Try to stick with me on this one. Ashen was released on December 7, 2018 for the Xbox One and PC via the Epic Games Store. It is a console timed exclusive, which means it "should" hit other consoles like the PlayStation 4 at some point in the future. It "may" also be a timed exclusive for the Epic Games Store, which means it will come to other digital retailers on the PC at some point.

Why are we not sure? Because every publisher and developer are being cheeky as hell when it comes to this whole "exclusive" thing with the newly launched Epic Games Store. See, Epic tossed around a lot of money to get "exclusive" releases on their platform. Ashen is one of those games despite it being promoted on Steam, with its own Steam Store page, for well over a year prior.

Will it come to Steam? Who knows. It's kind of a dick move that it was shown on Steam for ages prior to this surprise announcement during The Game Awards. However, they are not the only game to go down this route. Don't worry, we'll get to those games soon enough. For now, let's stick to Ashen, a Souls-like action-RPG with passive co-op included.

I'm also not just saying it's a "Souls-like" game because that's en vogue still. The developers themselves have actually said outright that they drew heavy inspiration from the game and have used Dark Souls mentions in their marketing materials.
Passive Co-Op Multiplayer
As you adventure through Ashen, you'll occasionally encounter other players in a massive open world, akin to the passive multiplayer of Journey. It's up to you to decide how to deal with them - fight together against evil, invite them into your party or simply ignore them.

Souls with a TwistCreatures + Combat
Ashen has no shortage of dangerous encounters, from hostile enemies to indigenous creatures. You'll be rewarded for studying the environment and its inhabitants, planning your adventure rather than flying by the seat of your pants. The flora and fauna within the world aren't just fantastical; they're often fatal. Each confrontation, no matter how trivial, has potentially dire consequences.

Crafting is Key
As you discover survivors, you'll have the choice to invite them to your Town. But these aren't mere adventurers - they're potential collaborators, bringing a plethora of crafting skills, from blacksmithing to foraging expertise, in tow.

Story + Score
Famed fantasy author Mark Lawrence (The Broken Empire trilogy) and renowned band Foreign Fields collaborated closely with the development team at A44 to craft a cohesive and unique narrative and sound.

If you want Ashen right now, you can pick it up from the Epic Games Store for $39.99 (USD). A bit of a warning though: The Epic Games Store doesn't allow for custom regional pricing. In some cases this may work out for you. In other cases, you may end up paying far, far more than you should.

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