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PS Plus Extra: Be sure to play this Dark Souls alternative because it’s not quite as mean to you

You like the combat system of Dark Souls and Co., but the titles are just too nasty or too dark and morbid for you? Or maybe you got a taste for it with Elden Ring and are now looking for new Souls shores to prove yourself on? Then you should definitely not overlook Ashen. The pretty action RPG is included in PS Plus Extra and Premium, and is currently also available without the service with a 70 percent discount in the PS Store.

Everything a Souls game needs

Anyone who has played the FromSoftware games will surely find their way around Ashen by development team A44 very intuitively: The action RPG focuses on close combat, we attack with clubs and axes, and we can optionally use a shield to defend against one-handed weapons.

While we pound on the opponents, we have to economize with our stamina, once they are defeated, we earn Scoria, the game currency. If it gets to us, we have to collect them again at the place of death so as not to lose them. To save ourselves from dying, we use our healing bottle or items.

You can find out more in the test video:

Ashen - Review video of the best Dark Souls alternative of 2018


Ashen – Review video of the best Dark Souls alternative of 2018

So Ashen offers everything we’ve come to expect from a Soulslike, and the combat also feels nice and rounded. They aren’t quite as hard as in the original, but simply beating them up doesn’t work here either. Finally, there is the stamina bar and such an enemy blow can also hurt a lot. By the way, as in Elden Ring, we can also jump and thus overcome some obstacles in the game world.

A very unique identity

Ashen not only tries to copy the elements of the Souls games that work well with them, but also brings his own charm with him. It starts with the graphic style and the atmosphere. While Dark Souls and Co. with their motifs can sometimes be really disturbing, if we take a closer look, Ashen’s world seems rather cozy and the atmosphere is more melancholic than gloomy.

In Ashen, you fight in a typical action RPG style.

In Ashen, you fight in a typical action RPG style.

Another helpful component is that we are not doing this journey alone. An NPC companion is always at our side and can take care of our backs, sometimes even revive us. But that doesn’t mean that there’s no work left for us or that it’s going to be too easy. Alternatively, the title can also be experienced in co-op. You can read more about it in the test.

Check out Steelrising, another Souls game, here:

Steelrising in the test: French, but not revolutionary


more on the subject

Steelrising in the test: French, but not revolutionary

Map markers and clear quest lines are additional convenience features. On the other hand, the RPG elements and fighting styles are not as deep and varied as in other Souls titles. By the way, the development team, A44, is currently working on Flintlock, which we present to you in this news.

Samara Summer

I’ll admit I haven’t finished Ashen myself, but I definitely plan to do so this month as I find the atmosphere of this little Souls game really gripping. The graphic style is certainly a matter of taste, but I really like the reduced look combined with the music.

Not that I don’t appreciate the horror themes of FromSoftware games, but I do like that Ashen brings something of her own to the table. The fights also feel familiar and coherent to me, even if everything seems a bit more concentrated. I highly recommend checking out the title if you need more Souls fare; especially if you’re looking for a game that doesn’t have that much potential for frustration.

Did you feel like trying out Ashen and what are your experiences with the Souls genre so far?


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