Only the community can save you in Ashen.
Grim, lonely, hopeless worlds make sense in games about dying repeatedly for an uncertain goal.
One of the best Soulslike games challenges that convention, making community and hope core to the experience while still featuring brutal, rewarding combat.
If that name sounds familiar (aside from being easy to confuse with film production company A24), you may have seen A44’s next game, Flintlock, during Summer Game Fest.
From the looks of it, Flintlock will be a very different experience, but you can see the roots of its combat in Ashen.
Ashen’s combat may feel a touch less precise than Dark Souls, but the basics that made FromSoft’s combat legendary are all there with some interesting twists.
While its open world (more Elden Ring than Dark Souls) is filled with monsters and bandits, it’s also dotted with potential friends.
Any time you’re out exploring, your AI partner can be seamlessly replaced with another player in the same area. They keep the NPC’s appearance, but you’ll know it’s another player by how they move and interact with the world.
That feeling of truces forged of necessity and community forming in the dark permeates everything in Ashen.
Dark Souls and its ilk are about doomed attempts to save dying worlds. In Ashen, the world is just coming back to life after a calamity.
...now is the perfect time to check out Ashen on PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, or PlayStation 4 (where it’s part of the new PS Plus).