Domestic developers quite rarely please us with something interesting. If you look at the list of popular games that won the tops of sales and the hearts of fans, then there is one “our” game found in forty-fifty foreign bestsellers. It is all the more pleasant to realize that Ash of Gods: Redemption is the creation of a Russian studio. The script for the product was written by Sergey Malitsky, a Russian science fiction writer, from whose pen came a lot of interesting books, stories and short stories. When such a master takes on the storyline, a bad story simply can’t happen.
Of course, the release of the game was somewhat overshadowed by critics and users who began to shout about plagiarism. Yes, the game is similar to The Banner Saga by Stoic. Style of narration, drawing, that’s all. But, firstly, in the Stoic studio itself, it’s not only not against this release, they also brought money to Kickstarter. Secondly, can this somehow affect the pleasure of passing? “The Witcher” fans - would you be disappointed if someone took, but created a masterpiece very similar in theme and style? I think no. Everyone would run to the store for a novelty. So with this game, let's do this - we will play and enjoy, punish the enemies and understand this virtual world. He deserves to give him 15-20 hours of his time in one passage.
Story lineThe storyline is very interesting, it is intriguing, but instantly lost in the wake of dialogue, secondary characters and the darkness of little things. It all starts with a very colorful video, where a huge crowd clashes in battle, people beat enemies, brave soldiers in white shirts rush forward, punishing everyone and everything in its path. However, they cannot fight against the Reapers - they are too strong. You have to stick your own swords in yourself, so that the outgoing light pushes the enemy back. The harvest in this world has already passed twice, now the time has come for a third. Our main character, or rather one of the main ones, Thorne Brenin, is struggling to save his daughter from death. True, she herself is not bad at handling weapons, but, as history has shown, even with the sharpest swords you can’t argue against the Reapers.
The narration is done very beautifully, but after watching half of the videos, more questions arise than answers. It may be necessary, but I want to understand the world around us, and not think what kind of guys these are with gray skin and an interesting hairstyle. Some points generally remain in great doubt. For example, in the first video, just before the game itself, we are shown how people directly tumble down in the presence of the Reapers. Further, in the market, Thorne and her daughter are next to one of these obscure creatures, but calmly stands on their feet and even asks questions. And they communicate in one language. How is that?
On the other hand, the general idea of the Harvest was met quite often in films, series and books, so you catch the general idea on the fly. After a dialogue with a gray guy, our heroes embark on an exciting journey with a vague goal to survive. Or at least try. Against this background, we will be shown two more storylines with the main characters - Luo Feng and Harper Ruley. Both characters are too reinforced by the developers, even in the classic mode, Luo Feng literally alone defeats the enemies, and Harper Ruley fights alone while his company is resting on the lawn. Thorne has no such advantages, you need to sweat and try with him.
The story turned out to be wildly interesting, with lots of different wonders on the way to the end. Minor characters flood us with long texts, stories and dialogues that only the most diligent user will read. Even I, a lover of fiction, three hours later began to scroll through dialogs with minor characters. Of course, the scriptwriters thus convey the whole plot, this is a key feature of the story, but sometimes the text is directly in abundance. Especially the forces go away when you need not just to read and go further, but to make a key decision. For those who love extremely detailed characters and plot, this is a great story. For fans of eternal action, I advise you to be patient. Or download a new shooter.
Game modesBefore you go to the interesting virtual world of Ash of Gods: Redemption, you need to understand one important thing for yourself - you want to enjoy the plot to the full, not being distracted by the complexity of the game mechanics, or you want to immerse yourself in hardcore and sweat over each of your own action. At the very beginning, the developer gives you the opportunity to choose between classic and story modes. The first, as you already understood, punishes for all mistakes, makes you think about every blow in battle, over any played card and movement on the card. The second mode, the plot, is more suitable for beginners in the genre, or for those who came to the game to enjoy the story, story and all this beauty that we came up with.
I, unknowingly, first took the classic mode. And to be honest, I regretted it very much - literally two evenings I was sitting over the game and could not understand why everything is so hard. Yes, maybe now hardcore lovers will say that the game is actually not very difficult, but I had just that feeling. At the very beginning of the game, fights against two or three opponents were a big problem. When there were five enemies, I won at the last hit points, using all the power of my brain and the makings of a strategist. This despite the fact that the author of the review may not be a super-ultra-hardcore gamer, but also not a casual to the bone. In addition to the battles, there are many other points that forced me to take my head and think about further actions, but more on that later.
After two nights of torment, I decided to follow a simple path, and started the game again, but in story mode. Here the project revealed itself, if not one hundred percent, then eighty - for sure. The battles ceased to be so painstaking and difficult, it was no longer necessary to beat each fight with the enemy for twenty minutes, read cards twenty times, think and suffer. The developer corny added life and energy points to our heroes, added an automatic battle mode (you can disable it, of course) for those who are completely lazy. When you don’t need to sweat in every fight, the plot stories and dialogues look completely different, you want to read and enjoy them. I strongly advise you to pass the game for the first time in the story mode.
