Ashwalkers: A Survival Journey, previously known under the working title Cendres, is a narrative-driven survival game that picks up 200 years after a volcanic apocalypse. It's the latest from Life is Strange co-creator Hervé Bonin and his new studio Nameless XIII, and it looks mighty compelling.
From what little we've seen, Ashwalkers looks to be an open-world survival game that's light on action and big on atmosphere. Nameless XIII describes it as a game about making decisions, and with society wiped out, you've only got your own moral compass to guide you. You lead a band of four – group leader Petra, Sinh the fighter, the studious Kali, and your scout Nadir – through the ashen wasteland in search of food, medicine, and perhaps a smidgen of hope.
I get the impression that there are two sides to Ashwalkers. Obviously, you've got to manage your limited resources to keep the group afloat, gathering and rationing materials as necessary. But as you'd expect of the first game from a studio founded by the co-creator of Life is Strange, there's also a big emphasis on developing character relationships and navigating a branching narrative. Ashwalkers has a whopping 34 possible endings, and I'd bet my life savings that a lot of them aren't happy endings. Marrying these two components and keeping everyone in your squad both happy and alive will no-doubt be a difficult, harrowing process.
I'm really digging the setup and aesthetic for Ashwalkers, and it's got some serious writing chops behind it. We'll get to try it for ourselves thanks to a demo coming in the February Steam Game Fest running from February 3 through February 9, and the full game will be out later this year.
Dontnod, the house of Life is Strange, has six new games in the works.