Ascension (AKA Volitant Assault) is a cancelled community-based online FPS that was in development around 2006 – 2007 by RenWerX, a team previously known for a few popular Tribes mods. By looking at footage and screenshots available it seems the game would have indeed been inspired by Tribes, with huge maps, jetpacks and vehicles in team VS team online matches.
Essentially RenWerx conceived an open, crowd-developer online multiplayer FPS, to create a better Tribes experience for hardcore players. As we can read in their old website:
“Renwerx has revealed that the final release title for its upcoming game will be ‘Ascension’, replacing the previous working title ‘Volitant Assault’. The name Ascension alludes to the freedom of movement afforded by the universal jetpack featured in the game, and also indicates a tangible evolution from past games of the genre.
Ascension is being described as an online ‘FPS+Z’ (First Person Shooter with advanced character movement on the Z axis). FPS+Z games typically use jetpacks to propel players through the air and across extreme terrain in a variety of game-types such as CTF, Rabbit, and Siege. The Renwerx game combines exhilarating freedom of movement with team-oriented gameplay to immerse its players in fantastic new worlds without limits.
Renwerx Project Lead, Nick “Novanix” Daum explains, “Some folks have played games like this in the past, but the vast majority of online gamers are still out there slogging it for miles across boring terrain. These gamers are going to find a liberating new experience thanks to the FPS+Z gameplay in Ascension.”
As you can imagine in the early ‘00s it was not as easy to develop such a game and in the end Renwerx had to give up their dreams and hopes.
A playable beta was shared by fans, and you can download it from here.
Thanks to Dan for the contribution!