The fact is that some game mechanics here are explained too sparingly, or not at all. They can be understood only on their own, by the “poke” method, when you die and you understand that here it was necessary to do so, but here it was necessary to go left. If you want to do this all in classic mode, then just download your Bloodborne, seriously. In addition, the plot is perceived more exciting when the ax does not hang over your head literally around every corner. In this regard, the story mode plays the role of training, which simultaneously shows you the story, all the vicissitudes, enemies and friends.
You want to re-run this story again, maybe more than once, and here the developer surprised me again. Firstly, when you go through dialogs with a pen in the corner, each of your choices becomes the reason for something in the future. Have you bought a gift for your daughter? Believe me, he will help you in a couple of chapters. Secondly, if you go through the game again, you do not need to think and remember about the decisions that you have already taken - the developer simply noted them. That is, I go through a certain section of the game in the classic mode, then I went to play the story, and my choice has already been noted. A trifle, but very pleasant, plus increases the replay value of the product.
Combat systemQuite an important element of the gameplay are battles. Even if you went the easy way, like me, fights cannot be avoided. The battle system is thought out very cunningly, with elements of several genres at once, so cool strategists and those who like to go ahead using a treatment card from a secret pocket can prove themselves.
Let's start with the battlefield - it is absolutely always laid out in small squares. Your character can move strictly on them, just like in the classic “Heroes of Might and Magic” (yes, there were honeycombs, but this is not so important). Before the battle, they give you to arrange your army the way you want, after which the fight itself begins. It is worth noting that there is no need to arrange the characters in a strict sequence, since the battlefield is usually quite large and until you reach a collision, all your characters will mix up. But naturally, archers are behind, and melee warriors are in front.
When the battle has begun, you have a ton of options on how to defeat the vile enemy. You can attack yourself, drastically drawing close to the enemy, and inflict damage with your skills. You can place the heroes away from each other, and then, when one of the opponents goes to beat your loner, surround him and stomp him to death, while his assistants are just going to attack. Thanks to a turn-based battle and a huge variety of skills, types of attacks, characteristics of heroes, their classes and maps from your arsenal, each battle is very interesting and it depends on you what kind of fight it will be.
Choosing a character to attack, you notice blue and orange squares on the playing field. Blue, this is a location where the hero has enough energy to reach, after which he will still be able to deliver attacks. Orange - you can reach the given squares, but there is already not enough strength to cause damage. It is important to understand these points, as they often help in the battle. Sometimes, when you see that the enemy is far away from you, it makes no sense to approach him at the last breath, so that on the next move he gives you an ax with your head. In addition, archers, and the rest of the ranged soldiers, do not fight across the entire map. They are also suitable for a certain distance for a shot. You need to carefully monitor how close your brave Legolas approaches the enemy, because no one wants to lose a friend at the very beginning of the battle.
Enemies, and you too, have two key parameters - life points and energy points. You lose life when the enemy catches up with his weapons, and energy is spent on movement, attacks and special skills. However, energy plays another important role - this is a kind of damage multiplier. If the enemy, or yours, has run out of energy, then all damage directed to an empty strip of energy will be applied in double quantity to the strip of lives. This feature of the gameplay must be used constantly.
For example, the enemy has a lot of life points, it can be beaten only by the whole gang, and even then he will be beaten off excessively. But he has few energy points. It’s better not to hit the lives, but the energy of the enemy. Yes, yes, there is such an opportunity, during an attack you can choose where to do damage. If you inflict 20 damage to the enemy, then you can attack on hit points and take down exactly 20 hit points. Or you can do 20 damage for 5 units of energy, and the remaining 15 damage that went beyond the energy limits will be done in double volume, that is, you will end up with 30 damage. Here is the math.
Plus, during the battle you have a deck of cards, which will gradually be replenished with new options with cool features. However, at the very beginning the cards are rather boring and I used only the treatment and armor. When the card energy indicator is dialed, you can take one and set the heat to the enemy. Sometimes it saves, sometimes you just feel more confident in your victory. But, the cards do not play a key role here and you shouldn’t go deep into it - it’s quite difficult to find some really cool and useful options that you will use all the time and you need to spend a lot of time on this.
In general, I liked the combat system. Some skills require not only the expenditure of your energy, but also the expenditure of lives. Do you want to inflict darkness damage to a powerful enemy in one blow and save three allies at the expense of one hero? It’s not a question, we choose the skill and set the heat. Plus, a lot of character classes - someone gives the offender a spear from the distance of one cage, someone shoots arrows, someone a mage, and someone pushes the enemy back into the cage with a shield, causing serious damage. Add maps here, add enemies with their own characteristics, characteristics and tactics of warfare. It turns out very cheerful, interesting and not boring. The latter generally pleases, for me tactical games sooner or later grew into a routine, but this did not happen here.
Weak sidesNo matter how positive I feel about the creation of the domestic studio, some details of the gameplay still do not bring pleasure. The first thing worth noting is a rather complicated classic game mode, which was complicated by a minimum amount of resources. That is, you do not suffer from the fact that the enemies are too strong, although they really hurt, but from a lack of in-game resources. A couple of kilometers have passed, but there are already not enough strixes for everyone, a couple of soldiers are injured, and then they die at all. It seems that he did nothing wrong, made no mistakes anywhere, and the team dies. Yes, the developers said that the team members will certainly die, this is part of the gameplay, but I would like to have a reason for this.
