A couple of weeks ago new gameplay footage for the rarely talked about Ashen emerged. It’s not a game you see plastered across websites often, nor are there many trailers or promo materials made available on a regular basis. Occasionally you will see some gameplay trailers here and there pop up, and that’s exactly what happened recently when some new gameplay emerged for Annapurna Interactive’s upcoming open-world RPG.
YouTuber DT Gaming plopped out the 11 minute video from GamesCom showcasing some raw gameplay footage of Ashen for those of you interested in the upcoming title. You can check it out below.
The video starts with the player character beating up some enemy NPCs and wiping out the enemy faction so that the player-character can form a town.
Majority of the combat in the game is melee based. After clearing out the enemies players can interact with another NPC and set the town as their home base.
As you interact with other characters and complete quests for other NPCs, they may join your town and grow the populace of your village.
One unique feature is that in the online mode, the game features seamless cooperative play where another player will appear in your game as a quest giver who will journey with you on your quest.
The other players in their own game will appear as their custom characters, but when they appear in your game they will take on the form of an NPC from your town. In the other player’s game, your character will appear as an NPC quest giver. The developers designed the game this way so that players feel more connected to the game’s quest giver’s and their story.
Additionally, the game doesn’t have a chat or any communication facilities, so you can’t talk to other people as they join and leave your game. It’s very similar to the way the multiplayer is setup in thatgamecompany’s Journey.
The video also reveals that there are two main factions in the game, one of which includes the giants. There are also mega-monsters in the game, but they don’t say if there is any way to battle the mammoth gods. They do mention that there are giant bosses at the end of the dungeons you attempt to complete.
We also get a look at some of the other cities beyond the ruins of the desolate world that only a few people inhabit. For instance, we see a city filled with ancient structures obviously mirrored after exquisite Persian architecture.
The light design is probably the most notable thing about the graphics, which aims for a more minimalist aesthetic. The way the shadow volume dynamically moves across the polygonal surfaces of the characters and environments as the light sources change direction or the physically based rendered emitters sway or bend from movement, really helps elicit the artistic depth that the lighting engineers and artist put into bringing Ashen to life.
I almost get the feeling that this game might end up suffering a similar fate as Sea of Thieves or Absolver.