Friday, 17 May 2024

Ashen Review: A Unique Cooperative Adventure


Ashen is a visually stunning game with captivating landscapes that ignite the imagination. While it draws heavily from the Dark Souls franchise, New Zealand-based developer A44 manages to inject excitement and fun into the game. One area where Ashen shines is its approach to cooperative play, offering a unique twist on the genre.

A New Dimension of Cooperative Play

One of the standout features of Ashen is its passive cooperative play. As you progress through the game, you may encounter another player who is at the same point in the story. This partnership can be a game-changer, as having a companion by your side can completely shift the difficulty balance in your favor. By drawing enemy attention away from you, a cooperative partner can make seemingly insurmountable challenges more manageable.

A Journey of Transient Connections

The cooperative play in Ashen is reminiscent of the game Journey, where players can’t communicate with each other or form lasting friendships. These transient connections add a bittersweet element to the game. While it is heartbreaking to lose a helpful companion, the memories created during those fleeting moments are truly special. It’s important to note that not every partnership will be successful, as you may encounter players who don’t meet your expectations. Nonetheless, these chance encounters are part of the game’s unique charm.

Playing with Friends: A Complicated Endeavor

For those who prefer to play with friends, Ashen offers a system that allows you to journey together. However, it is worth noting that this system can be cumbersome and frustrating to navigate. You’ll need to adjust various options, share a code with your friend, and coordinate your positions in the game world. While playing with friends can be enjoyable, the convoluted process may leave you wondering why it was designed this way. In some cases, it may be easier and more efficient to team up with random players.

Embracing the Light

The world of Ashen is shrouded in darkness, and your objective is to help the Ashen god awaken and bring light and peace to the land. While the light-versus-dark motif may be familiar, the game incorporates a compelling mythological undertone. Along your journey, you’ll encounter interesting characters who have their own stories to tell. Completing missions for these characters rewards you with a variety of items and remedies, while also witnessing the growth of their homes. Helping these characters feels rewarding, even if some of the missions fall into the fetch-quest category.

The Thrill of Exploration

Exploration is a key element in Ashen, encouraging players to venture off the beaten path and uncover hidden secrets. The game presents challenging environmental puzzles and requires careful navigation, such as precise jumping across bottomless pits. However, the journey is fair, pushing you to explore every nook and cranny to improve your chances against the escalating difficulty.

Familiar Combat Mechanics

While Ashen excels in many areas, its combat mechanics may feel derivative. The game’s combat system borrows heavily from the hack-and-slash genre, requiring players to alternate between light and heavy attacks, dodge-rolling, and managing stamina. Although the combat is functional and reliable, it lacks innovation and fails to leave a lasting impression.

Victories and Celebrations

Despite its similarities to other games, Ashen manages to create moments of awe and wonder. Standing alongside a stranger, victorious over a formidable foe, evokes a sense of camaraderie and accomplishment. While there may be no way to directly express gratitude or celebrate together, these shared experiences leave a lasting impact.

Q: Can I communicate with other players in Ashen?

A: No, communication with other players is not possible. Cooperative play is limited to pursuing the current objective together.

Q: Is it easy to play with a friend in Ashen?

A: Playing with friends can be challenging due to the complicated system that requires manual setup and coordination.

Q: What makes Ashen stand out from similar games?

A: Ashen’s unique cooperative play and breathtaking landscapes set it apart, offering a fresh take on familiar gameplay mechanics.

Ashen may bear similarities to other games, but its distinctive cooperative gameplay and stunning visuals make it a worthwhile adventure. The fleeting connections with other players and the sense of wonder in its world add an extra layer of charm. Despite some frustrations with the friend system and derivative combat, Ashen remains a fun and immersive journey worth undertaking. Explore the darkness, embrace the light, and forge unforgettable memories. Discover the wonders of Ashen today at Wqaindia.