Ashen Image
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81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 188 Ratings

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  • Summary: Ashen is a 3rd person, action RPG about forging relationships. You are a lone wanderer in a sunless land. The only light to be had sputters from an age-old lantern at your side. There is a rumble in the distance, and then a light. Through leaking eyes you make out a peak on the horizon,Ashen is a 3rd person, action RPG about forging relationships. You are a lone wanderer in a sunless land. The only light to be had sputters from an age-old lantern at your side. 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. The first dawn turns to dusk and finally recedes into familiar blackness. A GAME BY AURORA44. This is the tale of a bygone world. Choose a path and hold on to those you trust. Players can choose to guide those they trust to their camp, encouraging them to rest at the fire and perhaps remain. Together, you might just stand a chance. Expand

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E3 2017: Ashen Gameplay Trailer Features Creepy Monsters And Tense Battles
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Dec 6, 2018
    90
    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.
  2. Dec 17, 2018
    86
    Its gameplay is familiar and fun, but its world is like nothing you’ve ever seen. You have to work to see it all, and you’ll want to.
  3. Jan 2, 2019
    85
    Ashen uses the Souls-like formula to tell a very different, optimistic story about community. Whether you’re playing alone, with an AI companion, or with another person, combat with the game’s varied enemies and bosses is challenging and satisfying. Ashen’s world feels real and lived-in, and getting to carve out your own settlement and watch it prosper is truly satisfying.
  4. Dec 6, 2018
    80
    Ashen contributes more hits than misses to the Souls formula, though the overall experience may feel too familiar to fans of FromSoftware's trendsetting series.
  5. Jan 10, 2019
    80
    Ashen has some very good moments, and some others than can be ruined due to a terrible artificial intelligence. I fought along and against this AI to the end of the journey, in a very polarizing game. Some people will enjoy it a lot, and some people won’t connect with it.
  6. 80
    Through an embrace of more traditional game design, Ashen's take on the Souls formula ends up feeling welcome, even after countless imitators. A solid quest structure and top-notch world design make this beautiful low-fi title a worthy homage to a quickly aging series.
  7. Dec 18, 2018
    70
    As an indie game Ashen really knows how to impress a crowd. There is so much variation in this game of 20 hours, that it easily makes you forget about all the technical mishaps.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 54
  2. Negative: 9 out of 54
  1. Dec 8, 2018
    10
    Absolutely beautiful graphics . Bit like dark souls - You cant just go slashing enemies. Fantastic atmosphere
  2. Dec 10, 2018
    10
    If you like souls games you'll like this.
    It has everything you can expect from the genre, gameplay is smooth, the atmosphere is fantastic,
    If you like souls games you'll like this.
    It has everything you can expect from the genre, gameplay is smooth, the atmosphere is fantastic, some parts are really challenging.
    It's the release all of us have been waiting for now the dark souls pure sang series has been terminated and unlike some others I'm not going to mention here this game does not mess with the essence of a souls game and realises that adopting the format is more than adopting the combat.
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  3. Dec 17, 2018
    9
    small scale souls like. You can tell it's lower budget by the limited weapon move sets and limited progression options. But it fights well,small scale souls like. You can tell it's lower budget by the limited weapon move sets and limited progression options. But it fights well, looks great, and has a decent length. There is no reason to complain with only a $39 price tag or $1 if you have a xbox and the game pass since it's currently discounted. I thoroughly enjoyed my 20 hours with the game but you can't experiment with builds or pvp so that's about all the time i'll put in for now. The game good so I can see myself showing it off to a friend or having a craving to beat it again after some time has passed. Expand
  4. May 30, 2019
    8
    Ashen is a mix of Dark Souls and open-world action-adventure games like Tomb Raider or Horizon ZD. The reception is a little mixed and I thinkAshen is a mix of Dark Souls and open-world action-adventure games like Tomb Raider or Horizon ZD. The reception is a little mixed and I think I know why...

    In my experience, there are two types of people that love Dark Souls: people that love it as an immersive adventure game and people that just want to fight hard bosses. Souls clones tend to get the combat right and appeal to the hard-boss-fight kind of players, while they generally flub the level design (looking at you, Nioh...). Ashen is the rare example that puts the emphasis on exploration instead of the combat and it excels precisely because of this reason.

    If, like me, you love the exploration in souls as much as the combat, then I highly recommend Ashen! There are a few key differences to the souls formula that bolster the exploration. Notably, you have a more conventional jump and you can climb ledges. Ashen also bucks the linear, windy levels for a sprawling open world filled with sidequests. No longer are you railroaded from one tough encounter to the next. Instead, you have a lot of freedom to decide where you go and what you do. This makes the world a delight to explore. It often feels more like Mario Odyssey than Dark Souls, combing each area for items. The first area or two is a bit dull to explore, but it ramps up significantly as you progress and the levels become more vertical. You eventually get a hookshot-type ability as well that further cements Ashen's strength in exploration.

    Aside from a focus on terrain traversal, Ashen also mixes up the typical Souls co-op by giving you an AI companion for the entire game, that will seamlessly be taken over by other humans that are in the same area. It works fine but ultimately, I felt this kind of co-op would have worked better in a typical Souls game than an open world game. Virtually every time I was partnered with a human, we would have conflicting priorities. I would want to push forward and they would want to scrounge for items, or vice versa. Only one time was my partner and I on the same wavelength and I ultimately turned the online off. The AI works great and can be depended on 90% of the time but that 10% will always frustrate you. The bigger gripe I have with the AI is with the final boss fight, where your AI companion will inevitably get knocked into the water and refuse to swim to shore until they die. I'm not sure if this was a glitch or intentional but it's baffling this got shipped in the final product either way. Whether you're using the co-op or the AI, the partner system is ultimately just kind of there.

