Developer Aurum Dust has announced that Ash of the Gods, its gorgeous narrative-focused tactical RPG, will be heading to Steam on March 23rd, with PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch versions due later this year.
Ash of the Gods is, as you'll no doubt notice as you peruse the announcement video below, very heavily inspired by developer Stoic Studio's critically acclaimed The Banner Saga series - and Aurum Dust readily acknowledges the games' influence.
Ash of the Gods utilises a similar blend of gloomy, branching, visual-novel-style storytelling - where one bad choice can wipe a character out for good - alongside turn-based tactical combat, and even a similar (and thus equally striking) animation and art style.
Like the Banner Saga too, Ash of the Gods is planned to be a trilogy, with this initial entry carrying the subtitle Redemption.
Ash of the Gods does manage to stretch its legs a little, however. Its universe is a blend European, Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic medieval cultures, rather than The Banner Saga's Norse mythology inspired world, for instance.
Its combat, meanwhile, incorporates elements of collectible card games - wherein you can expand your strategic options by unlocking and upgrading new characters and cards as you battle - both in single-player and in the separate multiplayer mode. There's also, apparently, an AI system that "constantly learns from playing against you".
And however obvious its inspiration, it's hard to deny that Ash of the Gods hits all the right notes on the presentational front. Alongside its beautiful (if familiar) visual style, it sports a musical score by Adam Skorupa, Krzysztof Wierzynkiewicz, and Michał Cielecki - who have provided music for the likes of Max Pain, Painkiller, The Witcher, EVE Online and Shadow Warrior 2 - and is written by Russian fantasy author Sergey Malitsky.
Ash of the Gods successfully raised $87,031 when it launched on Kickstarter last May, so clearly there's an appetite for more games of The Banner Saga's ilk. We'll see how it all stacks up when Ash of the Gods launches on Steam on March 23rd.