The Banner Saga series of games has carved out a place in modern gaming for the visual narrative novel by merging its animation style graphics with turn based tactical RPG mechanics. This fusion genre gives developers an opportunity to tell a deeply focused story without leaving out some core gameplay mechanics. Upcoming Ash of Gods from AurumDust studio continues that focus and adds in an every more hardcore mechanic: the high stakes risks of the roguelike. After a recent successful journey through their Kickstarter which ended in late June, the game is on its way towards a November 2017 release for PC and eventually PS4, Xbox One and mobile.
Ash of Gods First Look
Ash of Gods is a blend between the roguelike, turn based RPG and visual novel. The developer has stated that the game is heavily inspired by the already mentioned Banner Saga series, Japanese visual novel games and intense decision making of Darkest Dungeon.
The story sets up like this: The world has just come through a period of seven hundred years of peace but that tenuous calm is coming to an end as most things do. In the blink of an eye a force of creatures known as reapers have returned with the intention to drown the entire world in blood in order to awaken long sleeping gods. This is why we can’t have nice things. Naturally, you will take control of the party who looks to put an end to this wet blanket madness.
As the visual novel plays out you will have to weigh every dialogue choice, decision and how you manage your resources. Any mistake might cause you to lost a character forever, but even if you lose your party leader, the game will not end, just morph. The consequences will be difficult to predict and even the slightest wound could have huge ramifications. You may even suffer the death of your entire party.
The gameplay is a mix of turn-based strategy and card RPG that takes place on a gridded battlefield, where the cards determine your strategy while the classes of your characters determine the tactical approach. AurumDust has laid out the ruleset of the game as follows:
- No dice throws (hit/miss chances and the force of the blow/ability)
- Many abilities use HP instead of MP and can one-shot the enemy but also put your unit on the brink of death
- Attack in HP or MP
- Collect your own cards to build a deck and use it in battle. More powerful cards are available in later rounds of battle
- Asynchronous rounds – small team will begin a new round sooner and get powerful cards earlier
The different classes such as Monk, Swordsman, Spearman and more all fill different tactical roles based on their range and their attributes like health, attack and movement on the board. The cards you draw from the deck are powerful game changers like siphoning energy from foes, or doing some AoE damage.
The game will feature a multiplayer mode that lets you compete for top global rankings. You can unlock new characters and cards, upgrade them and create your own clans and participate in battles with your friends.
The graphics and audio are meticulously crafted with live recorded music that features an eclectic assortment of musical instruments. The illustrations capture the vibe of old-school Disney cartoons and a signature Soviet animation studio from the 60’s called Soyuzmultfilm. When in combat the character animations are all derived from live actor motion capture.
We will have a more in depth preview when we’ve seen more for ourselves, so be sure to check back with us.