Top Critic Average
Ashen was just a brilliant surprise at the last days of this year. It's a perfect balance in the genre of Souls Like games which both please the fans and also gives newcomers a chance to know what they were missing.
Review in Persian | Read full review
Infinitely accessible, but challenging enough for any seasoned player, Ashen exudes an air of peace and hope in an unforgiving landscape. It's not perfect, but it resonates with the soul and gravitas befitting a Shakespearean classic.
Aurora44 managed to build a distinctive and unique game on mechanics, which has long become familiar. Do not blindly copy other people's achievements, but embody familiar things in your own vision. I look forward to what the authors will do next.
Review in Russian | Read full review
A44's Ashen is as much about building community as it is defeating challenging enemies, reinforcing the triumph of victory with concrete examples of how you're improving its world.
Ashen's subtle additions to its obvious inspirations make it greater than the sum of its parts. If you're a fan of Dark Souls or found it and many games inspired by it too daunting, Ashen is well worth checking out.
The game's AI companions are actually very good, but because of the above it's definitely more highly recommended you try and coax a friend in to return to the light with you.
Like an illegitimate heir to the fire of FromSoftware, Ashen clicks exactly the same notes that made Dark Souls a legend, achieving a challenging, mysterious and visually astonishing experience. We will closely follow the works of A44 from now on.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Ashen uses the Souls-like formula to tell a very different, optimistic story about community. Whether you're playing alone, with an AI companion, or with another person, combat with the game's varied enemies and bosses is challenging and satisfying. Ashen's world feels real and lived-in, and getting to carve out your own settlement and watch it prosper is truly satisfying.
Ashen is one of the best souls-likes around and its quality matches that of the games that gave birth to the genre. The mystery and lore help to build a fascinating world that excellently complements the open and varied environments and strange, contorted creatures you will fight in them. A44 have provided a big breath of fresh air in a genre desperately in need of reinvigoration.
Ashen is a quality Soulslike with a nice art style and some great ideas about seamless and anonymous online co-op. The dungeons are memorable, the evolving town is awesome, and the increased focus that quests provide is a nice touch.
Overall, Ashen is a great title. The Souls formula may be adapted nearly wholesale, but the art style gives the game a different vibe. The presence of co-op at all times makes each run feel feasible, since the odds rarely feel impossible to overcome, and the presence of a community to grow gives you a real sense of progression and purpose. Unless you're completely burned out by the formula, Ashen is an adventure that's well worth checking out.
Ashen's slant on the Soulslike subgenre isn't revolutionary, but is a wonderful example of the familiar formula executed well. It's thoughtful, gorgeous, challenging and a dream to explore.
From many perspectives, Ashen reminds me of Dark Souls series, such as the combat systems, game settings and the story design. It does have some unique thoughts, like the AI teammate, but overall it doesn't make its own characteristics.
Review in Chinese | Read full review
I’m not a huge ‘Souls fan, at least not since bouncing off Dark Souls 2, and I tend to shy away from these games as I get older; however, even though Ashen has some difficulty spikes that remind me of those games, the vibrant world, likeable characters, companion system, and soothing soundtrack all kept me coming back.
I like Ashen, it's a good game, it would just be nice to see it building upon the foundation of its muse rather than almost copying and pasting it. The world of Ashen is its biggest attraction, the lore is deeply entrenched and really pulls everything together into something that is worth playing through. That being said, if you have played Dark Souls and don't want to replay Dark Souls, then you aren't going to get on with this. It is an odd one as I am a huge fan of this style of game, but we need games that build a more exciting game on top of the ideas that have been put down. It isn't enough to be the same but with a different look. Ashen is good, but nothing revolutionary.
Ashen is a game created in the same vein as some of the predecessors of its genre, like Dark Souls or Bloodborne. It imitates a great deal of the mechanics from those games but also brings a unique and beautiful art style as well a sense of organic progression that enhances the feel of the game. For those lovers of games like Dark Souls, it's hard to guarantee that you'll find the same experience, but there's still a heck of a lot to like about what sets Ashen apart.
From superb shots of the sea to underground caves illuminated by the crackling fire of your torch, uncovering a new area is an utter pleasure. It might be a year late, but Ashen still manages to carve out its own space for greatness.
Ashen is unique in that it borrows liberally from the Souls-like genre, but doesn't feel beholden to it. It's clear that A44 was influenced just as much by The Legend of Zelda, and even more niche adventure titles like Shadow of the Colossus, as it was by From Software's seminal Souls trilogy. Adventure game fans and Dark Souls fans alike definitely won't want to miss out on what Ashen offers.
Through an embrace of more traditional game design, Ashen's take on the Souls formula ends up feeling welcome, even after countless imitators. A solid quest structure and top-notch world design make this beautiful low-fi title a worthy homage to a quickly aging series.
Ashen doesn't try to hide the fact that it's a Souls clone through and through. However, where many before it unwisely try to out-do FromSoftware in terms of difficulty or obtuse systems and lore, A44 has taken its game in a more refreshing, community-focused direction.
Dark Souls serves Ashen's premise but does not define its conclusion. By instilling senses of community and devotion inside its narrative, Ashen proves Souls' discourse expands beyond punishment and brutality. Once separated from its inspiration, Ashen has plenty to show off inside of its common space.
Basically, Ashen is like a Souls-clone and of course a highly recommended game for souls like fans and hardcore gamers. Compared to the best games of 2018, Ashen is an average game and for sure, it's not a game for everyone, but if you are a souls fan, don't miss it at all, because death is so close to you in Ashen! You can feel the death shadow in every steps and every battles of this game.
Review in Persian | Read full review
Whatever missteps Ashen makes can be mostly overlooked, save for the worlds rarely unforgiving nature. This was a journey that enticed me from start to finish, and I pray to The Lord Bruce Lee that it'll do the same to you.
Ashen copies some of the best aspects of Dark Souls' gameplay, and takes an interesting—if imperfect—approach to cooperative multiplayer. If you're up for a challenge, this game is a treat.
Ashen is a very good action-adventure game sporting interesting lore, good character development, and solid gameplay features like combat and exploration. Unfortunately, the game does almost nothing to separate its gameplay loop from the one seen in the Dark Souls series and therefore ultimately feels like a lite version of the series developed by From Software. The well-made overall experience does make it easy to look past this issue, but if you're looking for something innovative, you won't find it here.
As I continued to make my way through Ashen a calm of complacency washed over me. It doesn't have quite the same highs as a lot of its predecessors, but it maintains its tranquil equilibrium throughout. If you have an adventurous spirit and the patience and time to put into it, Ashen will pay dividends.
Ashen is a Souls-like that succeeds despite its lack of originality. The simplified progression, tracked quest objectives, and a persistent companion make it a great way to get into this challenging sub-genre.
Ashen is a souls-like game with a particular focus on the co-op multiplayer. Sadly this feature rarely works as intended, but despite its flaws, the game developed by A44 is still an enjoyable variation to the formula created by Miyazaki and From Software.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Ashen feels like it's trying to be too many things at once, and perhaps because of that, it ends up tasting like a bland pot of soup without any punchy flavors to really catch your attention.
Ashen is not awful, and I think that any hardcore Souls fans who just can't get enough of this style of combat will enjoy it. The open world adds a new layer to the Soulsborne format that succeeds more than it fails, but it comes at the cost of weakening a core pillar of the genre. The result is a passable experience, and in a genre that's quickly becoming as crowded as this one, passable just won't cut it for anyone but the most hardcore of fans.