In addition, certain game mechanics should be painted a little better. I don’t really understand the movement on the map. At the very beginning, we can go straight, left or right. However, when you choose one of the paths, they will not be allowed to return back. It turns out that we accept a choice that will affect the gameplay in the future, but we do it blindly, without any reference points at all. It seems to me that it was possible to somehow tell us about what lies ahead, which path leads where, so that the player does not poke into the thicket of the forest, hoping that along the way the team will not die in vain.
By the way, the implementation of the choice here is very strange, as for me. I will explain in two examples. First - I come to the tower, to the left and right of which there are paths. You click on the tower and three options appear - look inside, break the door or go on. It’s about the options I brought, there was something else there, but that’s not the point. I chose to go further, and that’s all, it’s impossible to return to the tower, just select the left or right side of the road. Maybe I have the courage and want to explore the tower and its secrets again, but that's all. Why did the heroes reach the tower two minutes ago, and now they don’t notice it?
The second point is the dialogue. In places where the pen appears, your answer affects the gameplay in the future, the attitude of the characters to your person, and so on. Only here the answers are completely ordinary, not marked, it is impossible to understand with what intonation the character speaks this or that phrase. To understand, even approximately, what this will lead to - too. You are asked about the purpose of the gift, you are responding and it has influenced something in the future, but nobody will tell what and how. Yes, some answers or actions affect the attitude of the team or the mood of the characters to our hero, but this is a completely different part of the plot.
And, the last drawback is the darkness of dialogue and text. I love to read and delve into the world of the project, learn something new and interesting, enjoy this process. But when so much text is dumped on you, somehow even your eyes get tired. It seems to me that I spent much more time reading dialogs and texts than I did fighting or watching cut scenes, and this is already a little too much. I can’t say that it directly spoils the game, but sometimes I just want to flip through it all and go into battle.
First, I want to praise the developers. Not only because they are “ours” and managed to break into the top of Steam sales, which has not happened to domestic studios for a very long time. Rather, for impudence - not all large companies have the courage to release a project of this level, with such a set of game mechanics, graphics, storytelling and plot. You can now watch the most popular franchises on the market that copy their own mechanics, their own graphics, and even plot the plot in places. Many AAA projects this year showed such a low level of upgrade on all fronts, which is simply embarrassing. The same Far Cry 5 in terms of realism loses Far Cry 2 a
When you look at all these games, without a hint of fantasy, and then look at the list of new and interesting in Ash of Gods: Redemption, you get a feeling of pride. The scriptwriter clearly tried and wrote a very cool plot, with detailed dialogs, elaborate characters, intricate stories and characters. In the list of novels by the scriptwriter there is a series of “Ashes of the Gods”. It is possible that the events of these books were transferred to the basis of the game plot. Plus, the visual component is presented at such a high level that you watch in one breath, as a very advanced and adult cartoon.
Yes, I practically didn’t say anything about the graphics in the game, as it is problematic to describe in words, and taste, to be honest. Someone likes pixels, someone loses consciousness from realistic graphics, to each his own. I really liked how the authors of the project showed that time, those characters and their lives, locations, history as a whole. Smooth colorful picture, sometimes gloomy and bloody, perfectly conveys the atmosphere of impending death. It is important to feel it, the gameplay is built on this. Thanks to a fascinating scenario with a mass of secondary heroes and stories, thanks to the alluring picture, it is pleasant and interesting to play. I want to go again and again.
Of course, there were some strange moments, but I can’t call them the disadvantages of the game either. Yes, in the classic mode they will give you a headache constantly and very painfully, the characters in the squad die like flies, a lot of enemies, it’s not entirely clear how to win. On the other hand, in a world plagued by plague, precisely such thoughts should arise. Plus, the developers understood, apparently, that not everyone would like hardcore, and added a story mode where it’s easy and pleasant to play, you read dialogs, you fight, you go through a story.
Unfortunately, ardent haters, I did not find any specific flaws in the game. It is perfectly optimized, it has everything you need for pleasure. I took a couple of points, nevertheless, but for good reason. The first is ultra-long dialogs and generally volumes of text that only a very persistent connoisseur of history can master. Second, some game mechanics needed to be either simplified or better explained.
- full story with a lot of details;
- every character has been worked out, from the groom to the merchant;
- big enough virtual world;
- gorgeous narrative;
- beautifully painted cut scenes;
- the graphics are generally nice, not only in the commercials;
- combat system with its own chips;
- resources must be allocated and reasonable losses incurred;
- there is multiplayer;
- the developer diligently monitors the feedback;
- a story in which the end is not at all obvious.
May not like:
- classic mode is quite difficult to go through;
- some mechanics have explained poorly;
- darkness of texts;
- I don’t want to lose characters, but I have to;
- in multiplayer, I could not find an opponent.
Final rating: 8 out of 10.Related materials: