When I first saw Ashen announced last year at E3 2017 it only struck me as another faceless (pun) action adventure Indy title with no real soul/depth behind it. However, actually getting some hands on time this year proved me wrong, like super wrong. Ashen is a deep and complex “Dark Souls” style game with an actual intriguing story that left me hungry for more.
First off you probably read “Dark Souls Style” and rolled your eyes.. “Oh great another one of these types of games” am I right? Well, I only say that as a starting point to give you an idea on the play style and as a non-huge fan of the “souls” style games myself (I know, burn me later) I still found Ashen to be completely engrossing and no where near as off putting as the Souls games are known to be. Gameplay is still based on equipment and understanding your abilities, the Git Gud mentality is still strong with Ashen, but what really put it aside was how much more accessible it was… almost as if the Developers over at Aurora44 understood that not every player has the time to play the same sections of a game over and over again.
Not to say Ashen pulled any punches during my play time, as it was plenty challenging, but it just didn’t feel as punishing… actually Ashen felt more rewarding, even allowing you to experiment with play styles rather than punishing you for picking up a new weapon you are not familiar with. Add on an actual IN GAME story line and you couldn’t be further from a typical Souls game. Needless to say Ashen struck me aback with its beautifully simplistic visuals, great controls and mysterious story and is actually one of the first times I am jealous to not yet own an Xbox One X. I am not one to easily admit Im wrong when it comes to a game so look for Ashen to be released sometime 2018 (the sooner the better).