Developer: Gunfire Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Platforms: PS4, Switch, XBox One, PC, Stadia
Reviewed On: PS4 Pro
Release Date: 1/12/2020
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
Set before the events of Remnant From the Ashes. The village chief tasks you with the duty to destroy the Dragon. There is not much in the way of narrative; Chronos tells the story of a lone warrior making their way through an ancient Labyrinth and will spend their entire life attempting to defeat the evil of the Root.
The story will not wow the player, nor will the player find anything that will shock them, its progress to the next boss and the next part of the Labyrinth.
Chronos on the surface is another souls-like game. There is a twist of sorts when it comes to leveling up. There is the normal EXP and level up system. However, every time you die, your character will age by one year, every ten years the character can unlock a new trait. It can be increased health, increased EXP and so on. There are two drawbacks; die too much and the character will die. For every ten years, the character’s strengths will change just like actual life (well, if actual life was as game). Being young speed and strength are valued, middle age more strength than speed and old age there is a bigger reliance on the Arcane.
This system adds a different layer to the game, as it forces you to do better, as you will lose your preferred play style and have to adapt to something less comfortable. Making each battle feel more tactical and a fight for your life.
There are a few drawbacks to Chronos, however. This is mainly regarding fights and the camera. While your character is a human, most of the enemies are really short and trying to react to some attacks, comes down to luck when your character obstructs the wee guys.
The camera has some horrid clipping issues and at times a life of its own. While I was playing, I had to fight in a wine cellar and while the fight its self was simple; I was hindered a lot with the camera clipping through the caskets and the shelves. This was not a isolated incident the camera placement was off with a lot of the assets. There was also a lot of the camera pointing at the floor, especially when locked on and on stairs.
Overall Chronos: Before the Ashes has some superb ideas to mix up the typical souls-like formula. It has some technical issues to get sorted with the clipping on the camera. More so with a game that’s can be as punishing as this camera needs to be on point.
I did enjoy my time with Chronos, even if it took a few hours before the game clicked with me. I think being a massive fan of Remnant From the Ashes and wanting to know more about the world, may have made this title a bit more appealing.