostile lands earn the right to reach adulthood and advance dragon-kind. Freshly hatched from the shell, you find yourself surrounded by new enemies your ancestors never faced in their tender years. Can you use your wits to overcome these new threats, or will the death of your kind begin with you?

Dragons are the most challenging race to play in ToA: Exile, as they lack the natural arsenal of the raknar and the ingenuity of the humans. Skilled and resourceful players will be able to overcome this disadvantage to keep their hatchling alive and fed until it is ready to molt. Molting allows the dragon to grow to the next developmental stage, increasing its size, strength, and abilities. Continued growth unlocks new racial abilities, such as breath attacks and flight!

Dragons are able to build their own race-unique structure, the nest. It functions as a respawn point, storage, and is required to molt to their next life stage. Multiple nests can be built, offering different storage and respawn locations across the island. Nests can be destroyed, so it is best to hide them in hard-to-reach locations.

Dragons can ingest nuggets of rare metals to fuel their fiery breath weapon. Devastate your foes with this powerful attack and bring the lesser races to their knees. The rarer the metals consumed, the more powerful attack.

After growing their wings, dragons can begin mastering the controls of flight. Launch yourself into the air with a running start, then beat your wings to speed up, bank to turn, and flare them to slow down. However, air speed must be maintained or you risk falling from the sky.

Dragon have superior senses and because of this are able to navigate their surroundings, even during the darkest nights. They also possess the unique ability to sense deposits of rare metals buried underneath the surface of the ground, allowing them to harvest the nuggets they require for their abilities and molting.

Driven to the seas by the advancing raknar threat, you and you fellow refugees seek out a new land to call home. A terrible typhoon over-takes your inexperienced crew and your ship is dashed upon the rocky shoals in the darkness of night. Nearly drowned by the waves, you make it to shore with your life intact and little else. Can you use your skills to survive, or will you join your fellow passengers in the afterlife?

Humans are able to gather raw resources from their environment and turn them into various items, tools, and equipment to improve their survival situation. They can also research improvements to the items they craft using our improvement system.

Along with the ability to craft their own tools and equipment, humans also have access to our 3D structure design system where they can draft a 3D model of a structure and create a blueprint of their building. These blueprints are needed to begin the construction of buildings.

Humans do not have natural abilities, instead they must rely on their skills to reach their goals. Skills are improved with use and can be enhanced through perk choices earned as they increase the skill.

Trapped underground by the devious humans generations ago, you and your hive mates explore the ancient volcanic tubes in search of new ways to the world above. An earthquake collapses the tunnel behind you, but opens a new way to the surface. As you skitter your way into the daylight, you find yourself surrounded by ocean. Cut off from the Hive, can you evolve to dominate this new land, or will it dominate you?

Raknar are born with full use of all their natural abilities. For combat, they have impressive, scythe-like strikers. In addition, their silk can be used to set traps for prey or as treatment for life-threatening wounds. Six legs give them an advantage in speed, and heavy chitin protects them from most minor damage. Take on the role of the lone hunter, or work together with your friends to create a hive that dominates the isles!

Raknar are able to evolve each of their natural abilities by simply doing what raknar do best, hunting and killing and they do it in real time. Watch as your raknar grows in size, gains armor around its body and menacing barbs sprout from its strikers.

Raknar are the only race able to cling and move effortlessly over most surfaces. This includes slopes that cannot be traversed by the other races, including vertical and even inverted surfaces! This adds a whole new dynamic to combat!

As a raknar you will be able to penetrate the darkest of nights and caves thanks to your fully functional night vision that you can turn on and off at will. Become a true hunter of the night!
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

With a new developer taking over Trials of Ascension my previous review is no longer relevant, as is all the old posts you'll find online and in some of the old replies here talking about the history of this game. With the game officially being back online I felt its only fair to update my review.
Currently the game is in the same state as it was before it was taken over so I don't have much to add right now, once we start seeing updates from the new Developer i'll re-evaluate and update my review. Until then the new developers have quite the task taking on all the problems left behind by Forced Chaos but i'm hopeful that they are up to it.
There are many issues we all know about but one that was most noticable to me is how boring and grindy the Dragon gameplay is. Currently besides building your nest and and searching for rare nuggets needed to advance your character (something you have to complete without having died once or lose your progress) all you can do is aimlessly soar or wander the country side with no sense of purpose whatsoever. What we need is something that provides more interaction with the environment and other players that helps you feel like you are actually there and provides a sense of purpose. Other games do this in many different ways but all involve some aspect of story. The trials of Ascension MMO has a lot of story already written, why not integrate some parts of that here?

