Ashbourne is a medieval action-RPG adventure game, developed by Endemic Interactive. Ashbourne is based on 15th century European warfare, with players taking control of the main protagonist, Alexander Marshal, a knight of the Endewyn empire.
If you are familiar with the Mount And Blade game series then you will be familiar with the Ashbourne gameplay concept. You will have swords, horses and armor, however, the developers have said that this world will not delve too deep into fantasy aspects in this roleplaying game, so the combat and story seems to focus on a more slightly realistic historical form of storytelling. Players will lead a small army and travel the world, fighting other rival nations in melee and long range archery combat, conquering nations to expand your reach, while you continue to build your army and rise to power.
Ashbourne will also feature a multi-choice dialogue system to offer more choices when you interact with NPCs and go on your quests for fame and glory. This choice system is also directly tied to a loyalty and respect system based on player actions and what they choose to say or do, which will either help you gain allies or make new enemies. Further, there will be a dynamic day and night system, as well as a weather system, which the developers say will affect the mood of NPCs and how they treat you when you interact with them.
This is where Ashbourne starts to shift and take a different approach from games like Mount And Blade. In Mount And Blade, combat was based on directional swings, very basic left, right, overhead swings, and jabbing thrust if you needed it. Ashbourne has a combat system with a bit more style and finesse. I’m not sure if the slow-motion aspect will be in the game or if it was just done for the trailer, but the movement for the swordplay looks beautiful, especially with how easy it was to land a clean hit. You can take a look at the official Ashbourne trailer that I linked down below to see the combat in action for yourself.
Now, this is only a trailer, so of course they are trying to promote their game to make it look fancy. Having said that, I don’t know what the actual combat will be like in game, but so far they have grabbed my attention with what they have shown thus far.
I have played a lot of sword combat games, ranging from Bushido Blade, to the Jedi Knight series, to Mount & Blade, and sometimes you swing the sword in those games and you just can’t land the blow you are aiming for because the character animation is either too stiff or has complex movements where they cut in a series of half circles that dances around the target and goes everywhere but where you are trying to hit. I am hoping that Ashbourne doesn’t have those same pitfalls, but for now we will have to wait and see as the game finishes up development and showcases a full battle in real time.
Ashbourne is scheduled for a quarter 4 2016 release, or possibly an early 2017 release. If you would like to see Ashbourne on Steam you can visit the Steam Greenlight page to cast your vote and learn more about how the game is coming along.