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I’ll be upfront and admit that I don’t play a lot of survival games, as I can take them or leave them. Apparently Life is Strange co-creator Herve Bonin and new game studio Nameless XIII are aware that quite a few game players are like this and seek to shake things up with Ashwalkers. If you’re into collecting things and micromanaging multiple elements to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, then strap on your ash walking boots and tread lightly with this one.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world where Volcanos and other natural disasters have left the Earth an ash-filled mess, it falls to you to manage of a team of four to search for a fabled place where people are safe from the ash and other dangers of the outside world. As with any survival game that’s worth its salt, you’ll have to make choices to ensure you and your team’s success while also managing things such hunger, health, warmth and morale as you make your way to the fabled place.
Of course you’ll also face all sorts of obstacles along the way, from other nomads trying to survive, to creatures looking to make a meal out of you and your team. You’ll gather materials and craft items and food needed to survive when you setup camp, and open up options on how you want to handle challenges when they come. Do you fight the nomads or talk your way out of a battle? Do you kill some angry wolves for food and supplies or chase them away to fight another day?
These are just but a few of the decisions you’ll have to make, and thankfully your team makes things manageable as they have you covered for any gameplay style you choose. There’s a teammate for diplomacy should you want to talk your way out of trouble, another that’s stealthy and can scout things for you, and lastly there’s one for fighting.
One thing I really enjoyed about the gameplay is how it’s fairly laid back as far as difficulty goes. As long as you’re aware of your surroundings, collect everything you can, and keep tabs on your team’s needs, you can get through just about anything the game throws at you. I also like the simplistic artwork and graphics coupled with the bleak grey color that takes over your screen, as it truly makes you feel like you’re in a world that’s torn apart.
There’s also a total of 34 different endings you can get, so there’s a nice amount of replay value to be had should you wish you try out various ways of making your way through this adventure. So I have to admit while I still don’t care for most survival titles, Herve Bonin and Nameless XIII hooked me in with Ashwalkers. It has just the right amount of balance to pull in newcomers to the genre as well as hardcore fans for an ash-treading good time.