Chronos: Before The Ashes – Test, Rolespiel, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Who dies, ages!

It’s creative: every time my hero dies, he gets a year older! You can tell by its appearance when the first stubble or wrinkles appear on the youthful face. In addition, for all anniversary celebrations you can choose from three gifts such as the 20th, 30th, 40th birthday up to and including the age of 80 years. For example, when I was 20, I decided to collect experience points faster.

Because with each climb I can develop my character in some areas: depending on whether I increase strength, agility or life, I do more damage with certain weapons or take more damage myself. And while the young hero is more suited to face-to-face combat, you should use mysterious power in old age, as I don’t need to be that physically fit for magic. It’s really nice that even as a young man you bent over and panted when you got too much on your hat …

Prolog zu Remnant: From the Ashes

Shield, sword ready?  The combat system is based on Dark Souls & Co.

You start with a predefined character that ages with each death.

But what is it actually about? Chronos: Before the Ashes is the narrative prologue to Remnant: From the Ashes. So you’re exploring the same game world that recombines our modernity with a fantasy world: something went so wrong in the 1960s that civilization took on medieval features. At this point, you’re still typing something on an old computer before goblins and wizards run around and teleport into areas over glowing rocks. You almost fall asleep at first and the story is anything but poignant, but at least you’re a little curious: what happened?

At the start of the adventure, you also feel like you are in a Dark Souls light: you can use your sword to deliver light and heavy blows, block with the shield, or counter at the right time. This causes the goblin-like enemies to open their lids briefly. But the situational tension and force are far from the model, the avoidance and defense seem a bit tough. Nevertheless, it is commendable that, unlike VR, endurance now also comes into play, which means that you can no longer hit it endlessly and have to fight more tactically.

Bland backgrounds, fun puzzles

At first you only have one weapon, but there are blacksmiths.  If only not so st

Oh it’s big! Best to flee through the gate on the left …

As you unlock more teleport stones and areas, you sometimes explore pleasantly scenic illustrated, but mostly sterile-looking backgrounds: what was fascinating in VR four years ago, at least in some places, seems quite sobering to maximum solidity on PC, PS4 & Co. In particular the inventory and objects look very boring at times, there are some textures that have been reloaded late and blurry views. The art design cannot radiate a monumental flair in terms of architecture and statues, but rather looks like a beautifully illustrated children’s book. After all, there are some cute characters and cool staged situations, like when a giant bends over to grab you with his hand as you flee through a niche.

You cannot climb or jump, only sprint – so there are no acrobatic stimuli, but you climb some ladders or use lifts for vertical exploration. However, you cannot physically communicate in the areas, not even break boxes. At least 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 80s adventure.

Charming moments, some deviations


At the teleport stones you wake up after a death and you can travel directly to discovered worlds.

This is as much fun as looking for the right runes to get into another mirror world. All of a sudden, you’re just a miniature version of yourself and can explore a bookshelf while fighting foster boys. It is these little charming moments that ultimately make for good entertainment, while the character development or upgrade as well as the number of weapons seem rather spartan. If you find the ax and have trained your dexterity and rigged your sword so far, it is rather useless …

What runes do I need here?

What 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 search for objects, combine them and bring them to special places. The spaces are not huge, but they are so alike that I often wandered the empty corridors to eventually find this one room. After all, once you’ve unlocked everything you need, you can look forward to some boss fights that are a bit sharper than under VR, where they’ve quickly blessed time. Is the game too difficult for you? You can choose from a variety of difficulty levels, including a very simple story-only mode.

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