This used to be my favourite game when i was a child. I bought it after beatin Warcraft 3, and loved it a lot. I also replayed it a few times and enjoyed it every time. About a year ago i tried to play Kings bounty, but enjoyed it a lot less than this game. Maybe it's nostalgia, but i really love that in this game every unit is separate, when in KB it's just one unit with the number. It makes it a lot more fun for me.
This game may have bad graphics, but does this even matter? It's best part is the fighting system. It's not too long, so i didn't get bored with figths, which are, by the way, pretty different each time. If you played KB, you should know what i'm talking about. In Ascension it also matters how many units you put into one cell. It may be 1 weak soldier, which can be a bait, or a group of them. In the second scenario the group is more likely the distract the enemy, they can even protect more important units with their own bodies, which you couldn't do in KB, but the also can be destroyed by one hit of the wizard, while putting them into separate groups makes it longer to take them all down.
The rpg part is not very developed, this is true. There is no skill tree or anything like that. But if you choose to be a wizrd, which is a wise choise, you definatly will enjoy finding new spells, like triple fireballs or distraction. Most of them can be bought learned from wizards in towns, but some, like fast travel spell, are hidden on the map. However, if you want the game to be more challanging, make your hero a warrior and don't learn spells.
The world is divided into three continents. The land of humans, the land of orcs and barbariabs and the land of demons. Each of them is full of characters, secrets and side quests. It's really interesting to explore in ths game. If you do, you may find a worthy treasure.
Side quests in this game are rather small, but more interesting, than just "kill-bring" ones. There are such quests as drinking competiton, detective quest. In most of those you can express your will. For example, in the detective quest you can either punish the criminal you find, or take his money + keep him available as a merchant.
There are also several items in this game, which cost a lot, A LOT of money. You'll have to complete some side quests in order to buy them. Those are armour, rings etc. Funny thing: you won't be able to buy some items. Merchants will tell you that they are no use for you. They are actually useful for a main caracter of the sequel, which is sadly not on steam. Those items are easter eggs of some sort.
I found the plot interesting. The final battle is pretty epic. Plus there are some interestings parts of the main quests, in which you, for example, will have to get rid of all your weapons and armour, your whole army too, and dress as a monk in order to enter a city, taken over by a demon. Hten you'll have to fight him without all things you left behind. If you're a wizard - it's difficult. If you're a warrior - good luck.
The in-game journal is done decently. It doesn't say "kill 10 rats, dragonborn". The notes in it always fit the atmosphere, and, if you read them, may contain useful hints.
I definatly recommend this game.