Ashen, the Microsoft-exclusive ARPG first revealed back in 2015 has been confirmed to have an offline mode.
The game’s Creative Director, Derek Bradley, made the revelation during an interview with IGN, alongside revealing new information about the combat.
The game will allow players to enter the settings and turn multiplayer off entirely. Even though the game is built around a multiplayer focus, the developers have added ”Lone Wolf” perks that will give solo players a helping hand. The perks can assist in situations where having a partner would otherwise be mandatory. For instance, one of the perks allows the player to enter dungeons normally reserved for multiplayer. The developers at Aurora44 are aware that some users will want a single-player challenge and have crafted ways to make the game accessible to them.
Bradley also revealed, at 50 minutes into the stream, that Ashen will include a stamina-based battle system, akin to that of the Souls games. For an added challenge, the game comes with three difficulty modes. The perks are intended to help players with the hardcore nature of the game. Combat is animation-based, meaning the player will have to read and respond to what is visible on-screen.
Ashen forgoes swords in favour of axes, hammers, and spears. The point of omitting swords was to allow the team to better focus on what other weapons can do. This design choice was also so that the team could focus on animations replicating how using such weapons would actually look, rather than basing the animations on swords.
The only ranged weapon in the game is the Spear, which can be thrown. The team behind Ashen has come up with different uses for the spear, such as traversal. To that end, meditating monks are scattered around, who if struck by a thrown spear, will draw the character across the world, allowing the player to reach areas otherwise inaccessible.
Ashen will be releasing this year on PC and Xbox One. The full interview is embedded below.