The Ashen website promises “open world”, “passive multiplayer”, “non-linear progression” and “high risk combat”, which are all things that sound exciting and Up My Street and My Bag so on. That’s not why I’m posting about it though, because those things don’t exist yet and I haven’t and can’t play the game. I’m posting about it because its concept art is gorgeous and because of a five-second animation clip of the scene pictured above.
I suggest making that full screen so you can properly appreciate the windy sense of adventure. Ashen is being made by Aurora44, a small team formed from people who previously worked in the film industry: lead artist Leighton Milne and animator Yannick Gillain previously worked together on The Hobbit films, and designer and coder Derek Bradley worked on Prometheus and The Avengers. Plus John Robert Matz, who contributed to the Gunpoint score, is doing sound design.
So if it’ll likely look and sound good, what do you actually do?
Ashen is an action RPG about a wanderer in search of a place to call home. There is no sun and the natural light that exists comes from eruptions that cover the land in ash. This is a world where nothing lasts, no matter how tightly you cling to it.
At its core, Ashen is about forging relationships.
Players can choose to guide those they trust to their camp, encouraging them to rest at the fire and perhaps remain. People you meet out in the world will have unique skills and crafting abilities to bolster your chances of survival.
Together, you might just stand a chance.
Which, yep, sounds Up My Bag, etc. But mainly:
PS. When I Googled to double-check that RPS hadn’t already written about this game, the description for the top result said this story was written “By John… Throbometer”. It’s easy to see what happened there, but let’s agree, secretly and never to be mentioned again, that this is now John’s name.