Who dies, ages!
It’s creative: every time my hero dies, he gets a year older! You can tell by his appearance when the first stubble or wrinkles appear on the youthful face. In addition, you can choose from three gifts on all anniversary celebrations such as the 20th, 30th, 40th birthday up to the old age of 80. For example, on my 20th I decided to collect experience points more quickly.
Because with every ascent I can develop my character in a few areas: Depending on whether I increase strength, agility or life, for example, I deal more damage with certain weapons or take more damage myself. And while the young hero is more suitable for hand-to-hand combat, at an advanced age you should use arcane power, because I don’t have to be physically so fit for magic. It is very nice that even as a young man you hunched over and panted when you got too much on your hat …
Prolog zu Remnant: From the Ashes
But what is it actually about? Chronos: Before the Ashes is the narrative prologue to Remnant: From the Ashes. So you explore the same game world that once again combines our modernity with a fantasy world: Something went so wrong in the 60s that civilization took on medieval features. At the moment you are still typing something on an old computer before goblins and wizards run around and you teleport into areas over glowing stones. You almost fall asleep at the start and the story is anything but gripping, but at least you are somewhat curious: What happened?
At the beginning of the adventure you also feel like you’re in a Dark Souls light: You can use your sword to deliver light and heavy blows, block with your shield or counter at the right moment. This ensures that the goblin-like enemies briefly open cover. But the situational tension and force is far from the model, the evasion and parrying seem a bit tough. Nevertheless, it is commendable that, in contrast to VR, endurance now also plays a role, so that you can no longer hack it endlessly and have to fight more tactically.
Bland backdrops, nice puzzles
Oh, it’s big! It is best to flee through the gate on the left …
While you unlock more teleport stones and areas, you can sometimes explore pleasantly painterly illustrated, but mostly sterile-looking backdrops: What was fascinating in VR four years ago, at least in places, appears rather sobering to maximally solid on PC, PS4 & Co. In particular, the inventory and objects sometimes look very bland, there are some textures that have been reloaded late as well as blurred views. The art design cannot exude a monumental flair in terms of architecture and statues, but looks like a nicely illustrated book for young people. After all, there are some cute creatures and cool staged situations, such as when a giant bends down to reach for you with his hand while you fled through a niche.
You can neither climb nor jump, only sprint – so there are no acrobatic stimuli, but you climb some ladders or use elevators for vertical exploration. However, you cannot physically interact in the areas, not even break boxes. After all, there are some puzzles: Sometimes you just have to operate switches or place artifacts in the right places, but sometimes you have to combine items in your inventory beforehand, like in an adventure from the 80s.
Charming moments, some aberrations
At the teleport stones you wake up after a death and can travel directly to discovered worlds.
This is just as fun as the search for correct runes to get to another mirror world. Suddenly you’re just a miniature version of yourself and can explore a bookcase while fighting against foster boys. It is these little charming moments that ultimately ensure good entertainment, while the development of the character or the upgrade and the number of weapons seem rather spartan. If you find the ax and have trained your agility and rigged the sword up to now, it is rather useless …
Well, which runes do I need here?
The motivation also suffers from the fact that there is no map: I usually like that, also in Dark Souls, but here I have to find objects, combine them and bring them to special places. The areas are not huge, but they are so similar that I often wandered around the empty hallways to finally find this one room. After all, if you have unlocked everything you need, you can look forward to some boss fights that are a bit crisper than under VR, where they very quickly blessed the time. Is the game too difficult for you? You can choose between several levels of difficulty, including a very simple mode just for the story.