Developer: N-Fusion Interactive
Publisher: 505 Games
Ember is a fantasy RPG adventure where you play as a Lightbringer, and you have been resurrected. You know nothing of your previous life, but with the help of those who summoned you, you must find a way to save the embers, and hold back the darkness. It’s a similar plotline to many other games where you save the world. Overall, the story was alright, but nothing really stood out to me as being memorable.
When I first started playing, I had expected a more hack and slash type of game, but I found that combat was a lot more tactical than I had expected it to be, and I found it a bit difficult at first. The combat happens in real time, but you can pause time to plan out your attacks. It took me a while to get used to. It took me a while to get used to combat, and I am so glad that they included options to turn on auto-pauses in combat that give you time to react without instantly dying.
- combat is enjoyable, although it may take some getting used to; having to strategize your actions, instead of just mashing all the buttons is fun
- good amount of content with side quests to do along with the main story (the game took me about 11 hours to complete, and I did quite a few of the side quests)
- in depth crafting system where you can make food, potions, armor and weapons, by buying or discovering the recipes
- graphics are good, and the game is aesthetically pleasing; character animations look nice also, and they look different depending on what gear you equip
- music and sound effects are good, and it’s nice that the music changes based on the area, so it doesn’t get too repetitive
- the intro, and outro narrative are done well (I wish the game had more narrative, like I had expected from the game’s trailer)
- loot drops are plentiful, but you’ll get a lot of the same item, so at least the inventory management isn’t much of a nuisance, and there are vendors all over to sell to, (but you can only fast travel to set locations, and once you go to town, you’ll have to walk back to where you were)
- health and energy don’t regen at all out of combat, so there’s lots of down time after most fights (you either have to sleep or burn a whole bunch of consumables to replenish your energy, as well as keep the xp bonus at maximum)
- you will still spend a great deal of time walking from one quest location to another (there is fast travel, but I think more fast travel locations would have tone down the monotony of walking so much)
- a few crashes to desktop during (usually while loading a save file, and I never lost any progress because of it)
- doesn’t seem to be a need to craft anything since everything you need is either purchasable from vendors or loot drops off enemies (as good as the crafting system was, it felt almost pointless)
- some character pathing issues (usually in or around buildings)
- it’s strange that only the first part of some conversations are voice acted and not the rest of the same conversation (voice acting for some of the dialog was mediocre)
- having to use the mouse to drag the skills and characters isn’t for everyone, and more hotkeys for targeting and controlling the characters would be nice; there are some keyboard shortcuts, but it’s not enough, and they aren’t customizable either
- each character can only have 3 abilities at a time, and the abilities are attached to gear – in a way it gives you the illusion that you can be more flexible with your characters, but you can’t really, unless you want to be a jack of all trades and master of none (plate, mail, leather, and cloth usually have different stat requirements, and it seems to be the same pool of abilities attached to each stat, and you might be unwiling to take an stat upgrade because the spell on it isn’t what you’re looking for)
- kind of a cliche plotline (overall, the story is alright, but nothing really stood out to me as being memorable)
At first, I was turned off by the combat in Ember since it wasn’t what I had expected the combat to be like, but it really grew on me, and wound up being the most enjoyable part. There are several things I would have liked to change about the game, and it’s by no means perfect. The game is priced appropriately for its content though, and it’s a decent pick-up despite its annoyances.