Ember is an old school RPG which looks to pay homage to games like Baldur’s gate. Does it light up the genre or leaves a permanent darkness in the gamers’ minds, let’s find out:
Developer: N-Fusion Interactive
Publisher: 505 Games
Genre: Classic RPG
Release date: 9th of September
Ember tells the story which is ruled by darkness and you are a lightbringer who is resurrected by a traveller who happened to get stuck in the crossfire of a bandits and giant spiders battle. After being resurrected, it is your job to ensure that the light returns to this world. Honestly, the story seemed throwaway to me. There are some particular exciting missions but the overarching concept seemed to fall flat at times. But as they say, it is the journey that matters, not the destination. Ember presents a world that is beautiful to look at and has plenty of stuff to do. It is not particularly open ended but still does a good job of diversifying its environments. Initially, you have forgotten all your powers so you have to gain the memories, the powers of being a lightbringer back. Just as you step out of the first dungeon in which you were trapped in, you will see that the whole world has gone to hell. There is not one place left in your journey that has not been devastated by swarm of goblins, spiders and various other creatures. Speaking of which, Ember has its fair share of variety of enemies which challenge you enough that you should never let down your guard.
You are able to control one party member at a time and the others will follow him. Signal to attack one enemy and they will auto attack another after the first one is dead. The tutorial levels do just enough that you learn most of the basics of the game to survive the journey of becoming a lightbringer. What disappointed me was the lack of loot found in many of the levels. Picture this, you take down a tough group of enemies and there is a shiny looking chest just behind their dead bodies, you would normally like to find some serious loot but that is not present here. This makes the sense of achievement slightly less. The story also is around 30 hours in length and there are minor side quests which pop up while you are completing the main quest. None of the side missions feel important or like they have any weight in them. There is very little character development throughout the story which might disappoint some RPG fans. The combat is fairly simple with you being able to pause in the middle of the fight so you can queue up various attacks of the party members and organize everything. The UI itself though is really clunky and clutters up the screen way too much. Another minor annoyance is the difficulty of the game. The game is pretty difficult on the normal difficulty, but at times the difficulty levels seemed to spike up randomly. Try playing it on hard and it will be like a miniature version of Dark souls, with you dying every two battles you fight. Overall, Ember has a solid gameplay mixture which lacks some minor things but can be looked over in favour of the things that are done better.
Ember looks beautiful for a 10$ game. It has a very diversified world and it shows in each of the locations. From the heat struck deserts to the cold snowlands, everything looks wonderful. It does help that nearly each place you visit has been destroyed, so ashes fly in the air and creates a wonderful environment. It creates a sense of suspense every time you are visiting a new area. The characters models look good from far and the enemy designs are fairly generic. When someone uses magic attacks and it all starts popping up on the screen, it takes away some of the dreariness I mentioned earlier. Overall, Ember packs a very solid Visual punch.
Ember features a solid soundtrack which helps in establishing the environments. The main soundtrack itself is pretty solid and the random tunes that pop up in between remain pretty well balanced throughout. The Voice Acting is limited but done well for the most part. There is a solid crunch every time you walk on the grass and the enemy sounds are also done pretty well. Overall, the sound design for Ember is very solid.
Ember is a solid RPG which has a surprising amount of content and quality for a price as low as 10$. Add a surprising amount of polish applied to the game and that makes it a superb game. The story is clichéd but done well enough to keep you invested and there is a lot of diversity available in the world to keep you hooked in exploring. If you’re looking for a fun RPG with a solid combat system and a shockingly cheap price, you can’t go wrong with Ember.