Ashen, or the Jokell's Moustache Appreciation Thread


#1

I figured a fair few of us have picked up Ashen after hearing it’s praises sung on Waypoint Radio and elsewhere, so lets have a thread where we can talk about how lovely it all is! Especially that beautiful facial hair physics. Lordy, if my 'tache were half as bouncy as my man Jokell…

I’ve been super enjoying my time with it so far, moreso after getting a controller working. Between the scenery and the music it’s been a lovely walkabout. I was worried the combat might be a bit Necropolis-y, so I’m super glad it feels as nice as it does. I had a proper geek out over how good the lantern both looks and works mechanically. I figured out you could put it down in the middle of combat and the cleverness of the mechanic had me destracted enough to get me killed. Here’s a tip: Early on, if something’s moving in a cave, don’t pick a fight with it, ESPECIALLY if it’s really obviously luring you deeper inside.

Even in the very early stages of the town I’m excited for how it’ll develop. I’m always a sucker for places getting rebuilt and populated and I’m getting some real good vibes off the place already.

So how’s everyone else finding it?


#2

It’s dark souls but with a lot of quality of life improvements. A jump button! A map! Waypoints! A quest log! NPC party members!

But it still keeps the feel of everything. It’s that type of game but in their own style, done really well. It’s clear a lot of care went into making it. Now that I have a storage box and can unclutter my inventory i’m having fun just wandering around and looking at stuff. There are some amazing setpieces. Austin shared one that happens early on involving a character that dwells underwater in a cave, but there’s much more of that same sort of thing as it goes forward.

It’s still really hard too. Even having a buddy with you at all times these enemies can gang up and beat you down from full health to dead pretty quickly. I do wish there was more weapon variety, lookswise. Everything is a club or an axe. But maybe that changes later on.


#3

Post-first-boss spoilers: Big Face! Big Lady! That moment was super good, this game does wonders with darkness. Also, new clothes, finally!

Coming back to the town after someone’s done some renovations is great, I just wanna go over and give some congrats to the new owner. And hammerman’s work on the nearby cliff-face has me giddy for where it could go in the future.


#4

I’ve been playing a bit of this and like it a lot so far. Not in the least because it feels so optimistic. The world is being reborn and people are jumping on the chance to build a new home. A villager I talked to said something like “it’s nice to finally sit down somewhere again” and it was a lovely moment.

The aesthetic is a stunner, too.


#5

I love a lot of things about this game. Your little town, the characters and their stories. Just exploring the world is fun without any combat. It even has the best fast travel system in any game I played.

The one thing I really don’t like after finishing the third area is the fighting. I usually prefer souls combat over everything else, but it looks like you only have two limited weapon movesets, which get old pretty fast and the enemy encounters have gotten just enjoying for me at this point. I hope this changes in the next area, with some abilities or different weapons.

I think this game shows, that their is still a lot of room for change with the souls formula and in hindsight, the souls games wasted a lot of potential by beeing to conservative.


#6

I got this on the Epic Store on Friday and it has completely blown me away. The sound. The art. The slightly improved quality of life and less intense difficulty curve!

One problem I’m having though, is that I thought this game was supposed to have like, automatic matchmaking or something? I haven’t seen one sign of another person. I suspect this may be because users on the Epic Store haven’t really been buying the game a bunch? I dunno.

In any case, if anyone out there wants an ally, I’m AxelAodh there, so feel free to add me. I’m also on the Waypoint discord under the same name.


#7

I just got into it after spending an inordinate amount of time in the character creator. I eventually settled with this fellow:

Very surface level: I love love love how this game looks. It does so much with so little, and the characters are so expressive just through things like hair and costuming.

One little thing I noticed while AFK that I think is a really nice touch is that if you’re idle for a few seconds your character will sit down. It’s such a small thing but it does a really great job in communicating something I think Souls games do, but not explicitly though animation: that sometimes in these worlds it’s best to slow down and sit and think for a little bit. Or just sit and look at scenery or whatever. Take time to do something that isn’t fighting and just rest.


#8

This game is just starting to grip me, I wasn’t much into it in my first session, as I was bumbling my way through the systems, probably trying too hard to find equivalences between the systems of the Souls games, but it’s since come clear that it’s doing it’s own thing.

With my second session I completed a few quests, unlocked things like weapon upgrades, talisman crafting, and fast travel, and the game systems felt like they opened up to me. It took me this long to sort of get what they were going for with character progression,

There’s many parts of this that remind me of Dark Souls 2; the growing hub town, the linear branching paths, the enemies pulling in groups, and most of the enemy attacks flowing and tracking you heavily. I think it feels much nicer to move your character in this game though, and compared to souls games the jumping feels like a far more effective.

