Age of Ashes hands-on gameplay preview — Fire in the sky

Video video games have all the time shared an in depth relationship with dragons. Whether or not you’re using them or sucking out their souls, dragons have remained a preferred staple for a purpose — they’re superior. Developer Playwing clearly is aware of this, and is making an attempt the marry the fantastic sky lizards to aggressive on-line arenas. I lately received to spend an hour with Century: Age of Ashes in a brand new gameplay preview, which included new modes not but seen.

Because it was my first time in Century, I began off with the tutorial. One concern I had earlier than diving in was the responsiveness of the sport’s titanic beasts. However any unease received squashed pretty rapidly.


By the air with the best of ease

Fortunately, in Century, the controls are tight and responsive. Even earlier than I completed the easy-to-follow tutorial, I already felt like I had mastery over my flying reptile. These expertise had been put to the check in my very first battle in opposition to human gamers: a three-on-three match over a frozen, rocky map. It was giant sufficient that it took a great 10 seconds for my workforce to fulfill up with our enemies. And as soon as we did, we took the battle to them exhausting, as fireballs flew and dragons clashed alongside the bottom and excessive within the air.

It was a great introduction to the battles anticipated in Century. I took pleasure in utilizing a jet of wind to achieve the very best factors and scout an enemy separated from the pack. From there, it was practically easy to level my beast in the precise course and use a lift to come back up from behind. When you’re shut sufficient to your prey, the UI highlights them with a goal. Fireballs will monitor foes, permitting you to pay extra consideration to not crashing into the encircling surroundings. As soon as shut, a brand new reticle exhibits up, indicating I used to be shut sufficient to make use of my flamebreath, which is as marketed: a stream of flame that locks onto opponents.

Century Age Of Ashes Gameplay Preview 1

Stamina could be recharged by flying over vitality rifts that snake throughout the ground.

Hoarding gold, as a dragon is thought to do

The deathmatch, nevertheless, was solely an introduction. What developer Playwing was actually eager on displaying off had been the 2 new modes not discovered within the closed beta back in March. The primary was Spoils of Warfare, a two-team, six-on-six match wherein the aspect with essentially the most gold wins. Sure, it performs on the gold-hoarding dragon trope, however in a winner-take-all multiplayer format. It’s set on a a lot bigger map than what I performed simply earlier than, with two large stone retains on both aspect adorned with blue for allies or purple for the enemy aspect. Rocky pillars dot the panorama, permitting for canopy or alternatives to juke an opponent in your tail. Golden AI-controlled dragons lazily fly about on this mode, and killing one causes it to blow up in a bathe of gold cash. Passing by way of the cash will take up them, because the UI shows what number of you’re carrying.

However you’re not the one one conscious of how a lot gold you could have. The sport exhibits what number of cash every participant is carrying. After I had greater than 100 cash in inventory, the sport knowledgeable me that I needed to drop it off on the maintain or else danger shedding all of it. That’s just about the sport right here: you possibly can play the hoarder, gathering cash from the golden dragons or enemies, or defend allies whose pockets are full to bursting. After you have gold, it’s essential deposit it at your maintain. The workforce with essentially the most gold stashed by the top of a time restrict wins the spherical, and the primary aspect to win two rounds takes the match.

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Hearth from above. And generally under.

I don’t know what’s happening, nevertheless it’s kinda sick

Spoils of Warfare gave me a good suggestion of what an actual, high-stakes recreation of Century is like. The three-on-three deathmatch was cathartic by comparability. Gamers on opposing sides would meet at a gold dragon, blasting fireballs and spitting flames. And whereas the mode was about hoarding gold, that didn’t cease issues from getting sweaty. Greater than as soon as I discovered my practically broke self getting chased regardless. Although the controls are clean, my piloting expertise weren’t fairly as much as par, and I ended up smacking headlong into partitions and pillars as I used to be being hunted. Nonetheless, it was sufficient of a, ahem, trial by fireplace that I ultimately received the cling of this new atmosphere and mode.

And it was a deal with. If my earlier deathmatch was an appetizer, Spoils of Warfare was the primary course. In my matches, I discovered myself ducking and weaving, darting by way of underground caves and below dilapidated stone buttresses. Chasing or being chased, Century firing on all cylinders is a heart-pounding good time, and by no means for a second boring. Fireballs streaked by way of the sky, dragons fell like fats hailstones, and gamers utilizing their class’ particular skills would flip invisible or go away inexperienced trails of noxious gasoline. Hidden cave techniques would zip you across the map, generally straight into one other mid-air skirmish. It was insanity, and a hell of numerous enjoyable.

Century Age Of Ashes Gameplay Preview 5

The three lessons within the preview every had particular skills.

However these good occasions didn’t come with no value, not less than for me. Not like the smaller recreation sort, Spoils of Warfare requested a hefty tax from my rig. Even because the match started, I seen my efficiency chugging by 20 or extra frames. We additionally performed a second new mode, known as Carnage, which was a extra conventional deathmatch however on the identical map. Each modes triggered body drops, offering an apt reminder that Century: Age of Ashes remains to be a piece in progress. Nevertheless, I didn’t ask how outdated the preview construct was. There’s a great probability issues will likely be ironed out by the point the sport reaches its December launch.

Gear up, develop up

Through the preview, I additionally received to take a look at among the recreation’s different options. Century: Age of Ashes will launch as a free-to-play recreation, with gadgets similar to cosmetics to your dragon and dragon rider as gadgets you should purchase. Finishing matches gives expertise factors, and the additional you go alongside, the extra gadgets you unlock. I managed to safe a reasonably gnarly-looking set of armor for my dragon. So, there are cosmetics you possibly can earn naturally by way of play. There are numerous gadgets as nicely, starting from capes to helmets, weapons, leggings, chest items, and dragon saddles. You may also elevate your personal dragon by hatching eggs. I received an egg shortly after my first match. It hatches after you get sufficient expertise, and also you assist it develop by finishing quests like dodging a fireball. And so they’re so cute!

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Awwww. My valuable boy.

Although my time with the sport was solely an hour, I felt good about Century: Age of Ashes. Actually, my essential considerations revolve round efficiency. I’ve additionally since puzzled if the in-game rewards will likely be attractive sufficient to maintain gamers coming again. Nevertheless, if something, the gameplay ought to do the trick. Century appears nice and performs exceptionally nicely, and the battles I skilled had been thrilling. I’m wanting ahead to giving it an actual go when it launches on December 2. I would like to complete elevating my little child boy. | Age of Ashes hands-on gameplay preview — Hearth within the sky


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