Exclusive first footage of Ascend: New Gods for Xbox Live on Windows Phone

During my recent trip to Casual Connect Seattle, I enjoyed a fantastic visit to Signal Studios, the developer of upcoming Xbox Live title Ascend: New Gods for Windows Phone, Xbox 360, and PC. We’ve already posted a photos and video interview with studio president D.R. Albright III, and now it’s time to share something even more exciting: the first hands-on footage of Ascend: New Gods running on Windows Phone 7!

One world, three devices

First, let’s talk about the console and PC versions of Ascend. On the big screen, Ascend is an ambitious and innovative action-RPG with unique asynchronous multiplayer features. Players join one of three divine factions: Light, Dark, or Void. Each group of gods battles the others in an attempt to rule the game’s fantasy world.

On the surface, the console and PC version plays like other games in the genre: gamers explore the vast world, fighting monsters and tiny humans, and gathering all manner of loot and treasure. But Ascend’s multiplayer features take the experience to another level...

Each player gets to help or hinders his or her fellow players by sending them blessings and curses (some of which are elaborated on in the video). Additionally, gaining control of certain areas makes things easier for members of the same faction and harder for opposing groups. Even though you’re role-playing in your own, you’re always connected to a persistent world.

The ultimate companion game

Now then, give our hands-on demonstration a whirl! The build D.R. showed off for us is quite early but it gives a good impression of what Signal is going for in the Windows Phone game. The mobile version is combat-oriented and looks and plays similarly to Epic’s popular Infinity Blade iOS game. Here, players basically choose an AI opponent (some of which are characters created by other players) and battle him by swiping and tapping at the touch screen.

After the battle, you gain currency and experience which are shared with the Xbox 360 and PC versions of the game. Even equipment purchased on the phone syncs with the big brother versions. Additionally, every victory allows you to send a blessing or curse to players in the main game. Thus mobile players actually get to affect the experience of big-screen players. You can also check on the status of the ongoing metawar on the go to learn how your faction fares against the others.

The Ascend: New Gods Windows Phone has many more features going for it that you can see in our video. The game won’t launch until next year, so Signal has plenty of time to add more content and features before release.

Smart Glass too!

Signal clearly takes Ascend’s connectivity features seriously. Not only do all three games connect and interact with each other, but the main game even has SmartGlass features as well. The SmartGlass interaction is separate from the Windows Phone game and will enhance the console/PC experience while you’re playing those versions. The SmartGlass build was unavailable during our visit, but we know it displays detailed maps during gameplay, similar to the ATLAS feature in Halo WayPoint.

Prepare to ascend

Signal Studios is a cool place to work!

Ascend: New Gods comes to Windows Phone, Xbox 360, and PC in early 2013 – a long wait! In the meantime, check out our interview with D. R. Albright III and our E3 coverage of the XBLA game. To see how the XBLA game has advanced since E3, watch my new preview at Co-Optimus.

Update: Ascend is now known as Ascend: Hand of Kul.

