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Ashen Rift

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4
Genre: Action
Developer: Pyroclastic Games
Release Date: December 2014

About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!


'Ashen Rift' (PS4/PC) Kickstarter Needs Some Help - Trailer

by Rainier on April 1, 2014 @ 7:01 p.m. PDT

A new take on classic shooters, Ashen Rift pits you and your pitbull Bounder against the crumbling world and howling beasts within.

Ashen Rift is a first person survival horror game for PC, Mac and Linux that places you and your canine companion Bounder in a barely recognizable Earth which has been twisted and drained of almost all life. Together you seek to stop the remaining life from hemorrhaging Earth by disabling the "Rift" rumoured to be the cause. 

You must find your own path and discover your own methods to get to the Rift alive.

All around you are the twisted, barely recognizable, still-live husks of what use to be men known as Feeders. They are bent on devouring every last living thing on Earth, including you and your dog Bounder. 

You must learn to use the weapons and world around you against the feeders while depending on the senses and strength of your dog, Bounder, as he depends on you.

Canadian based Pyroclastic Games has five days left on its kickstarter campaign and needs some help to reach its $45,000 goal, currently only half way there sitting at $20,658.

The back story to Ashen Rift is to be gleaned through dialog and other findings from within the game. What will be made clear to the player from the onset is a vague recollection of the events from the perspective of the games hero which have left the world an increasingly barren wash of ash. The rest will become clearer as the story progresses.

 Ashen Rift: A man and his dog will join the player and Bounder as they are about 25 miles away from the Rift that they have spent months traveling towards in an attempt to shut down.

The game will follow their journey as they leave the crumbling rural area of what use to be the central United States of America. As they eventually find themselves staring across the now barely recognizable Rocky Mountains, the path will become increasingly ashen and barren as they are continually introduced to desecrated areas of Earth like they have never imagined possible.

As they traverse the unstable, strange and ever shifting world they will encounter natural and unnatural threats, from man and beast alike.  Together they work their way towards the facilities that they have come to believe is the location of the "Rift" at the root of Earth's dire situation. They know little about what actually happened, or is happening other than the ashen wasteland they live in.

Join them as they learn more about the world's plight.

The goals for Ashen Rift are simple, yet will require attention to maintain the “simple” yet delicate balance.  The game wants to shy away from the trigger-happy standards of a first person shooter, ammo and guns are sparse, forcing the player to find new methods of surviving hostile encounters.

The strength of Ashen Rifts design does not come from blasting bad guys with bullets for hours on end. It comes from the player's ability to play the game the way their personality dictates. Some people may be averse to combat situations and thus spend the majority of the game avoiding conflict. Others may just feel that the only way to progress is to kill everything in sight, and that is for them to decide and then figure out how to act on those impulses.

The back bone of the game is the idea that the players are in the shoes of a man with his dog in a world full of creatures which seek to devour them both. This leaves the player with 4 major elements to interact with:

  1. The World
    Interacting with the world will include anything from the demolition of natural terrain to the typical flicking of switches. Both of which can drastically change the dynamic of any given situation.
  2. The Dog
    Interacting with Bounder will be done through a circle menu which will enable the player to shout commands at Bounder which may alter his behaviour, thus changing the dynamic of the situation. 
    Bounders reactions to sights, sounds and smells will help guide you safely through the world if you learn to pay attention to him like he does to you.
  3. The Objects Within The World
    Interacting with objects within the world will either be picking up weapons, finding items and storing them within your backpack(inventory) as well as picking objects found within the world (rocks, building/road debris and much more) and placing them elsewhere or throwing them. In some more creative cases this may even include emptying a gas can by pouring it on the ground and then igniting it, allowing the player to use these objects creatively.
  4. The Enemies and NPCs
    Interacting with enemies will either be with the intent of killing them, manipulating them, or avoiding them all together. 
    1. Killing the enemies can be done a variety of different ways, such as destroying a near by rock pillar, sending large rocks and debris to crush the enemies, or directly killing them with melee and ranged combat.
    2. Manipulating enemies can be done in a number of ways because they are reactive to touch and sound. This will allow the players to create things such as distractions and traps. For example a well tossed rock may draw the feeders attention, potentially granting you and Bounder an opportunity to sneak by unnoticed.

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