Ashen |OT2| Reborn on PS4, Switch, GOG and Steam

Dancrane212

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,227

There is a rumble in the distance, and then a light.

Through leaking eyes you make out a peak on the horizon, choking the land in a cloud of ash.

Nothing ever shone so bright.

Platform(s) Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One
Release Date:
Epic Store/Xbox One - December 7th, 2018​
PS4, Switch, Steam and GOG - December 9th, 2019​
Genre: Action
Price: $39.99 USD (20% off launch discount on some platforms)
Player(s): 1 to 2 (passive multiplayer)
Format: Digital Only
Game Pass: Yes
Developer: A44 (formerly named Aurora44)
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
OT1: https://www.resetera.com/threads/ashen-ot-a-phoenix-downed.85572/



What is Ashen?
Ashen is an, exploration focused, action game that includes stamina-based combat in an open world with passive multiplayer.

What is the world structure in Ashen?
The world in Ashen is an open environment consisting of multiple large, interlinked, biomes.

How different is this from a “Souls” game?
Ashen is a shorter (around ~15 hours), more focused experience than other souls-inspired titles. You are given wider areas but also a map, quest markers, streamlined progression and a greater focus on co-op (to name a few).

Fast travel?
Yes, there is a fast travel option you will unlock in Ashen.

Character progression?
While your character does not experience growth through leveling you are able to increase your power and change your playstyle through your, upgradeable, equipment.

There’s a town in this game?
Yes, Ashen features an expandable settlement. The options this location offers to you will expand as characters are encountered in the world and offered refuge. From there you will be given quests from those new residents that will increase the services they offer.

Can I customise the appearance of my character?
Yes. You can select your gender and appearance when starting the game.

What happens when I die?
When you die you drop your held currency and respawn at your last checkpoint. Returning to where you died will allow you to recover the dropped coinage.

Passive multiplayer?
As you go about the world of Ashen you may be, seamlessly, joined to another user’s game and run into each other as you explore. This other player will appear as a quest giver seen in your town going about their own tasks. You can either join together to accomplish tasks or go about on your way, but there is not formal communication available to you in-game.

Can I play it with friends?
Yes. The game lacks a lobby but you can configure it so that the only other players that can appear in your world supply a matching password. As with strangers your co-op companion will appear as one of your rescued townsfolk on your screen and vice-versa for theirs.

Crossplay?
No, Ashen does not feature crossplay between consoles (tba on Steam/Epic however).

Can I play it offline/solo?
Yes and any co-op mandatory areas will be accessible via the ”Lone Wolf” perk. AI will also take over for controlling wondering townsfolk in the world as well. If you prefer you can turn off AI characters appearing in the world.

Where are the swords?
Ashen is a sword free zone. Metals are too rare a resource to spend on something so extravagant when there are more “cost-effective” alternatives like axes and spears.

Game Pass?
Ashen launched as a part of Xbox Game Pass on console but is leaving the service on December 13th, 2019. The game was supposed to come to the Windows 10 store and be part of Game Pass through the Play Anywhere program but that version never materialised.

Does the Switch, PS4 and Steam/GOG release include the Nightstorm Isle DLC?
No, the DLC is still a separate $10 USD purchase and is about 2-3 hours of content.

Physical release?
No news on that but other Annapurna Interactive titles have gotten them post-release.

How does the game perform on Switch?
TBA

Xbox One X/PlayStation 4 Pro enhancements?
Yes to both but specifics on the PS4 Pro are TBA (XB1X has 4k/30fps and 1080p/30fps output options).












Metacritic
Xbox One | PC | PS4 | Switch
Opencritic

Gamespot 9/10
Ashen does more than enough to differentiate it from other Souls-like games. Although its combat utilizes the same stamina-focused mechanics, the inclusion of features that promote a sense of community with the game's characters makes for a wholly different experience. It's frustrating to spawn and see that your computer-controlled partner has a weapon that doesn't complement the one you're using. However, even when playing with NPCs, your allies' efforts to assist you in battle cause you to care about the fates of the colorful cast of people you meet on your journey. The relationships you forge define your adventure through Ashen, and helping your new friends is a powerful motivator that drives you forward through the game's beautiful world.
Gamesradar 4/5
Ashen is a faithful homage (for better or worse) to the games that inspired it, and it executes on those existing principles soundly. Ashen's own contributions to the formula waver between exhilarating highs and frustrating lows, but the former greatly outweigh the latter, and even if it's not the most original journey you've ever been on, it's one well worth taking. There's a lot to love about Ashen, even if you've loved it before.





Official Site

 
Last edited:

Freezasaurus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
27,716
I want to pull the trigger on this so badly, but I'm waiting for performance impressions on the Switch / PS4 ports. I'm sure the latter is fine, but I think I might rather play it on Switch.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,110
$40 is just a tad too much for me right now. I'll wait for a sale but I am definitely looking forward to playing on either Switch or PS4.
 

zakatana

Member
Jan 10, 2018
4,597
Tokyo
For whatever reason this port has bad switch performance written all over it, and this is based on nothing else than a gut feeling on my side. I guess I've been burned by the many low effort ports on the system, the majority of it never fixed.
I hope I'm wrong because there aren't many good souls like on this console unfortunately.
 

