Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. Dec 19, 2018
    Ashen subverts expectations. It manages to take the Souls genre, deconstruct it and make it feel originally its own. From the art style to the lovingly-crafted areas you venture through, you can tell that this was a passion project for the development team at A44. Slight performance issues aside, Ashen is a wonderful action role-playing game that respects the player’s desire to explore. It’s some of the most fun I’ve had with my Xbox One this year and well worth the time of anyone who is a fan of the genre, as well as a great entry point for those who are curious – a true independent gem.
  2. Dec 20, 2018
    Ashen manages to take a hardcore genre of games and make it accessible and approachable to those who are not fully experienced.
  3. Dec 18, 2018
    Ashen is an excellent souls-like action-rpg, with a silent, mysterious narrative and a technical combat system. Maybe it's a bit 'too much derived from souls of From Software, but for quality and quantity of experience is a product of undisputed value, also thanks to a fascinating art design.
  4. Dec 12, 2018
    Ashen is one of those independent gems that comes to us from time to time to value a segment of the videogame industry that has been living for a few years its particular golden age. Its evocative visual presentation and, above all, its playable depth of role-playing mechanics and demanding combat are enough arguments for Ashen to be one of the references of the genre in the independent field and one of the best games in this final stretch of 2018.
  5. Dec 6, 2018
    The relationships you forge define your adventure through Ashen, and helping your new friends is a powerful motivator that drives you forward through the game's beautiful world.
  6. Jan 22, 2019
    There’s challenge here in both combat and your patience with the game’s economy system (and in its slow movement), but mastering both and even jumping in with a buddy means you’re in for a gorgeous treat. Our eyes are firmly locked on what A44 does next, especially if they stick to this wonderful new IP and build on it as a franchise-in-waiting. Well worth your time and Dollerydoos in our humble, Aussie opinion.
  7. Jan 3, 2019
    For a hack and slash game that adapts the traits of a Dark Souls, to focus on the formation and cultivation of bonds between characters, Ashen is a game that came out of nowhere to positively surprise me. Despite the technical glitches, the grinding and the dying, I found the game beautiful to behold, angelic to listen to, and a story that delivers a tremendous punch. A44 did a tremendous job developing a game that is worth every penny of the $39.99 asking price. It goes without saying that if you're a fan of adventure games, hack and slash games, or Souls type games, then Ashen needs to be on your must buy list.
  8. Dec 17, 2018
    Like an illegitimate heir to the fire of FromSoftware, Ashen hits exactly the same notes that made Dark Souls a legend, achieving a challenging, mysterious and visually astonishing experience. We will closely follow the works of A44 from now on.
  9. Dec 14, 2018
    With an amazing art design and a polished and clean atmosphere, Ashen is far more than a basic Dark Souls clone. It has a more friendly universe and game philosophy, but sometimes fails to be fun, especially when it comes to AI cooperation or online multiplayer.
  10. Jan 10, 2019
    From many perspectives, Ashen reminds me of Dark Souls series, such as the combat systems, game settings and the story design. It does have some unique thoughts, like the AI teammate, but overall it doesn't make its own characteristics.
  11. Dec 17, 2018
    An intriguing souls-like action-RPG, with a unique style thanks to great art and a satisfying storytelling. Its online co-op component doesn't fully work though, mainly due to people going their own way instead of willing to help.
  12. Jan 4, 2019
    Ashen is a very interesting take on the Dark Souls subgenre, with great dungeons, great bosses and a very satisfying progression system.
  13. Jan 18, 2019
    Ashen is a game created in the same vein as some of the predecessors of its genre, like Dark Souls or Bloodborne. It imitates a great deal of the mechanics from those games but also brings a unique and beautiful art style as well a sense of organic progression that enhances the feel of the game. For those lovers of games like Dark Souls, it's hard to guarantee that you'll find the same experience, but there's still a heck of a lot to like about what sets Ashen apart.
  14. 80
    An innovative Dark Souls clone that charts its own course -- and a game that has plenty to offer for fans of taut action role-playing titles. In the end, Ashen isn’t Dark Souls.
  15. Jan 2, 2019
    Dark Souls serves Ashen's premise but does not define its conclusion. By instilling senses of community and devotion inside its narrative, Ashen proves Souls' discourse expands beyond punishment and brutality. Once separated from its inspiration, Ashen has plenty to show off inside of its common space.
  16. Dec 21, 2018
    Ashen is a soulslike, but to call it a clone would be a betrayal of the awesome job A44 have with their debut project. It manages to stand on its own thanks to rewarding exploration, deep combat systems, and an audiovisual experience that masterfully builds atmosphere. You'll see the game over screen often in the game, but you'll keep coming back and fighting again because Ashen never ceases to reward your victories with a world of stones begging to be overturned.
  17. Dec 20, 2018
    Ashen is not only a revelation for indie games, it's an example of the uniquely creative worlds and stories that game developers can craft when passion and love for the medium are used in equal measure.
  18. Dec 19, 2018
    Ironically, although Ashen is one of the better Souls-like games, its strengths emerge the more it deviates from the template. With a distinctive art style and approach to co-op, base-building and character interaction, Ashen suffers in those areas in which its Souls model outshines it: fluid and varied combat being the most obvious area. Taken apart from its inspiration, though, Ashen is still an entertaining and elegant experience.
  19. Dec 18, 2018
    Ashen could have done more to make itself stand out, and also could have been optimized better for the Xbox One, but at the end of the day, it's still a great game.
  20. Dec 16, 2018
    Even with so much of the experience feeling similar to something else you’ve played, Ashen delivers a great sense of wonder in its world, and ends up being a fun journey to undertake.
