Annapurna Interactive and Aurora44’s Ashen has been one of those indie games that we see but don’t know much about. At this year’s E3 the developers finally revealed more details about the game and unveiled some of the details about the combat mechanics, the seamless co-op and the character customization.
During an interview with IGN at E3 on the show floor, creative director Derek Bradley talked about a lot of the features present in the upcoming third-person, hack-and-slash RPG, which is due out in late 2018 for Xbox One, PC and as a day-one release on Xbox Game Pass.
The general gist of the game revolves around rebuilding your home in a world of ruin and danger. You’ll start by collecting quests at a shrine from a couple of NPCs, and you’ll need to complete the quests, level-up your character, acquire new weapons, and literally rebuild the town by expanding it.
You’ll be able to team up with other players in a seamless online multiplayer fashion identical to thatgamecompany’s Journey.
Only one other person will join your game at a time, and it’s all PvE action. No PvP.
Other players who join your game will be their own customized character, and you’ll be able to fight alongside another player. You can team up with specific friends, or play with random people.
On the upside, unlike a lot of other games out there you can actually play offline in single-player mode as well. So if you don’t want to play with other people and you don’t want to partner up with random strangers, and you don’t want to see your friend’s face anytime soon, you don’t have to.
They didn’t delve much into the character customization, but based on the footage it doesn’t look like you’ll be encountering clones all too often. You can change hair, clothes, face shapes and skin color, as well as acquire new weapons and gear to help separate you from everyone else.
One really interesting thing about the game is that it doesn’t have swords.
You’ll have axes, clubs, shields, and spears but there are no swords. Spears can also be used as long range weapons, where you can throw them at enemies to deal damage at a distance. Spears are supposedly located in the dead bodies of monks, so you can pick them up from the bodies that are scattered about the game’s world.
The actual combat is mirrored after Dark Souls, relying on a tracking camera perspective during fights that locks onto enemies. You’ll have a stamina meter that depletes as you attack and dodge, and you’ll be able to use clubs and shields, axes and shields, or a mixture of other melee weapons. Combat also happens rather quickly, so enemies and players don’t have much life and you have to tactically choose your attacks wisely to take out your foes quickly and avoid being killed in battle.
As mentioned, you can look for Ashen to launch in late 2018 for PC and Xbox One, along with being available day-one on the Xbox Game Pass.