Ashen is a new action RPG developed by ‘Aurora44‘ but published by ‘Annapurna Interactive‘. It is coming out on the Xbox One and PC. Ashen straight away has gotten our interest. There’s combat, danger, survival and a brutal world. Let’s take a look.
In the world of Ashen, nothing lasts forever. Players control a “wanderer”. This wanders is alone, travelling and surviving alone. That’s going to change. This is a strange world as for starters there isn’t a sun. So how does everything survive (ask the game)? There is natural light but that comes from eruptions. These eruptions is what covers the whole place in ash (ash + en = ashen). There are multiple survivors and it’s wise to work together to survive. The game is centred around this.
When you find survivors in Ashen you must decide what to do concerning them. You can ignore them or lead them to your settlement. If convinced to stay they can be of some serious help to you, offering their skills and abilities. Some might be skilled blacksmiths and other crafting skills or even “foraging expertise”. The point is that surviving alone in Ashen is a bad idea.If you want to find a place to call home then you will need some members.
Ashen is a multiplayer game as well. In your very large world you will encounter other players. You can work with them to fight evil, off course send an invite to join your party or leave them alone. Don’t be a bully now. The whole of Ashen literally is about working together, meeting people (real and) computer so keep that in mind when exploring.
The world in Ashen is huge and there is lots to see indeed. Expect forests, fields, broken structures, fjords, palaces, bogs and more. Even more interesting is that, according to the developers, no two gameplay experiences are similar. Basically the game works in a way that your adventure changes depending on where you are “at any given moment”. This means if you went to the bog first then things will be different if you had instead gone to a palace first for example, not just what happens at that exact location but surrounding things and more in the world itself. Interesting right? We know.
Off course let’s get to the interesting parts. The combat and the monsters. Combat first. The combat should make a number of Dark Souls fans happy as it’s a similar style. Being patient is needed for the combat in this game. You need to watch your enemy, see the attacks coming and know when to dash and dodge. Every fight you get into regardless of how far you progress could be your last so always be ready and prepared.
In terms of the enemies, there’s more to say. You can expect some scary monsters, spiders, flying things which swoop down, giant flying whale creatures, actual giants and more. There are thinkings hostile enemies that don’t like you and then there are indigenous creatures. You see those nice looking plants and flowers over there? Pick some. Congratulations you are dead. Even the plants and vegetation can be dangerous enemies capable of killing you.
We checked out some Ashen gameplay and it looks good so far. The graphics are quite cartoonish but done well. Movement speed is good, you can roll, evasion is fast enough, enemy attacks are telegraphed nicely (well at least for smaller ones), game difficulty seems acceptable from the start, crafting is important so loot everything you find and kill. Also Ashen has a stamina based combat system. Your attacks and moves cost stamina. Players will need to know what fights to pick and decide their actions carefully. You can decide to never see other players or never have any A.I. We are given that choice. The A.I by the way work very ell. They dodge attacks, know when to heal and fight good.
Overall Ashen looks like a very good game indeed. The sounds are very good and the controls are very responsive. The world design and enviro meets have great variety and we like that. We do hope for more variety in enemies though but how frequent we see them, we don’t know. The developers ‘Aurora44’ have done a very good job with this game. We at X35 Earthwalker look forward to seeing Ashen come out. Now Ashen might have a massive world but what’s even more massive is… the ‘Earth Walk!’
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