Ascend: Hand of Kul was a free-to-play action RPG that was first announced at Microsoft‘s 2012 E3 press conference. The beta was made available to download on the Xbox Live Marketplace in 2013, but Microsoft discontinued support for the game on the Xbox 360 and it was delisted, hence it never got a full release.
The PC version kept going for a bit longer but the servers for that too were shut down in 2016. Now, the game is supposedly back and will be re-released as Ascend: Reborn. For this, the original developer, Signal Studios, has partnered up with Outer Heaven to re-release the game.
@outer_heaven_studios is excited to announce that we are partnering with @signalstudiosgames to re-release Ascend: Hand of Kul as "Ascend: Reborn". Follow us on social media to stay up to date with our progress and to learn more about this beloved game.#greatgamesneverdie
— OuterHeaven (@OuterHeaven_Inc) September 2, 2022
There are no concrete details regarding the project as of yet. The developers just announced through their Twitter accounts that the game will be re-releasing.
We do not know, as of yet, whether this will be the same game as it was back when it was released or if it is a new version with enhanced visuals, new gameplay mechanics, and other additions of the sort typically associated with the games of today.
We also have no details regarding the platforms it will be released on, as both developers have given no details regarding that. However, we can make assumptions about that. Signal Studios, the original developer of Ascend: Hand of Kul has previously worked on the Toy Soldiers series of strategy games.
Last year, Signal Studios released an HD remaster of Toy Soldiers, dubbed Toy Soldiers HD, on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. The game is playable on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S through backward compatibility.
The same seems to be the case with Toy Soldiers: Cold War HD, another remaster, and Toy Soldiers 2, a sequel of the series. We can surmise from these facts that Ascend: Reborn will be released on these platforms, however, Hand of Kul was not released on any PS console, so it may be that the developer had some kind of deal with Microsoft.
However, the game was shut down many years ago and how it may have affected the deal, IF there was any deal, we do not know. If there were any deal, it may also be possible that Signal Studios may have acquired the publishing rights again, but all this is merely conjectured until the developer provides solid information.
We also do not have any details regarding the release date for Ascend: Reborn, but we can infer that it will release in 2023 at the least but possibly later, as Signal Studios and Outer Heaven have still not released Toy Soldiers: Cold War HD or Toy Soldiers 2, which were expected to release in 2021 previously but still haven’t been released.
It should also be noted that the developers have fallen silent regarding both of these games ever since announcing them so it may also be possible that both projects have been shut down and Signal Studios is currently only focusing on Ascend: Reborn, which would mean the release could be sooner.
This is also not the first time that Signal Studios have partnered with Outer Heaven. The developers worked together on the Toy Soldiers HD remaster as well, so they may have good chemistry and relations to ensure not only a stable release but also a good game.
How Ascend: Reborn fares against these games, only time will say. We can only hope for the best that the developers deliver on the game and give us possibly the next big thing in the free-to-play genre.
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