Ash of Gods: Redemption is an upcoming turn-based RPG featuring a rogue-like story telling and tactical combat. There is still time until the game launches, yet I am lucky enough to lay my hands and eyes on this glorious title and share my first impressions with you.
Like most of you can tell, Ash of Gods: Redemption draw my attention because of its visual art style which shows similarities to The Banner Saga. And of course, the second reason is that even if your character dies, the game continues with your decisions still impacting the storyline and the future. With these two things on my mind, I started to play the game.
Here I confess that I usually both take notes and hundreds of screenshots of any game I review or preview, since I can not remember proper nouns. The game started with an opening cinematic and I was taking notes as usual. Two seconds were enough for me to understand that I was doing a huge mistake by looking anywhere else while this game is on my screen. Even the loading logo is a piece of art, it becomes a sin to turn your eyes away from Ash of Gods: Redemption.
Like I said before, Ash of Gods: Redemption starts with an opening cinematic which tells the story of Battle for the Dale of Datura. We are Hopper Rouley, one of the twelve brave ones who cast an enchantment on themselves and turned into stone in order to free our lands from the plague and the Reaping. The battle was rough, the price was too high even if we are now recovered. The uneasy feeling is now back, the thoughts of the Reaping’s recurrence are starting to get on our nerves.
The main story of the game revolves around the theme of Reaping which is now nigh. Even if it is not something you can fully understand in two hours, it is clear that the Reaping will be the end of human life if not prevented.
The second protagonist of the game is Thorn Brenin who is a retired Captain of the Guard and with Brenin and his daughter Gleda, we get to see the real colors of the game. With Thorn Brenin, we learn that our choices during the gameplay will effect the story and some of them will even have far-reaching consequences. Also with these two characters, we see that we can have multiple choices during our conversations and taste the real combat mechanics of the game.
But most importantly, we smell death. The first time you see Dorpkhal the Reaper on the screen is something to witness with no doubt. The meaning of the Reaping gets clear when you saw the monster behind it. While everyone is dying on the ground, blood is gushing from their mouths and noses just because his power is so intolerable. I think it is safe to say that the Reaper Lord is the evil version of Khal Drogo with magical powers like plague-marking people and turning them to his soldiers with lots of piercings and jewelry.
Here, I must draw the line. After that point, everything I will say about the story of the game will be a spoiler, but it is clear that we will fight against the dark lord of Reaping during our gameplay.
Ash of Gods is heavy on dialogue which is a perfect way to achieve successful story-telling. Every choice you make, you will make with caution since they will effect the story of your game as well as your fate. Again, it does not mean ‘game over’ even if you are dead as the protagonist. The game will continue without you since you are just one of the “lowliest servants lucky enough to be seated at the dining table“.
Your choices during the dialogues will also effect the loyalty degree of others to you. You will need to side with someone, and your choice may decrease the loyalty of others to you, vice versa. I can say that it is well-written and from time to time highly enjoyable to talk to others, even the theme of the game is highly depressing.
The other mesmerizing thing I must mention is the soundtracks and the environmental sounds of the game. I find them magical and I don’t even have words to tell you the harmony that it brought to my ears. An epic story deserves epic soundtracks and creators of Ash of Gods, AurumDust along with the composers Adam Skorupa, Krzysztof Wierzynkiewicz and Michał Cielecki deserves all the respect I can offer.
So, let’s talk about the mechanics of the game. The control mechanism of the game is not something we can mention about actually, since you can only control your character during the combat and since it is turn-based, you can only go certain ways. If you wonder about that, yes, they can go where you are pointing.
The combat mechanics, on the other hand, worth mentioning. As you can imagine, combat is a big deal. Before you delve into the bloodbath, you need to ready your party considering different abilities, health and energy levels and combat styles of your team members. Also, there are cards which can give you the upper hand during the fight. Items, on the other hand, are a mystery to me since I did not get any during my gameplay.
After you are ready, you can begin your fight. As usual, you move and attack or defense one by one. You have 300 seconds to decide and act, and what more do you need? The game also provides you with a tutorial but I must say that combat is not that easy. Graphics, if I must say, very satisfying if you like to see blood shed. Movements of the characters are very detailed and makes the combat enjoyable. Attack and defense tactics are unique to every character and combat is as hard as it is satisfying.
Overall, I can easily say that if this was a review, Ash of Gods: Redemption would get a 10/10 from me without any doubt. I consider myself very lucky to experience such a complete beauty, even if it was for two hours. Ash of Gods: Redemption is a work of art and a successor when it comes to rogue-like story telling, visual art and turn-based & card RPG combat. I find myself long for this game already and dare to put it amongst my highly anticipated games of 2018.
Ash of Gods: Redemption will be available for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch on March 2018 and the last thing I can say is that I highly recommend this game even if you do not enjoy turn-based combat or adventure RPG. Ash of Gods will be the one which will make you love them.
Ash of Gods: Redemption was previewed using a Steam key by the publisher.