Chronos Before The Ashes Review (Steam)

Chronos Before The Ashes Review (Steam)

Chronos: Before the Ashes is an atmospheric RPG that chronicles a hero’s lifelong quest to save their homeland from a great evil. Grow wiser, stronger, and more powerful as you explore the depths of the mysterious labyrinth. But beware, the labyrinth takes a heavy toll – each time your hero dies, they lose a year of their life!

Pros:

  • Decent graphics.
  • 7445MB download size.
  • Steam achievements.
  • Controller support.
  • Graphics-fullscreen, resolution, v-sync, rendering quality, and resolution quality.
  • Invert axis and sensitivity sliders.
  • Three save slots.
  • Character creator–male/female, ax (blocking and attacking) or sword (fast strikes and dodging) and difficulty.
  • 3 difficulties-casual, adventure, and Heroic.
  • Can skip cutscenes.
  • Tutorial pop-ups. (can disable)
  • Third person action adventure gameplay.
  • Dark Souls-like combat, all about dodging, blocking, and countering.
  • Earn EXP and level up to get attribute points. (strength/agility/arcane/vitality)
  • Unlock shortcuts.
  • Big open areas with multiple routes, areas, and secrets along with the aforementioned shortcuts.
  • World stones-used as respawn points and fast travel points.
  • Stamina system used for dodging, running, blocking, and attacking.
  • Dragon stones-charge with every hit to an enemy and once fully charged can unleash a special unique effect.
  • Excellent voice work.
  • Death-everytime you die you age one year.
  • Age-this effects what you can upgrade attributes wise until the whole selection is gone.
  • Shimmering stone splinters–a random drop from enemies and are used to upgrade your weapon.
  • Crystal heart-what you use to heal and collect them to have more.
  • Can combine items within your inventory.
  • Traits-every ten years after you are 20, you get traits, and these change as you age.
  • Puzzle elements sprinkled without.
  • Enemies respawn after your death.
  • Brilliant little set pieces. Story related so can’t go into detail but it’s a clever impactful set of moments and scenarios.
  • Big boss fights.

Chronos Before The Ashes Review (Steam)

Cons:

  • The mouse cursor will pop up and stay on screen during interactions when using the controller.
  • Little in the way of help when it comes to traveling around.
  • Minimal graphic settings.
  • Slow animation of putting your weapons away. This happens whenever you heal, open a door, interact with something, climb a ladder, and so on. It gets really quite grating.
  • Slow starter.
  • A lot of the scenery you cannot smash like vases and boxes that are everywhere.
  • The camera can get janky especially in combat or leaving a ladder.
  • No online or multiplayer.

Chronos Before The Ashes Review (Steam)

  • 7/10
    Graphics - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
  • 6/10
    Accessibility - 6/10
  • 7/10
    Length - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Fun Factor - 8/10
7/10

Summary

Chronos Before The Ashes is a game that tries to add more to the lore and backstory of the smash-hit game Remanent of the Ashes. Taking place before the drama of Remanent, you take on a much more scaled-back world from the combat, weapons, and creatures. It’s a 3rd party action game that started off quite strongly as it breaks you in slowly highlighting how it uses the now default Souls combat model of block and counter. Chrono doesn’t do the random seeds, Mechanic, from Remanent, however, and goes with a more fluid linear approach so everyone is playing the same game and that’s fine as the world can take variations to how you can approach the game. I liked the game a lot for a good handful of hours but the things that bugged me grew in their intensity, the glaring omissions stopped my progress as the game really doesn’t like to help guide you in any way and will probably say its a Metroidvania concept but in reality, it’s just bad signposting. Going all-in on my pet peeves, top of the list by a mile is the needles animation of you sheathing your weapons before you do anything, be it a ladder a button, or just opening a door the animation is slow and not needed at all when it’s such a common action. The combat is absolutely fine and the different weapon types mean you can find the right one for you. Already covered signposting issues and how the game just wants to drag everything out. Boss fights are quite the spectacle but I will go all-in on how good the level design of the world is, it’s one of those worlds where every time you pass an area you will find a new room or walkway, find shortcuts to cut down on treading old ground, it’s infuriating that such top tier world design is let down by no help in navigating the bastard! The age mechanic in play is a good start to this idea. Basically, every death you age a year and with each year you age it will slowly stop you from being able to pick certain traits when upgrading so when young you are fast and nimble but once you get older you will roll less and be better at magic. Like I say it’s a good start because it just misses the mark, the outcome is all but inevitable unless you get lucky with little deaths, I just thought it was alright but because the game shows off this mechanic you can plan early and boost those stats now rather than lose it later. Back to it and I found the game to be on a few levels below Remanent and having it associated with that game means expectation was high but ultimately fell short. It’s an alright stand-alone game with some cool ideas that I look forward to seeing more fleshed out, fun can be had but so can a lot of swearing. A good fit for Souls fans looking for a different challenge.

 

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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