ASHEN

De­vel­oper Aurora44 Pub­lisher Annapurna In­ter­ac­tive For­mat PC, Xbox One Re­lease 2018

EDGE - - MULTIFORMAT+PC@E3 -

Bingo cards at the ready: this open world RPG has shades of Dark Souls,

Jour­ney and Zelda. Com­bat in the dusky for­est feels de­lib­er­ate – and fa­mil­iar – but it’s the pas­sive mul­ti­player el­e­ment that in­tro­duces in­trigue. We can’t talk to our part­ner (as in Jour­ney, there’ll be no voice chat, with ges­tures the only form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion) but when we spot a door with two hand­holds, we word­lessly agree on what to do. Team­work is key once the dun­geon opens – our friend lights the dark­ness with a lan­tern while we bat­tle a gar­gan­tuan spi­der. Our demo comes to an abrupt end when we blindly fol­low our anony­mous pal off a ledge to our death. Witho no ver­bal warn­ings to heed,

Ashen will be pun­ish­ing. But away from the brainteasers and bosses, bat­tling in si­lence with a part­ner is a puz­zle all its own – and one with a unique al­lure.

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