YuSuzzune

Member
Nov 21, 2018
1,899
If you liked Dark Souls keep playing Dark Souls because this feels and plays like a watered down version of that franchise.
 
OP
OP
Dancrane212

Dancrane212

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,227
If you liked Dark Souls keep playing Dark Souls because this feels and plays like a watered down version of that franchise.
To each their own, it was one of my favorite games of the last year.

Stuff like the Seat of the Matriarch was such an exciting moment to share with some random other player, we built a real sense (or at least a one-sided one) of comradery by going through that trial.
 

sinny

Member
Oct 28, 2017
719
To each their own, it was one of my favorite games of the last year.

Stuff like the Seat of the Matriarch was such an exciting moment to share with some random other player, we built a real sense (or at least a one-sided one) of comradery by going through that trial.

I think that part alone makes this game worth playing. But it's not a great game, it's serviceable.
 

gameongreggy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
548
I thought I was done buying games this year. Just got pulled back in, got this on Switch, I REALLLLLY hope it runs well, sight unseen, been wanting to play this for a long time.
 

JJD

Member
Oct 25, 2017
697
DLC should be included the game is 1 year old. Will wait for better discounts.

Shame I was looking forward to this game, but my backlog will keep me busy.

Edit: Also there is no 20% discount right now on PS4.
 

Freezasaurus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
27,716
At work now and have to pickup a baby at daycare at 530, prep dinner for the family, take care of dogs, I won't be playing until about 8PM EST tonight, I'm sure by then others will have shared their thoughts.
I think the rest of us are too afraid to take the plunge until we find out how well the Switch version came out. 😂
 
May 25, 2019
859
This game is fantastic, I really enjoyed it on Game Pass last fall on XBox. If you like Dark Souls or Jedi Fallen Order, definitely give it a shot.
 

gameongreggy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
548
I think the rest of us are too afraid to take the plunge until we find out how well the Switch version came out. 😂
I kinda feel like an idiot for picking it up without even knowing how it runs. Annapurna are good pubs/devs so I have faith. I didn't want to miss out on the launch discount, didn't know if that went away when it became available. If I threw 30$ in the trash I'm gonna be pissed. Typically I don't do that but I have been wanting to play this for a long time.
 

bbq of doom

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,070
Is this game good? Does it scratch the Souls itch while doing something new? I bounced off the last Souls-inspired game (Fallen Order) due to its substandard combat and animations and would prefer to not make another purchase I'll regret in this regard.
 

hannuraina

Member
Jan 7, 2018
128
LOVE LOVE LOVE this game. does this include the dlc as well?

*edit: nm missed it in op. still additional cost.
 

Mejilan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,213
Picked up on PS4 and Switch because I'm a madman.
DLC is available on PS4, but I don't see it for Switch.
Unless I'm a madman.
 

Mbolibombo

Member
Oct 29, 2017
3,904
I've yet to be dissapointed in a Annapurna release.. but then again, I really dont like games that plays like Dark Souls :<

Not sure what part of the brain to trust here..
 
OP
OP
Dancrane212

Dancrane212

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,227
I've yet to be dissapointed in a Annapurna release.. but then again, I really dont like games that plays like Dark Souls :<

Not sure what part of the brain to trust here..
What is it about Dark Souls that turns you away? Ashen definitely has that higher level of difficulty, but the game around it is a bit more streamlined in how it surfaces its narrative, quests and objectives.
 

gameongreggy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
548
Got to finally sit and play the opening area, between cooking, taking care of a baby and 3 dogs ;)

Anyway, opening area runs great. Different controls than Dark Souls, but not terrible, it's a different game. That being said besides running smoothly, the biggest plus after trying Pine and Decay of Logos, in this artstyle; my only gripe; the damn font is too small, once again. It's a Calibri type font, I think that's what I mean, it's very clear, but it's just too small, for the life of me I don't understand why devs won't make the font a bit bigger. That's my gripe, might not be yours. I'll update if I can play a bit more tonight, but yea, opening area, very smooth.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,259
Taiwan
For this game that was 20$ in the last 5 months, I ain't paying till it be the same. I tried this game out on pass and I would say it fails to meet a souls like experience. It has big slow enemies but otherwise nothing really too challenging. Then pointless progression and lack of variety. Can't comment on the CoOp as it was broken AF.

***

To add I ain't saying its a shit game, just don't go in expecting souls like. I enjoyed the art work and the base building stuff, made it feel alive.
 
Last edited:

gnoclaude

Member
Nov 30, 2017
118
Bought. I played it day 1 on gamepass and I totally adored this game. It was one of the few games I played straight through. For 30 bucks I will support the dev and have a handheld version. Once the dlc goes on sale I will buy it also. Sort of shitty that they didn't include it as a complete edition to make up for the wait. Nonetheless, the game deserves a bigger audience and a sequel. I will happily oblige.
 

Freezasaurus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
27,716
Spent about three hours with the Switch port so far. Seems to perform really well for the most part. I did see some minor frame dips in the first dungeon area, but it wasn't too bad.