Test of Ashen : An action RPG Souls-like that does not lack soul

Ashen was initially planned to have survival features including thirst and hunger gauges however the designers of Aurora44 (or A44) and publisher Annapurna Games made the decision to not include these elements and instead make the game an action RPG that was simple to play. Beware of the phrase ” everything is simpler ” this isn’t an attack, but rather contrary. Although the gameplay and story have a lot in common with that of Dark Souls series, Ashen remains a unique game that stands out in its manner.

A bright and shining world without sunshine

The game tells of an entire world that has been sucked into darkness for many centuries, which eventually finds glow thanks to the resurrection of a mysterious, godlike being named Ashen. You are a nameless hero who must defend the luminous being from the other creatures more inclined to darkness. To accomplish this, you’ll need to battle hordes of enemies from all over the world and make friends with the people you meet who can help you rebuild the world using their unique capabilities.

The opening cinematic introduces the viewer to a universe that develops cyclically after the demise of the Ashen. Ashen is the time of darkness, followed by the age of beings who revere the light, and finally the age of man, each controlled by a different god. Do you find yourself thinking of any other thing? This cinematic does indeed look similar to something you’d find in Dark Souls. In this instance, however, the Nordic mythology is in the spotlight. The entire universe is divided into nine kingdoms and the central point being the Tree of Life, identical to Nordic mythology.

Singing on your own or with a partner

As with the Soulsborne series, Combat in Ashen is dependent on the following commands: a light attack, a heavier attack, and dodge moves, each dependent on the endurance limit. Be assured this is where the comparisons with Dark Souls end. The gameplay is enjoyable, and the combat is fluid and lively The action is fluid and dynamic, and they’re overall less complicated than those FromSoftware games . Be aware that combat is a lot easier; however, the danger is all around, and the game does not hesitate to employ and exploit ambushes which can be an issue. You’ll often feel that the problem is more due to difficult level design rather than tough opponents.

Also, you get the option of a wide range of weapons between two-handed and one-handed weapons. The problem is that the guns come with a similar attack and do not stand out. You can play by yourself or with a friend, but it’s crucial to remember that cooperation is among Ashen’s main mechanics. It’s encouraged by the system called ” matchmaking ” that allows you to locate a player automatically. When you leave your home city or the safe point you’ve chosen, and you meet someone in the same region of the globe will automatically be connected. If the system fails to find someone, you’ll be provided with an AI partner, but it’s somewhat unstable, however. The cooperation is highly beneficial since it is not only a way to get help during the battle; the business is highly valued in areas that are deserted and hostile around the globe.

Graphics that aren’t suited to exploration

I’m not saying that; Ashen is a delight, and exploring is fun. However, selecting ” low-poly ” graphics may not be the best choice. Certain areas are extremely monochromatic, which can often cause difficulty finding the ways around. As mentioned above, most enemies are in ambush, making it difficult to recognize them in areas with lots of shades. A jump mechanic also lets you climb; however, it’s sometimes unclear which can be climbed and what’s not. While it may appear to be a minor issue, it could be tough, especially in games requiring extensive investigation. Do not be worried; it’s an unfortunate thing. However, this does not go as far as to hurt the game. The art direction remains good overall, and the visual identity is one of Ashen’s strengths.

A new civilization is born.

Ashen is the tale of a nation reborn after many centuries of darkness. Thus, you’ll build a new city named Vagrant’s Rest.You’ll meet different characters with different abilities and, in the style of a variety of game titles (including Dark Souls, yes) the characters are going to appear in your city and provide assistance. The services offered include purchasing crafting and crafting tools, updating your tools, and the ability to level your character. The game doesn’t allow you to level up by itself, meaning there aren’t any stats to improve; however, you increase your character’s abilities by improving their weapons and gourds. It’s kind of a pity, since this method eliminates the excitement that traditional levels can bring.

In addition to occupying your city and providing assistance, these characters will also build houses and structures. Every time you visit Vagrant’s rest, you might come across a new construction site being constructed or new construction. This mechanic and the cooperative aspect enhance the sense of community at the core of Ashen and differentiates it from other games of that genre. This aspect of community building gives an underlying sense of optimism which truly makes Ashen, aside from the somewhat sadistic game Dark Souls, for example.

A few bugs and problems

Ashen is plagued by camera issues as do most genre games, admittingly. The AIs can become stuck on the walls, but the design of the levels leaves an unfinished product. The locations aren’t very innovative, but they are often not pleasant to walk through, and the jump/climbing system can only be used once instead. The inventory is not the most practical, and it is easy to be trapped in it if you get an item at the wrong moment, i.e., when you’re attacked. Some items are worthy of being kept in a ” distinct ” inventory. The item that lets you travel to the city is just ” only a couple of mouse clicks ” to the heal gourd, and if you’re not careful, you could teleport during an encounter with a boss (yes, that’s what happens in real life).

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