Review from Steam

I have to start out by saying I am very biased. I've been following this development team for about 15 years. Originally they were planning to make an MMO and I absolutely loved their design ideas.
A skill based progression system instead of levels so you could specialize the way you wanted.
A perma-death over time system so there was real risk in the game and nobody could be on top forever and you'd have the opportunity to start fresh and try something new as in rogue-like games.
A ton of races including dragons and set up so there would be real conflict and asymmetric power levels.
Deep settlement building, crafting, and religious systems.
I participated on their forums, I was even a moderator for a while. I've chatted with the developers in chat rooms and private messages. I pledged to the kickstarters for the MMO that ultimately failed. I donated money through the website so they were able to develop a demo for their second kickstarter. I watched disappointed fans turn away and trolls heap hate on them for being fake devs. I also watched them never give up. They have vision and passion and drive and integrity. They've never promised anything they couldn't deliver.
And eventually they said, "We are not giving up. We're not abandoning the fans who donated money to us and believed in us." And they started developing ToA: Exile, a survival game using some of the same mechanics they had planned for the MMO. Their goal was to make an enjoyable survival game that can stand on its own merits, and, if it does well enough, eventually get back to work on the MMO we were all waiting for for so long.
As a prior supporter and active community member, I was invited to help alpha test Exile once it was far enough along. I've enjoyed every minute of testing and I'm thrilled the game is launching in Early Access now. It's definitely Early Access, there's no doubt about that. But it's also definitely fun to play as it is, and if you get it now you'll have the opportunity to give your feedback to a development team that I can promise is open to constructive criticism and works hard to make necessary changes to the code and design.
If you like skill based progression, a deep crafting system, or if playing as a giant spider or trying to raise a dragon from weakling to powerhouse sounds interesting to you; or if you want to host your own server for you and your friends and customize it to your liking, what are you waiting for?! This game is for you!

Review from Steam

At moment game is very early access and not for everyone (yet), however if your looking for a challenge and/ or enjoy helping test games then it's worth having a look.
1st off you have a limited number of lives so deaths matter, no just throwing yourself at something and respawning, once your out of lives that's it new character time! Deaths also lose you any partial skill levels, you keep completed skill ranks however.
Humans - This is the most fleshed out race so far, very intricate crafting system, not for the faint of heart but if looking for a challenge then well worth it.
Main strength: Technology, humans can build weapons, defences and homes to strengthen their position
Main Weakness: Water, Fresh water is in limited supplies
Raknar - Giant spider like bugs!!! Kill-Eat-Grow-Repeat! Ever wanted to throw spider webs around a dark cave and make a nest, lay eggs and eat anything that moves? However Raknar have the least to do so far, more to come in future builds, they can however see in the dark.
Main Strength: Armoured killing machine, Raknar are born with a thick carapace and deadly scythe like talons.
Main Weakness: Can't swim
Dragons - The mightiest of all the creatures, feel the glorious power of a dragon as it expands it's treasure horde & feasts on the largest of creatures on the island or even just bask in the majesty of these gigantic creatures as they fly overhead dominating the skys. That being said Dragons are being looked at for an updated overhaul as you start off as a hatchling and have to eat precious gems to grow, this will be expanded upon in the future but Dragons are still quite fun for now, there will also be more stages of growth in the future.
Main Strength: Nothing is mightier than the Dragon gods! Dragons become by far the most powerfull single entity to be found on the island. Flying, Breath weapon attacks, nightvision and very very large!
Main Weakness: Baby dragon. Starts off as the weakest crewture on the island, Dragons are not for the faint of heart! You start out small and barely able to do anything other than hide in the grass, barely bigger than a humans boot with everything out to eat you, that is untill you find enough rare gems to molt!
Anyway the game has a lot of potential but as i already said it is very early in it's stages of development, but the community is very friendly and willing to help, we plan to bring some tutorials in the future as well as others are already building the wiki, come join us on the official ToA Discord if your looking for help or more info.
I will update this review in future as development continues, thanks for reading, hope it helps.

Review from Steam

So far I have really enjoyed the game, Its Challenging and fun just how any game should be!
The races in-game are unique and well made as is the terrain and interesting survival.
Yes it needs fixes and updates, but with some patience I believe this game can be great!
I recommend this game to people with patience and a history of playing Survival based game's.

Review from Steam

: 6.5 out of 10.. (Recommended in current form)
Hours Played on steam: 120+ (closed door testing it will be more lol)
: Alpha Tester
: Won it in a give away during the launch party.
New update of the game: They ironed out most of the Issues in the game, Im updating the review now to show that..
Humans: Still a Grind but not as bad as they were before hand.
Raknar: Needs a little more love to be the main PvP race, Like on the webpage of there arms pericing a humans chest.
Dragons: They need some good love and attention they are a bit better not as bad as before but i do think the 2 hit rule on the Current stage on Depending on what animal is hunting them aka AI should be known to a set rule like Needlefangs/snakes should 2 shot a Hatchling while it should 4 to 6 shot a Child dragon etc etc...
Sounds: more crisp then it was before hand, But there are Questionible sounds that need to be replaced as some animals that use human sounds should be changed a bit..
Gameplay: Alot more fluid then it was before hand Great job!
Options: there are tons upon tons of options for both casual and hardcore players in its difficulty.. Good job!
Price worth its asking price?: Id say It should be around 20$ not 25$
Final verdic: Game is good to play for those that like Devs who take Critisim these devs are GREAT people.. Unlike many other games i know and played.. These devs understand that Players are the Key to a good game of there feed back and Critisim 6.5/10 This number will go up If the Sound changes and Animations of the races get fixed up..
Reccamended or not?
There are many games out there that hold your hand and many others that shoot your face off or shoot your eye out.. this one is on more the fair side its not here to brtutally murder you or to hold your hand its here to teach you a bit before letting you make your own choice.