I wish this game didn’t just keep giving me clubs and axes though, give me like some knight armour and a claymore, please.


#9

I just started Ashen and am intrigued so far. The art style is fantastic and the village building aspects are super neat. This might be the first 3D soulslike that I put significant time into.


#10

I bought this game after seeing Austin recommend it. And I was having a good time for about 4 or 5 hours.

Then I got to the part of the game titled “Seat of the Matriarch”. I leave that spoiler marked because it has no context unless you’ve played it. Getting to this point pretty much broke any enjoyment and I’ve completely turned on it.

Without getting into specifics, Jokell completely broke for me and caused me to lose progress in an extremely difficult dungeon with no save points. He broke two times in a row in the same way. There’s a part where you come to a small set of stairs that leads to a raised path. Up on the path are a lot of tough enemies. Jokell follows me to the bottom of the stairs…then completely stops. He does not follow me up. This happened twice in a row. The first time I was baffled because I didn’t think it was possible for me to handle these enemies on my own. So I decided to tap into my Souls experience and just run through them.

I made it pretty fair until Jokell…suddenly appeared in front of me. He spawned, causing all the enemies in front of my to agro. They all swarmed me and I died. Respawning at the beginning of the dungeon.

The second time? Jokell was still stuck at the bottom of the stairs. This time I wanted to try to handle the enemies slowly - one at a time. However when I made the attempt, more enemies appeared and I tried to retreat. Jokell was gone. Wait… no… actually Jokell wasn’t gone. He warped away. To the top of the raised platform. To an entirely different set of enemies, agroing them toward me. Swarming me with a handful of huge enemies, killing me.

So that’s that. A game I was enjoying has decided to break in the worst way possible. If this had been the only time the companions were weird I was shrug it off but it isn’t. The companions constantly are doing stuff like this. They’re a broken mechanic. And for someone playing on PC - they’re currently the only option because multiplayer is broken.

Honestly it’s too frustrating to continue playing. I liked what I playted up to this point but can’t deal with this bullshit. Now I get to see what Epic’s refund policy looks like.


#11

Yeah that area is pretty bad. It’s way too long and there are a couple of spots, that one included, where the companion AI just freaks the hell out every time.


#12

It’s wild to me that I’ve seen countless people reporting the exact same situation play out. When the second example was happening I was sitting there next to my SO and we were baffled because there didn’t seem to be any reasonable way to deal with the situation. I was just fucked, and there was nothing for me to do.

There’s nothing worse for me then not being able to trust the core mechanic of a game. Ancillary bugs I can deal with generally speaking, but when the primary conceit the game is built on is so fundamentally broken that you’re left with little options other than turning it off, you’ve completely lost me. How can i trust the game to ever work properly?


#13

Yeah, the AI relocation can be shoddy at best, I’ve had AI spawn in front of me,then behind me, then in front of me in the span of 20 or so meters in the same dungeon, and Jokell just kept falling off the same spot on an L-shaped platform path the same time every time unless I rushed the enemy.

I’ll offer a solution that worked for me on that part you’re speaking of: Make your way to the stairs as normal, then walk straight forward, the side-enemies won’t aggro; trigger the big one at the end to do their yell thing, and deal with them both (I’ve found trying to run past them lands you in a heap of trouble) and then just move forward normally and deal with the other crawlies. I think Jokell still spawned in front and was swarmed by other enemies but if you hang back and try to manage them as they come in it’s doable.

That dungeon is so long and dark with no shortcut that I could find, it’s such a spike in difficulty from the rest of the game up to that point, less so from individual enemies but more from pure endurance.
What surprised me is how easy the boss was comparatively, maybe it was just the contrast of this labyrinthine nightmare.


#14

I assumed when the big guy at the end of the path did it’s yell, it agro’d everyone. If it doesn’t - I may give it a try again.

I actually canceled my refund request because I want to see what else the game has and I want to play multiplayer when it’s fixed on PC.

Thanks for the info.


#15

It’s been a good time with some frustrations here and there, and if nothing else multiplayer may make that section less buggy. Good luck!


#16

a pathing problem, you say? (this is from very early, but they Jokell needs to learn to vault)


#17

Those who are playing it right now would you recommend it as ones first soulsbourne-like?


#18

It’s a much friendlier game than the souls series, although it’s still tough as nails. If you have an Xbox and Gamepass, it’s a great no-risk way to dip into the genre. As someone who bounced off of Dark Souls and Bloodbourne fairly quickly, this one has been sticking with me.


#19

I love this good friend.

Edit: Amara adds a tune to the soundtrack when you’re close to her. Fricking amazing.


#20

Anyone playing this on a standard xbox one? I’m usually not one to obsess over performance but as I only have my housemates massive chonk of an OG xbox one to play this on, I’m hoping it looks clean and runs okay.