Reviewed on the Xbox One.
The latest game from Gunfire Games and a revamped version of Chronos, Before the Ashes is a Souls-esque role-playing game. It also is a prequel to Remnant: From the Ashes. In it’s original version, it was an Oculus only title while this one is for consoles. Let’s see if this version can carry the torch from VR to console.
Gameplay of Chronos
Like stated earlier, Chronos: Before the Ashes is a Souls-like game. You defeat enemies, solve puzzles and level up as you progress. Also like a Souls game, you find lore about the places you visit and connect the dots to the game’s world. There’s also an upgrade system that you use to improve your weapons and level up your stats with Attribute points.
In Chronos, dying actually is given a bit of a twist. If you die, your age increases by 1. This actually gives your character additional perks like a higher strength stat. However, die too much and your character gets old and your stats worsen. This kind of system makes you take into account as to wether or not avoiding death is a good idea. It’s a unique take and I actually find it quite a cool idea for an RPG to tackle.
Exploration is a key aspect of the game as you need to do so to move forward and solve puzzles. Some puzzles do require you to look at the details of statues and overall environment to be able to solve them. Pretty Zelda-esque, which is already been used in the Souls formula for a while. It’s not a bad thing, by the way.
Combat and difficulty
The combat of Chronos is pretty straight-forward, yet enjoyable. You have weak attacks and strong attacks, a block button and a dodge button. There’s an ability you get early on from NPC that improves your combat by a whole lot. You hit harder and faster, but it’s a meter you fill up.
With this being a Souls-like game, Chronos is challenging. And you gon’ die. But due to the game incentivizing dying in a clever way, it’s not so defeating or punishing as other Souls games. Due to this and the ability to change difficulty, it’s a beginner friendly game. The bosses are easily the most challenging baddies
As for flaws, the camera is quite the issue on enclosed spaces. This can be an annoying problem as it can cause attacks that usually hit to not do so. And if you so happen to be around multiple enemies, you’ll feel ganged up on. There also times where the collision detection and physics get you trapped within the enemy’s grasp, which can get you unfairly killed.
Technical Aspects of Chronos
Chronos isn’t big budget but that doesn’t mean that the visuals are bad. The atmosphere in the locals you go to is really well done, especially when enclosed. Some give you a sense of dread as you don’t know what you’ll find. The first area feels intentionally detached from the other areas in kind of a jarring way and it works.
Visually, it gets the job done and it’s art direction does help with the overall tones of bleakness yet at times wonder of the locations you go to. Which goes well with the lore and story. It’s not too hard to piece together what’s going on, but it still keeps you intrigued enough to continue to search for lore.
Chronos: Before the Ashes is a solid RPG. It won’t blow your mind, but I don’t think it’s trying to do so. All it wants if for the player is for it to have a good time with the game however they want. With different difficulty levels, it’s a Souls-esque game that’s tailor made for newcomers to the genre.
If you’ve played other Souls games, Chronos is likely not going to “wow” you. But it is an interesting one to check out due to it’s unique take on dying. Overall, a solid game that is worth checking out if you’re curious about the Souls genre of games.
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