Review from Steam

This game starts you off from very humble beginnings. As a human, that means you have boxers and a torch. As a survival game, that's where you SHOULD start. Everything after that you do on your own. Except for the torch, nothing is given to you. Instead, you have to earn it. Earning everything is HARD. I enjoy that kind of play. I feel a sense of accomplishment for everything I gain. I kept myself fed, I created clothes, I defended myself. I want to keep progressing. I get sucked in by that. There is no hand-holding, and going solo makes it harder. However, there is real emotion getting attacked from behind by a bear, or hearing a snake hiss in total darkness, or finding a Raknar web in the moonlight.
If that does not sound fun to you, play something else. This game does not provide any quick reward. It is not merciful. And you can totally screw yourself over.
I like that kind of challenge. I feel good when I succeed and I get pissed when I fail. I laugh when I do something really stupid.
Most things in the world are interactable and useful.
Items and recipes make sense. You can guess where to find what you need.
You can go anywhere. No invisible walls.
Carrying capacity is restricted, but not overly so.
Different server settings allow for variety.
Skills allow you to develop your character how you want and gradually.
Mobs don't just pop up in a herd with no reason, but rather make sense and have a purpose.
The crafting is amazing with the ability to make walls and houses.
Each of the races are completely different to play.
Raknar wall-climbing is unbelievably fun.
This is pre-release and it shows. I suspect many of these will be addressed in the future.
Not enough character creation options.
Some of the animations are off (swimming).
Server issues with stability and data loss.
The human model's shoulders are off and you spend a lot of time watching them before you get clothes.
Sound issues
Combat feels vague. A hit doesn't feel like a hit.
Bottom Line: I feel the game is as advertised, and I have really enjoyed playing it.

Review from Steam

I've had such a blast playing this game. Although I've cut it a lot of slack because it's the first phase of early access, as is it presents tons of completely new ideas that me and friends have had a lot of fun playing with. IMO, humans are the hardest race to play right now--which explains why no one is playing them. People say dragon is the most difficult, but If you find a group of people to play with--dragon becomes very easy. I say humans are the most difficult because the crafting recipes are so complicated. For example, if you were to build stairs, you'd have to build the frame first, cut all the boards for the individual steps, and then make a TON of nails to nail it all together.
In its current state, people who are picky might wanna hold off on buying it. I for one, as someone who has a group of people to play with and neutral standards, and as someone who loves both dragons and survival games, have had a huge amount of fun even in this first update just playing as a dragon alone. It takes a while and a lot of work, but getting to grow into a big winged reptile is completely and totally worth it!!! You go from the weakest thing in the game that's constantly looking over its shoulder and running from snakes, to a big beastie that's comfortable going afk for 5 minutes because EVERYTHING is scared of you.
And don't believe what other people say--it is more than possible to grow a dragon by yourself. Difficult yes, but not impossible, as I've seen many people do it already. Getting to take off into flight as a dragon for the first time, after hours upon hours of hard work, was the greatest feeling in the entire game to me. It's also pretty tough to get the hang of flight controls--I'll say, they aren't the best, but eventually once you get used to the controls it's pretty easy.
Also, I'm not sure if it's intended, but dragons + humans working together is great! There are a lot of ways they can help each other and it almost feels like the game is designed for human + dragon interaction and cooperation. Those huge scary raknar in the caves add an awesome touch to the game especially for people who enjoy PVP and scaring people.
For anyone reading, I've been following the game for about 2 years--here's some things I've heard might be added to the game from the devs themselves!
-Ice dragons are definitely going to be added.
-Ice + Fire dragons will get buffs/nerfs depending on what biome they're in.
-Lots of dragon customization such as choosing between male/female and different horn options
-Nest customization for dragons
-Magic for humans, possibly fueled by nuggets.
-A secret planned feature that the devs have yet to reveal. I haven't heard them talk about it in some time though.
-Raknar will be able to hatch tiny NPC raknar to do their bidding
That's all I can recall right now. In summary--I've had fun, will probably continue to have more fun as the game develops.
I do wanna mention that the models are very sub-par, but the game was originally built in unity after all. They will be upgrading the animations AFAIK, so don't assume what it's like right now is going to represent the finished project

Age Verification
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