Prepare for battle in this new turn-based deck builder. Choice matters in and out of combat during this non-linear story-driven game. The rules of combat are constantly changing, and the result of battle can affect even the story itself. So be prepared to deal with the consequences of your decisions. Do you have what it takes to master The Way?
You are a young man who lost his family in the last war with a rival nation. With fear of another war approaching, you are tasked with infiltrating the rival nation, Frisia, to prevent the war from ever happening. You impersonate a Frisian Aristocrat to compete in the war games known as The Way.
The Way is how the Frisians train for combat. Only the best make it through the ranks and prove that they are fit to lead the army into combat. But the Frisians have also turned the game into a sport and use actual people in the games for entertainment.
You must learn what you can of The Way as you and your party go from tournament to tournament. Along the path, you will discover that things are not as simple as just winning in combat. Every decision you make will affect the final outcome of the game.
One of the first things that stand out in Ash of Gods: The Way is the dialog. It is all voiced, and not just some of it either. Every piece of dialogue in the game is voice. All of the voice actors did a remarkable job at making each character come to life with all their mannerisms, grunts, and laughs. The characters really evolved over the course of the story. This was noticeable even in the presentation from the voice actors. All of the voices keep you engaged in the story and make you feel more invested as you get to know each of the characters.
The music for the game was also very enjoyable. The music changes throughout the game to fit the setting, whether you are in combat or browsing the shop in the tavern. The sound effects for combat are all satisfying as well. Everything is fitting and crunchy. You can really hear the impact when one of your soldier’s attacks comes crashing down on an enemy.
Ash of Gods: The Way does follow the pattern of most deck-builders, where you slowly get more and more cards as the game goes on. You will use those cards to build decks for each battle. There are several factions in the game that all feel unique. You are even able to make custom decks with mixed factions. The freedom to make my deck however I want really brought me back to my Magic the Gathering days. I always loved mixing things around and testing out random strategies. There are very few limitations to building your own decks.
One thing that will have a big factor in your deck building would be the rules for each battle. Every battle has a different set of rules and win conditions. The Way does have a standard set of rules. Each player can play one character and one support item per turn. The battles are played out on a grid where the goal is to defeat the other player’s commander. However, even these rules are not always followed.
Some characters have abilities that can manipulate the rules of battle. The grid is constantly changing in size. The opponent might not even have a commander on the battlefield. There could be obstacles or traps that hinder movement. The battle can even be a duel where there is no grid, and all your warriors are paired up for one-on-one combat.
That is the beauty of The Way. The same strategy is not always going to work. Things never feel repetitive because you don’t know what the next battle will bring. Most details are given in a battle summary before the fight. Often there are changes mid-battle, however. The Way is built to test you, as war is always unpredictable.
Most of the story develops outside of the battles at the tournaments. You can talk to your party about their history, what they think of a situation or even get advice for combat. You might also get the option to visit special characters that could help you along your path. They are going to challenge you. Depending on the results, they could provide some valuable information. How you use this information is up to you. Just remember that every choice you make does matter.
To say that the art style here is beautiful is an understatement. Ash of Gods: The Way looks magnificent. The look of the game really fits the setting and the style of the game itself. All of the characters have great detail and look their part.
The combat is very satisfying. Every attack and action has feedback from the characters with a different animation. There is enough variety in the animations that things do not feel repetitive. Yet, the effects are enjoyable enough that you want to see them repeatedly.
There was clearly a lot of love put into the visuals of this game. A lot of little details that might not always be noticeable at first glance. I think the little details, like animations during conversations, can make a big difference. You can notice things like a character tapping on the back of an open book they are holding in front of them. These animations could have easily been left out, but the developer chose to go the extra mile, and it paid off.
This usually is where I would list the things I didn’t like about the game and hope to see changed or added. I did run into a couple of cards that did not work how I understood they should, even after reading the description several times. Other than that, I did not run into any problems with the game or things that I thought were needed to improve the game.
The one thing that I would like to see for Ash of Gods: The Way is extra content. I hope that the developer has future content to add to the game to encourage additional playthroughs. It is often hard for me to want to go back through such a heavily story-driven game. Maybe something like a new faction or some other element that could change the story would help bring players back to play this fantastic game again.
The combination between the hard choices made in dialog and the heavy depth of strategy in combat was a match made in heaven. I will now be seeing this out in future games. I love turn-based games, but a lot of them often fall short when it comes to the story. Especially having something like a non-linear story.
I really enjoyed the story in Ash of Gods: The Way. I liked that the choices I made in conversion and in combat were actually affecting the end of the game. Many games give you choices in dialog, but these typically have the same end result regardless of your conversations. I felt connected with the main character and felt like I had a say in what was happening.
I came for a turn-based game, and I got one. Most turn-based games have very repetitive combat. Rid the map of the enemy. Maybe a few other optional objectives sprinkled in there, but the focus is always the same. This was not the case with The Way. Every battle was unique. Sure most were focused on clearing the enemy, but there was a lot with completely different conditions. Things that absolutely changed the combat into something else.
One particular one that I remember throwing me for a spin was only being able to play my warriors on the edges of the battlefield. I had to place them on the edge where they faced inward to attack the enemy as they passed by. It changed the combat into what felt almost like a tower defense game. I loved that I never knew what twist the game had for me next.
If you are a turn-based fan as much as I am, you will love the ever-changing combat in this game. But more importantly, if you are a fan of games with a great story and multiple endings, you must check this game out. Even if you are new to the turn-based genre, you can adjust your difficulty setting as needed and come enjoy the story. Who knows, maybe you will enjoy the combat as well.
Disclaimer: The key for Ash of Gods: The Way was graciously provided by AurumDust.