Ashen is a game that I admire. From a distance. I gave its Dark Souls-ian gameplay the good ol' college try. But it made me realize that crafting necessarily perfect runs and memorizing slowly animated attack patterns isn't my cup of Earl Grey. Despite all that, it is one of the first games using that whole neo-polygonal art style that made me really sit up and take notice.
Ashen is a lovely world, beautifully drained of much of its color, with light and shadow playing as your little shoulder-angel and little shoulder-devil, as I like to call them. Those two rascals join you across this action RPG, with you, the wanderer, in search of a place to call home. And if home is where you hang your hat, well, you'll have to get there without dying a million times first. Scratch that. You're going to die a million times anyway. Just make sure that kind of gameplay hits your personal "fun" checkbox if you're coming to Ashen for the first time.
Ashen wanders onto Nintendo Switch, PS4, Steam, and GOG on December 9. While it was an Xbox exclusive, per se, it was still playable on PC through the Microsoft Store. It's one of those gems that continues to elude me, though our reviewer Zachary Atwood caught on much better than I did with an 8 out of 10.