developer: Aurum Dust
Game mode: single / multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: Internet
Ash of Gods: Redemption is a tactical RPG with elements of card games. It is the first project of Aurum Dust – an independent studio that organized a successful crowd-funding campaign in 2017 in order to produce the game. Above all, the creators were inspired by The Banner Saga series and such Japanese role-playing games as the Fire Emblem series.
The story is set in a world created by a fantasy writer Sergey Malitsky in his book Ash of Gods, which was being written in parallel with the game's production process. The world of Terminum is the setting - it was inspired mainly by the mediaval Europe. For 700 years, all who lived in Terminum enjoyed a relatively peaceful period. However, now mankind must face a civilizational threat embodied by aliens known as the reapers, Only a handful of daredevils can prevent the demise of humanity. In various circumstances, they join the expedition aiming to put an end to the threat.
In terms of the mechanics, Ash of Gods: Redemption, is nearly identical to The Banner Saga mentioned above. A team of characters travels around the world using a map; they talk to the encountered characters and complete assignments given by them. Completing the assignments earns the characters experience points (they allow to develop the characters' abilities), as well as pushes the story forward.
The manner in which the developer approached the issue of moral dilemmas constitutes a distinctive feature of the game. The creators wanted their fantasy world to feel realistic in reception, and that was achieved mainly by placing an emphasis on situations that require the player to make difficult choices. Each of such decisions can affect both the course of the story and the fate of particular characters. Even the main characters are not untouchable, and when they die, the game does not end – the story goes on regardless of whether they manage to stay alive until the end of the adventure or not. Simultaneously, the player is encouraged to take risks – both while fighting and travelling. Taking a shortcut can expose the characters to danger, but they will not use as much resources as if they took the longer, safer route.
The combat system in Ash of Gods: Redemption uses the classic turns instead of real-time fighting that was implemented in Pillars of Eternity, for example. Like in games from the Stoic studio, fighting takes place on maps divided into squares the combatants move on. A specific class is assigned to each character, affecting their stats and combat abilities; it consequently determines the role the particular character fulfills in battle. Victory is achieved through applying adequate tactics and taking into account the abilities of both one's team and their enemies.
The typical combat system in this turn-based RPG is diversified by elements of card games in the form of card sets, which give access to great powers. However, using those is sometimes linked with a huge risk – this, combined with limited number of cards, forces the player to use the powers wisely. What is another unusual concept realized in the game, is that random elements were not included. The player is not given information regarding approximate amounts of damage particular attacks will deal or what is the chance for a critical hit – each action has a specified effect, and thanks to this, the game highlights the weight of the player's decisions even in combat.
The core game component in Ash of Gods: Redemption is constituted by the story campaign, which can be completed on one's own or in cooperation with another player. Also, the player is capable of sending their fighters to a battle against another player.
Ash of Gods: Redemption offers two-dimensional visuals inspired by creations of Ralph Bakshi (popular mainly for 1978's animated film The Lord of the Rings), a Soviet studio Sojuzmultfilm, and Disney's classic animations. As a result, though the players received hand-drawn graphics using bright colors, the creators employed a style matching the gloomy atmosphere of the game world.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Intel Core i5 3.0 GHz, 2 GB RAM, graphic card 2 GB GeForce GTX 760 or better, 5 GB HDD, Windows 7/8/10
Minimum: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz, 1 GB RAM, graphic card GeForce 1 GB 9800 GTX or better, 5 GB HDD, Windows 7/8/10