Ashwalkers – PC (Review)
Ashwalkers is a survival, adventure, and strategy game rolled all into one. Set in a dark, grayscale-like world it really sells how bleak the world is in Ashwalkers. Set after a volcanic apocalypse, you take control of four people setting off to find a new home for your people. You have captain Petra, the fighter Sinh, intelligent Kali, and the careful scout Nadir. Using the strengths and weaknesses of each, it’s up to you to make the trek in hopes that you can find a safe haven for your people.
Ashwalkers, just to be upfront, is a pretty fun game. Each trip you take will probably take about 2 or so hours to complete…if you make it. There are also 34 different endings, so you’re definitely going to need to think outside of the box to be able to play outside of your normal playstyle to be able to unlock them all. But how exactly do you play Ashwalkers? Let’s dive in.
Ashwalkers is non-linear but also is at the same time. You walk around the world, getting from one point to the next, but are confined to a certain area. Meaning you can’t just go anywhere. It’s up to you to gather materials and craft materials. There is no store, everything you need will be out in the wild, but depending on how you play, some resources could be used more than others and you’ll need to keep an eye out on that. You do need to rest otherwise you’re going to run into problems with physical and mental health. Yes, you will also need to manage that. While you rest you need to add wood to the fire to boost your characters. You can also feed them and heal them. There are also assignments. Do you need some to rest more, stay awake as a watch, chat with another member to help mental health, or look for supplies? Each action has a negative side to it, such as if they are resting or talking, they can’t go get supplies, or stand watch. So you really need to pay attention to the threat level as well.
I mentioned the four-person team you’re in charge of. Each person has their own way of doing things. They always provide the same type of solution for each dilemma and it’s exactly what you think. Do you talk your way out, do you hide, do you think outside of the box, or do you fight? Each would have its own outcome, some may grant you more resources, befriend someone, kill an animal for resources, or could have negative effects, lose resources, or even hurt or kill someone in your party. You really do need to keep an eye on your party’s health and needs as well as find a way to continue the journey.
I did enjoy each of my playthroughs. I was surprised that I completed my first journey with everyone alive, but then I didn’t get a “great” ending. I played conservatively and tried to think about everyone as a whole. It was a fairly difficult journey. I missed a chest that had a code, I didn’t write it down when I saw something earlier. I guess I assumed that it would be “saved” in the character’s memory, but it wasn’t, that may be a hint for new players, take little notes of things that could be of interest.
Graphically, Ashwalkers was very different. Though only in black and white, it did show color when it needed to…when you saw blood. It really hits you when you see it. Either in a scene or on a character because they were hurt, that red contrasted against the colorless world and you knew something was wrong. The world is basically a wasteland and I assume if I was really out there, the sight of something such as an old vehicle or building meant a lot to see it and usually was a point of interest. The soundtrack was there, yet simple. it didn’t really need much to push the idea of isolation across.
Ashwalkers is a pretty good survival journey. It is both simple and difficult at the same time managing the group is easy…if you have the resources. If you are the least bit curious, I’d give Ashwalkers a shot, especially with 34 different endings, you’re going to have different experiences for a few playthroughs!
Note: GameOctane received a digital code from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for review is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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+ Very well done survival mechanics.
+ 34 endings allow for replayability.
+ The grayscale graphics work great.
+ Moral choices can greatly affect your journey
- A lot of walking can sometimes be a turn-off
- After a few playthroughs, things can feel repetitive.