Ashen is a game I've been waiting a long time for, it was teased many years ago at E3 and now it's finally arriving at some point. Last year I was able to check out the game behind closed doors and to my surprise, I was finally able to play it at E3 2018. This was great as it was a clearly polished and ready version of the game. For context, this is a dark and moody world of ash. Things are however getting brighter after a certain event, you're just an empty customized face that's decided to explore at this point. You're also always with a friend whether that's an AI assistant or an online individual that has hopped in.
The multiplayer is always there as players can come and go. It's an interesting setup and one that makes sense, it's nice to be able to play with friends or others at any point. That aside, time to go over what exactly I was able to play when I got hands-on time with the game. There were some brief cinematics and from there I began adventuring. I moved around in a smaller space to get used to the controls and they feel like a cumbersome, yet smooth style. This is a slow stamina based brawling system and that cumbersome feel makes perfect sense for it. You're able to collect weapons, items and other things from the world which will play into how effective you're during combat.
The world of Ashen is open to a degree, it seems like you move through hub areas like in Fable. There's freedom for sure, yet still somewhat of a linear progression. To the side of things were activities such as say a bonus puzzle I could have worked through. I'm not sure if the full experience will replicate this feeling of linear play, but that's what the demo certainly presented. I walked around this charming world that uses light and color brilliantly looking for my goal.
You have a map so this isn't too difficult to do if you'd like to use it as a guide. I eliminated some enemies along the way and even took on some larger foes that were more powerful. Combat was a mix of waiting and then striking at the right times. You would then balance your stamina consumption and work to attack again. I liked how it generally played and it was what I expected upon initially seeing it. It carries a very distinct visual style that leans into the type of combat it provides. I wasn't able to do too much while there since E3 play time is limited, but I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how this one is upon launch.
Read our Ashen E3 2017 Preview
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