  21. Dec 14, 2018
    A good direction for the souls like, difficult but not unfair, with great attention to its art design.
  22. Dec 13, 2018
    An inspired approach to co-op and non-player characters turns what could’ve been just another Dark Souls clone into one of the most interesting action adventures of the season.
  23. Dec 13, 2018
    Ashen is unique in that it borrows liberally from the Souls-like genre, but doesn’t feel beholden to it. It’s clear that A44 was influenced just as much by The Legend of Zelda, and even more niche adventure titles like Shadow of the Colossus, as it was by From Software’s seminal Souls trilogy. Adventure game fans and Dark Souls fans alike definitely won’t want to miss out on what Ashen offers.
  24. Dec 21, 2018
    Tense souls-like with a polarizing artdesign and technical flaws that stop it in its tracks.
  25. Dec 28, 2018
    Ashen is a game that sadly ends being halfway between what promised and what it actually delivers.
  26. Jan 6, 2019
    Ashen won’t light the world on fire, but it’s a decent RPG with a mysterious setting. While it follows a well-known formula, it has worthwhile side quests, and the larger spaces are enjoyable to explore. Though it may never come close to the heights of the games that it takes inspiration from, Ashen is still an entertaining expedition overall.
  27. Dec 21, 2018
    It doesn't have quite the same highs as a lot of its predecessors, but it maintains its tranquil equilibrium throughout. If you have an adventurous spirit and the patience and time to put into it, Ashen will pay dividends.
  28. Dec 17, 2018
    A solid, amusing and satisfying title.
  29. Dec 17, 2018
    Ashen is one of the best soulslike experiments, but again, From Software is still hard to beat.
  30. Official Xbox Magazine UK
    Feb 27, 2019
    A decent tribute to From Software's masterpiece, elevated by its co-op mechanics.
  31. Jan 17, 2019
    Ashen is a good Dark Souls like but its open world feature are its weakness.
  32. Dec 28, 2018
    Ashen tries too hard and not hard enough to be both a Dark Souls clone and something different, and loses a lot in the process.
  33. Edge Magazine
    Jan 4, 2019
    With combat that feels lightweight and inexact by comparison, in service of a broader structure which doesn't quite suit the core mechanics, the game's strengths - in particular, that winning, distinctive aesthetic - don't provide enough of a spark to let Ashen find its own way in the dark. [Issue#328, p.108]
  34. Dec 17, 2018
    Ashen feels like it’s trying to be too many things at once, and perhaps because of that, it ends up tasting like a bland pot of soup without any punchy flavors to really catch your attention.
  35. Feb 4, 2019
    Ashen now holds the dubious honor of being the first game I couldn’t bring myself to finish before posting a review. Well done, Ashen — you broke me. It’s just a shame you didn’t do it in a more interesting or cleverly-designed manner.
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  1. Dec 6, 2018
    A moody, well-wrought action role-player with striking, desolate landscapes and a couple of great dungeons. [Eurogamer Recommended]
  2. Dec 22, 2018
    Ashen isn’t trying to hide the fact it’s exactly Dark Souls. It’s Dark Souls, people! And that’s… fine? Perhaps the best Soulslike ever, Ashen understands From Software’s formula better than many other pretenders.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 151 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 34 out of 151
  1. Dec 11, 2018
    For me both the visuals and sound design give the game a lot of character and whilst it’s minimalist in areas it still doesn’t stop the gameFor me both the visuals and sound design give the game a lot of character and whilst it’s minimalist in areas it still doesn’t stop the game from shining. The combat feels awesome and it remains fluid at all times which means it’s not only a nice challenge when in combat but it’s also fun as well. There’s a decent variety of enemies and bosses you come across during your time with the game and this does keep things fresh and interesting for longer. I really enjoyed traversing through the fantastic world because it feels alive in all areas and it never seems to get dull or boring either. Each weapon feels important when in combat and they all pack a punch as well which means defeating an enemy is very satisfying. The game suffers with a few issues here and there and whilst these bugs aren’t game-breaking they can still be off-putting from time to time. Your A.I companions can be a real nuisance at times and they do tend to do what they want to do instead of what you’d like them to do. Ashen is a game that I’ve read a lot about but it seems like it has been in development forever. As you can imagine then I was very surprised to learn of a release coming out of the blue, but I’m glad it did come out of the blue because Ashen is awesome. Without a doubt you’ll notice similarities with the Dark Souls series in this game and whilst some may call it a clone at least you can say it’s a fantastic clone instead of being something poorly done. Combat is obviously the main aspect in this game and I’m pleased to say that they’ve got this aspect spot on because everything remains fluid and brutal at all times. The weapons also shine in the combat elements as well and trying out each weapon is very fun because they all pack a punch and have tons of variety. Speaking about variety the enemies you have to face also have tons of variety as well and defeating each different enemy and boss always remained satisfying because of this. At the end of the day then Ashen was definitely worth the wait because it has a world that’s worth exploring and it never seems to get dull or boring and if it didn’t suffer with a few bugs and AI problems then it may have got a perfect score because the game is that good and it without a doubt deserves everybody’s attention. Massive two thumbs up! Full Review »
  2. Dec 7, 2018
    Enchanting graphics and style with fluid combat, a must play for any PC or Xbox One owner.
  3. Dec 7, 2018
    Absolutely charming game. I've been playing it since last night and there are Souls-like things to Ashen but how is that a bad thing? CombatAbsolutely charming game. I've been playing it since last night and there are Souls-like things to Ashen but how is that a bad thing? Combat is fluid and playing with another gamer is so much fun. Whether you're on PC or X1 PLAY THIS GAME. Full Review »