Ash of Gods: Redemption is a smart interactive story with rogue-like elements, great graphic style, amazing music, interesting story, memorable characters, good tactical component ... The only problem of the game is that it is too similar to The Banner Saga. And in almost everything.
The harvest is inevitable, the last, final harvest. Seven hundred years ago, one of the thirteen could not make a sacrifice and stop the Reapers for the Hopfeld, now he wants to correct his mistake. The three main characters Ash of Gods: Redemption have their own motivation and their goals. Not really a man Hoper Rulee is looking for secret signs and a reason to become a martyr. Thorn Brenin has more personal motives — he is trying to protect his family from the inevitable, going on a journey in search of a cure for the ailment that comes along with the Harvest. The deadly Lo Feng sent a sense of duty to the road, with the beginning of the Harvest he must return to the Clan of Shadows in order to fulfill what he had been trained for since childhood. Heroes embark on a journey from different points of Terminum, but they will certainly meet, or at least see the consequences of each other’s actions. Everything happening to them is clearly not without purpose, and behind the scenes the figure of the puppeteer is probably hiding, arranging casual meetings, tearing certain people from their homes and gathering them together.
Play Ash of Gods: Redemption - how to read a good fantasy novel. The game is written in a figurative, bright language, the characters, even minor ones, turned out to be lively and interesting, it’s just pleasant to watch their adventures and conversations, especially since your decisions influence what is happening. The narration, as in many books, jumps from hero to hero, sometimes winding back to show events taking place in another part of the world. Thorne Brenin cuts his way to the menhir in the hope of healing the daughter, but Hoper Ruley follows in his footsteps, realizing that the search for Thorn is meaningless. And at the same time, at the other end of the world, Luo Feng decides whether the companies of the girls who have escaped from the painful death who live behind him die or die.
The Term Map is like an interactive novel graph. You will go to the right - you will lose a horse, to the left - you will lose life. Accidental encounters, random finds, accidental deaths. As a result, all the roads will converge at the point to which the plot leads you, but how and in what composition you will come there depends only on you. The authors hint that not only the lives of the members of the squad, but also the main characters depend on your decisions. Moreover, with the death of one of them, the game will not end - the world of the harvest is indifferent to the fate of individuals. However, I was not able to verify the correctness of this statement, I did my best to save the lives of the heroes. By the way, when you repeat the first time you selected the answers will be shaded, which will allow you to try other options dialogues.
Impressive detail of the game world. The mass of place names, the complex relationship between the kingdoms and the races that inhabit this land. Scraps of knowledge about the past, habits and history of various peoples, fragments of sinister rituals. However, many things that are taken for granted do not receive any explanation. Where did the failure come from, cutting the term in half? Who built the underground railway? What is a veil? What happened in the Ash Heath? Why are the residents of Frieze so bloodthirsty? Etc. etc. It intrigues, makes the imagination work, and that's good. However, I personally would not have refused two or three books in this setting, which more fully reveal the background of the world.
As in The Banner Saga and The Banner Saga 2, the gameplay of Ash of Gods: Redemption is conditionally divided into several parts. Conversations with other characters and their own companions at key points, random encounters and events during the movement of the detachment on the map, and step by step battles. Plus, of course, character development and squad management.
Here, as in The Banner Saga, there is a resource necessary for the survival of the group, which is spent during the movement and long stops - magic stones that protect the heroes from the influence of the Harvest. It is necessary to end the stock of stones, as you have to choose which of the satellites to sacrifice. Therefore, do not miss the chance to fight with another squad, especially with the servants of the Reapers - a victory can bring you additional strixes. Or maybe - the injury of someone from the characters. Wounds mean a decline in performance, and four not cured wounds - inevitable death. However, this can be avoided by spending magic stones and time to heal.
The combat system of Ash of Gods: Redemption compared to The Banner Saga is simpler and clearer, while provoking players to take risks, because some skills spend their lives to increase the impact, and a drop in endurance can lead to sad consequences. Each of the main characters and each of the classes has its own abilities; moreover, each of the squads leads quite different fights. If the group of Thorn Brenin fights together, then Hopper Ruli, whose characteristics are constantly falling, beats alone against superior enemy forces. And Lo Feng has a completely different style of combat, and he needs a team only to divert the attention of enemies. In addition to the characters, there is also a deck of magic cards at the player’s disposal, which, of course, need to be collected, but I personally found it redundant, almost unused in battle. In general, it is interesting to fight in the game, for those who have already passed the story or do not want to bother with the plot, there is also a network mode with PvP-battles, that's really not very many people in it.
What Ashes Gods: Redemption pays attention to first and foremost is the chic visual style ... which is also similar to The Banner Saga. Yes, the authors claim that they were inspired by the classic American and Soviet animations of the 1950s and 1970s, but the similarities, including the palette, are simply amazing. And everything would be fine, but considering the similarity of the combat system, some gameplay elements and even the key features of the plot, Ash of Gods: Redemption is easily taken as a complete clone of The Banner Saga.
Now Ash of Gods: Redemption is released on Steam for Windows, Linux, macOS, by the end of the year the project should appear on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, iOS. Especially interesting here are mobile platforms, on which similar gameplay will fall just fine. Despite the unconditional similarity of Ash of Gods: Redemption with The Banner Saga and The Banner Saga 2, it is not lost against the background of the famous predecessors. If you are looking for a good story in the game, Ash of Gods is exactly what you need.