    On the RPG side of things, Ashen has massively streamlined the Souls mechanics. The sword and shield combat is exactly as you'd expect, just with fewer options and playstyles. You have a lantern that functions like torches in Dark Souls 2 and this actually works much better here. Lastly, you don't level up your character, just your gear. There are very few upgrades for you to purchase, but their cost escalates rapidly as you buy upgrades. Unfortunately, I ran out of things to buy about 2/3 of the way through my 20 hour campaign. You can, however, upgrade your character's stats by completing sidequests. None of these are tedious and most of them simply require you to explore map, which most souls fans will do anyway so this is a nice way of rewarding exploration.

    Unfortunately, the difficulty is also all over the place. Once you get in the groove with Ashen, it's very easy to simply lean on your AI partner and it often feels necessary given how many gang-up fights there are. Most of the difficulty comes from long run-backs, though I will admit this is highly fitting for a souls-like that's more focused on exploration than combat. There are few bonfires in the overworld, the two dungeons really push the limit on how long you can ask a player to go without a bonfire, made even more egregious by not being able to warp in and out of the dungeons, and the final boss has both an awful run-back and is an absurd jump in difficulty, compounded by the AI swimming issue I mentioned above. I turned the co-op back on to find that players online were struggling with this boss even more than I was and I ultimately prevailed with the cheese strategy of wait-wait-poke. Another bonfire or enabling the AI to swim would have done a lot of good for this under-cooked final boss.

    In spite of some glaring flaws, I loved Ashen. Between its more engaging exploration and environment traversal and its streamlined combat and RPG mechanics, Ashen feels like what you'd get if Nintendo made a souls-like out of the Zelda franchise. It offers a vibrant world with tons to see and do, and the combat checks all the souls boxes, even if it never transcends them. I enjoyed this more than every Souls clone I’ve played (Nioh, s&s, etc), simply because it nails the exploration, even if the combat is a tad weaker. Again, if you’re in the exploration camp of souls fans, check this out
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  5. Jan 15, 2019
    6
    If you have ever finished any of the actual Souls games, you will probably not enjoy this. Combat is too limited. Every weapon has the sameIf you have ever finished any of the actual Souls games, you will probably not enjoy this. Combat is too limited. Every weapon has the same moveset, No magic system, no leveling up and skill point allocation, AI companion that is pretty unhelpful most of the time, and a story that I just really couldn't care about.

    After about 10 hours of play, I realized that I just wasn't having fun and felt like I would be better off just doing another run of Dark Souls 3.

    I'm not saying its a bad game, its pretty good for what it is, but I guess the actual Souls games have spoiled me.
    Expand
  6. Jan 25, 2020
    6
    ASHEN is a souls like game made by annapurna interactive and its a cute little game that brings something new to the souls like genre butASHEN is a souls like game made by annapurna interactive and its a cute little game that brings something new to the souls like genre but still needs some work

    Story: there is this ashen bird that split up into 3 factions and one of those factions are the human kind and now it is your job to find all the artifacts of this bird and bring it back to life

    pros:

    so in this souls like game they added an open world which you can explore by doing side quests of some characters plus doing the main mission and it kinda feels like an mmo game but in a good way

    the voice acting is really good

    the art design is really beautiful and the world they built really shines and come to life

    there are dungeons in the game which are always a cool addition

    for an indie game the game is kinda long it took me 15 hours to complete it including all the side stuff

    the co op mechanic is cool and the fact that the game is better played with a friend just adds more fun to it

    the fact that you can use your friend or ai partner to climb ledges and open doors is really awesome and really adds to the co op element

    the game costs like 30 bucks

    cons:
    although the game is cute and all there are a lot of balancing issues such as your character having a very limited time to swing unlike the enemies which are a lot more faster and some times don't even stagger when you hit them that also includes the amount of stamina your are using or the teleporting spear mechanic they introduce to you later in the game or even the bosses almost everything in this game is unbalanced and the whole deal needs a patch like right now

    the ai of your co op partner is really dumb and it sometimes kills itself by accident leaving you alone
    to face a horde of enemies

    there is a limited amount of weapons and attack animations in the game

    some enemies feels recycled

    you cant unlock shortcuts or anything of the sorts when entering a dungeon which makes back tracking a lot more annoying

    some performance issues that need patching such as frame drops and bugs

    you don't get rewarded if you explore the open world of the game unless there is a side quest which is annoying because i really wanted to explore every corner of the map

    the final boss of the game is the most annoying part because the backtracing is just horrible you have to go past a cave littered with strong enemies then run all the way to the boss room with out any bonfire or anything that feels up your health potions then the boss is a total nightmare it has no mechanics or openings just a split second hit and then you need to dodge it for like an entire 5 mins without getting hit that's not hard that's just annoying

    in conclusion this game has a lot of potential to be a good souls like game i hope that the next game in the series will be a lot better and balanced but until then we will have to enjoy what we got so my final score to ASHEN is a 6.5 out of 10
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  7. Oct 5, 2019
    0
    **** clone of dark souls and egs exclusive on top of that. avoid at all costs

See all 54 User Reviews

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