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • This is 8 only?
    This looks great, but I think free to play games will benefit most from three screens. Once I'm used to big action and a controller I don't know I could downsize, but managing my farm on the go, super fun! ;) blah...
  • The second paragraph says the game is running on windows phone *7*
  • First paragraph*
  • First paragraph! Must be frustrating for the article writer.
  • Yikes, seriously...
  • Yes, seeing a number of people comment without reading the article is kind of a downer.
  • Here come the wp8/apps and games with no wp7.8 support.. Eh. I'll be switching to an iPhone 5 when available. Can't take all these apps were missing and how buggy games are (not all. some)
  • If anything now is the perfect time to get WP8. Win 8 will bring the apps. You shall see. :)
  • Don't even bother giving him a suggestion. If he is a iPhone guy, lets just say goodbye to him. We need hard core windows phone fans here, not flip-flops who don't know what they want.
  • I don't know what's worse: someone disappointed with Windows Phone who is considering jumping ships, or the WP fanboys who react so childishly. I love my WP but the way some of the people address each other on this site based on phone preference is disgusting.
  • @Laserfloyd - When someone says that they are moving to another platform, they are; they already know the basics of OSes, and for the most part, their heart is set for the move.  Suggesting WP8, no matter how much better it may be than WP 7.5/7.8, or perhaps even the other platform, is a waste of your time (in my opinion).
  • @laserfloyd I know. But I've decided iPhone 5 instead of WP8 Nokia
  • Cya.
  • Perhaps you should read the article again, because he stated that the video is of it running on Windows Phone 7
  • You missed the last sentence of the first paragraph that says "... the first hands-on footage of Ascend: New Gods running on Windows Phone 7!". While in the future we'll start seeing more WP8 specific apps, this game appears to run on WP7 phones.
  • Please do buy an iPhone, so we will not have to read a post by someone that cannot read the article. It clearly states running on wp7.
  • @Ton77 stop trolling. Read the article, and if you must leave don't let the door hit you on the way out.
  • Dude, ffs... Read the article.
  • @Ton77 you're and idiot and you should feel bad!!
  • What an idiot,it says it supports WP7 in the article. Learn to read!
  • People are so rude. Anyways I didn't read it I just watched the video. And I have a Nokia Lumia 900 which I love. I have my reasons for what I said. But I still love wp7... Relax a bit guys
  • So this game is free to play....
  • Nope, price not announced yet.
  • We shall see!
  • This game is for windows phone 7.8 and above as u can the the guy is using HTC hd7
  • I don't think this is an HD7. No fake "speakers" at the top or bottom of the device. Maybe a Titan?
  • Anyone know what case he has on his Titan on this video?
  • I think that's a HTC HD7S because the AT&T logo is on the right
  • Ok thanks. Thought for sure it was a Titan. Thought I saw a front dacing camera there.
  • Nice!!!
  • The fighting part looks a lot like Infinity Blade for iOS. This looks great considering its running on current Gen hardware.
  • Great!!!!
  • You can clearly see he is running a WP7.5 device, HD7 or not, due to the old WP logo and the fact that they probably dont have any usable WP8 hardware that they could just haphazardly show the public without mentioning it.
  • I love the multiplayer aspects of it...really cool
  • Hopefully everyone who can't read, either for lack of basic skills or pure lazyness goes to IOS. Sorry for being somewhat rude, but there are people who get kicks out whining.
  • Pretty much.. people complain and judge without knowing anything and the worst part... is that MOST people are like that its so sad and annoying on a happier note I've been looking forward to this game since E3 and im going to get it on every platform available :D
  • Lol.. I agree. Just as bad as reading people reviews on apps. Why did someone buy a wp if they wanted a different os to begin with. I appreciate constructive criticism on apps, games, prices, but as soon as someone "threatens" to leave to ios or android they become annoying and unwanted.
  • When the game finally does come out it will be outdated because of the new iPhone5 and wp8 hardware.
  • explain what you mean by "outdated" please.
  • What's outdated ? Compared to what game ? A mystical one which doesn't exist ? Seriously, whine for being wp7 and whine some more for being wp8. Hilarious, people love to be miserable. Life is cruel.
  • I'm assuming he's referring to some of the offerings on iOS. Though the games aren't necessarily too complex games like Infinity Blade boast impressive graphics.
  • on topic. I am stoked for this game! Looks fun. I am wanting a surface and am excited for next year.
  • There's just too much whining on these games articles
  • If this is the case, that means 7.8 will have more features than previously thought!!!!
  • Folks have got to lighten up....those who complain about what is and what's not going to be on WP7/WP8 and the folks who act as if being a WP fan is akin to being in some street gang, lol/
  • All in all, no one actually commented the game, myself included. MS is right, need everything new, not only devices but users as well, a happier bunch, lol.
  • I watched the video twice now. Game looks like it coming along nicely. "can't wait".
  • This is infinity blade with more features.
  • understandably its going to be really hard on people who cannot obtain a newer phone on release day because of contract issues and plain simple its not in their budget! I think for all of this to transpire smoothly MS and OEMs along with carriers they should find a way to manipulate contracts and possibly offer huge incentives to customers wanting to upgrade to a WP8 device!
  • I just hope its not n other fusion sentinal disaster
  • No, this tie-in game is made by the same developer who is makign the Xbox 360 version. Fusion: Sentient was made by a different developer than Fusion: Genesis, and they clearly didn't spend much time on it. Ascend for WP7 looks really good and well-considered so far, and they still have plenty of time to improve on it further.
  • well thats some good news , I was just so disapointed with Fusion :(
  • This game looks like the opposite of fun. Devs should stop trying to make "console" games on mobile platforms. It just doesn't work.
  • Love signal studios cant wait for this;-)