Bluehole Studios isn’t just working on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The South Korean development outlet is also dividing their time working on the aerial-based airship MMO, Ascent: Infinite Realm, oftentimes shortened to A:IR.
The game centers around players finding ways to take to the skies in the steampunk world of floating isles and large-scale battles taking place among the clouds.
The main form of transportation and combat involves the airships. In the most recent press release they revealed that there are eight different airship classes, including the beginner training airships that can be acquired early in the game for low-altitude travel for a single player.
The first three classes are designed for only one person, but later in the game you’ll be able to unlock assault class airships that can accommodate up to two player.
Eventually you’ll be able to unlock multi-passenger ships such as the Vulpin, which will allow for multiple players to board. While the multi-passenger Vulpin may be higher in level than the other ships, it’s slow and has poor maneuverability, meaning it’s better for long-distance assaults rather than getting up close and personal in the thick of combat where aerial mobility and evasive maneuvers are key for staying alive.
Beyond the assault class and carrier ships, there are also wind sprinters, which are high-speed racing machines designed for Ascent: Infinite Realm’s racing mini-games.
For players neither interested in racing nor combat, there are merchant ships as well. The merchant ships are designed as non-combat vessels that are literally designed for exploration and trade specialties.
And then there is the large-scale capital ships, which can house up to 75 players. These flying fortresses are designed for massive realm battles and world boss fights.
In addition to flying around on airships, there’s also the inclusion of mountable weapons and mechs.
The mechs, known as Vulcans, can be used both as transportation and as extra armament when going into dangerous or hazardous zone. They have two different types of fire modes, including a machine gun and a flame blast.
You can also enhance your own personal mech with upgrades for additional firepower and armored defense.
The airships have two different types of cannons, including a flame cannon, a standard cannon. Additionally, there are two machine gun types as well, a standard machine gun and an automatic machine gun. The different between the normal machine gun and automatic machine gun is that the automatic one doesn’t need to be operated by another player to fire on enemy ships, and can be set by the pilot to automatically defend a ship.
There are also mountable turret cannons that fire projectiles in an arc at designated targets. Turrets can also be controlled by the captain if no one is on board to man them.
So far Ascent: Infinite Realm has a lot of interesting features that relies on the large scale interactions taking place within the game world. We’ll see if Bluehole can optimize the game so that the battles and encounters are actually fun and not a lag-filled arena of performance hiccups and chaos.
For more info on Ascent: Infinite Realm, feel free to visit the official website.