Remnant: From the Ashes became one of the past year’s surprises, a wonderful action-adventurer that successfully combined the mechanics and the development of a souls games with combat using weapons. The first, Chronos, debuted in 2016 as one of the great exclusives of Oculus Rift, proposing us to explore a mysterious world of fantasy and science fiction in a journey marked by its demanding hand-to-hand combat, level design and its clever puzzles. Despite its obvious differences with the success of 2019, its story served as a plot prequel to it. Therefore, at Gunfire Games, they wanted to rescue this odyssey in a more traditional format so that a larger audience can discover Chronos’s world.
Renamed Chronos: Before the Ashes in a more than obvious attempt to make the connection between the two games clear, this interesting title is now relaunched on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch with an adaptation uniquely and especially even with the lack of VR aspect.
We will immerse ourselves in an action-adventure in which we will have to explore four large areas while dealing with numerous enemies in prolonged combat inspired by the Souls series (blocking, dodging, parrying, waiting for the moment to counterattack and managing the stamina bar are essential things to achieve victory), we look for the way, open shortcuts and solve a variety of different kinds of puzzles as we progress. All this without giving us directions or guiding us to enhance the feeling of living a great adventure is always appreciated. It’s so well implemented that the title makes sure to prevent us from getting lost and frustrated.
In general terms, it is a very entertaining and enjoyable trip that does not really stand out in anything it does, with some fights that, despite being demanding, are very simple mechanically, some role-playing elements and a Level design that’s fine. Still, it’s nothing groundbreaking here. Despite this, combining these elements ends up paying off and simply letting you have a good time.
Probably one of its most striking and original aspects is the fact that each time we die, time will advance, and our hero or heroine will age a year. We will start with 18, and as we fail, we will see how his appearance changes and matures. Beyond being something simply aesthetic, the years of experience that we accumulate will allow us to unlock unique attributes and improvements for each decade that passes (the first is obtained at age 20). However, as we get older, our physical form also changes. It will deteriorate until we reach an age in which we can no longer continue to improve our statistics of strength and agility, and the arcane arts become much more important with the wisdom acquired after a lifetime of fighting.
Unfortunately, the studio behind the title had to change the fixed camera design used for VR that made it a unique experience and with its own personality has been lost, since in the original, we played with a series of fixed cameras that were placed in different perspectives very intelligent, and that allowed us to move our heads to follow our hero with our eyes and look for enemies, treasures or hidden mechanisms that, due to the position we were in, forced us to examine our surroundings thoroughly.
The title created a series of situations that made exciting and ingenious use of virtual reality through the positioning of the camera, achieving something as simple as exploring some shelves after having shrunk to the size of a mouse or sneaking of a giant that blinds us with the light of his eye while trying to find us became very memorable and spectacular moments.
Here, instead, we have opted for a very traditional third-person camera that is located just behind our character, as we have seen in many other souls. It works great, yes, but it loses all the impact and special charm that the game had on Oculus Rift. It can’t stand against titles such as the souls series or similar big players of the genre.
The title’s graphics didn’t receive any retouching since its original version, with some models, textures, and animations may receive some subtle updates but hardly visible. It is more or less hidden for its beautiful artistic design. The improved versions of the consoles is fixed at 30fps (PS4 Pro, PS5, Xbox One X, Xbox Series X / S) and that in certain menus, it has resolution problems. Finally, it has a beautiful soundtrack.
Chronos: Before the Ashes is a very entertaining adventure but lost much of its magic due to the lack of virtual reality and adapting its mechanics to a third-person adventure game. Despite this, if you want to challenge yourself and make you have a good time playing an action-adventure title without a hassle while exploring a mysterious and intriguing fantasy world, then look no further and dive in.
We prepared this review by playing the title on PS5 with a digital review code for the PS4 version by Evolve PR.