Ash of Gods: Redemption – Something Sinister Rises
In Ash of Gods: Redemption, the world is swiftly thrown into chaos. Those known as Reapers have come back after over 700 years of being gone. They seek to drown the world in blood to awaken the sleeping Gods. The story centers around three main characters (Guard Caption Thorn Brenin, the bodyguard Lo Pheng, and the scribe Hopper Rouley), the people they meet along the way to their journey to stop the chaos.
The game throws itself into several genres of video games by describing itself as a turned based RPG that combines tactical combat, CCG elements and an evolving storyline where no one safe.
Combat in Ash of Gods is a turn base affair in a grid. There are no dice roles here, just cold hard numbers. You know exactly how much damage an attack will do as you plan out you move. You have health and energy, lose all your energy and you take double damage to your health. But choose wisely how to proceed. Do you use a skill that does extra damage at the cost of your own health? Or perhaps you expand energy to run deeper into the enemy group and use an AoE attack to stun them? Add in a light CCG element and the already tactical combat gets even more diverse.
The preview build had an hours' worth of content and from that little bit the story feels deep and evoking. Each character had their own distinct personality, with the ability to click on their portrait to learn even more of their backstory. While there were no voice lines, it felt like I was reading an epic fantasy novel. There are major decisions to be made at times effecting the overall outcome of the story. Of interesting note, the death of a "main" character is not the end of the game. The story for Ash of Gods is written by award winning fantasy author Sergey Malitsky.
The Art & Music
The other two pillars that this game solidly stands on are its music and art. Inspired by the works of Ralph Bakshi, Ash of Gods features intricately hand drawn illustration and animation, using rotoscoping for its animation movement. It's a beautiful thing to see amidst the vivid backdrop that has been drawn for this world.
The original soundtrack is a collaboration of Adam Skorupa, Krzysztof Wierzynkiewicz, and Michal Cielecki, whose previous work includes The Witcher, Bulletstorm, Painkiller, EVE Online, Call of Juarez, and Shadow Warrior. Every track was recorded live by professional musicians, often using traditional instruments rarely encountered in contemporary recordings. The music helps bring even further life into the game, accentuating the high and low points.
Overall, I enjoyed my time spent playing Ash of Gods: Redemption and look forward to its release.