“Long ago, a wanderer brought an enthralling gift to the people of Embervale. The Elixir. It was a cure, a blessing, a weapon. Once concealed by the ancients, its might had been set free. With it came power, mistrust, and a longing for more. Humanity dug the Elixir Wells, ripping apart the apart and each other to quench their thirst. Elixir and blood, drop for a drop. But from the depths of the Wells an unforeseen curse crept into Embervale. The Shroud, a ruinous fog which sought only to spread and devour. Facing their downfall, humans and Ancients united to forge the Flameborn. Now, your time has come. Awake!”
From the main menu screen selecting Play will take you to the character creation screen. Here you can choose from a number of preset characters, or you can customise your own. After deciding what your characters look like, you then have the choice of where to play the game.
You have three options: Private, Host and Join. Selecting Private will start a private game which is stored locally. Selecting Host will allow you to host a public game with up to sixteen players, which is also saved locally, although this could be dependent on how good your PC is. Selecting Join will allow you to join an online game from a list of already hosted games, although not all games in the list are available unless you have the server password allowing you to join that server. I decided to start a private game, you can edit the world's name if you choose now or any time in the future, hitting the Play button will then start your game.
You wake up and you find yourself inside a building containing a flame altar. You must commune with the flame altar, which then explains that you have been awoken after a long slumber. As a Flameborn you must combat the Shroud which has spread throughout the region of Embervale. It is from here that your story will unfold...
The first thing you must do now that you’ve been kicked out of your pit is to build a new place to call your base, a place from where you can create a home. This will be your first quest and a place has already been picked out for you so you must go there and claim the spot by building a Flame Altar. You don’t have to keep this as your main base, as you progress you will be able to create more Flame Altars. So, this will allow you to place them throughout the region of Embervale in places which will suit your needs.
The Flame Altars will provide a safe haven from the Shroud, and it will also protect you, at least for a short while when entering the Shroud. They will allow you to fast travel between other Flame Altars you own and to other locations which allow fast travel. Once you reach the area where you must build your first Flame Altar, you’ll have to find the resources; in this case it will be five stones. These can be found strewn across the ground, once you have some tools you will be able to break bigger chunks of stone and mine it.
You will have a bit of a tutorial as you progress explaining a few details. Some of the things in the local area will give you details; for example, a dummy will explain that you can block attacks when using a sword or that berries can replenish your health.
The world map is covered by a fog of war and will become visible to you once you travel through an area. When you find an area of interest it may appear on your map. Not everything will be marked on the map, but with the choice of four icons and colours, you can create your own markers for anything of interest that you find on your journey, such as resources, high places to hurl yourself from and glide to points of interest, or anything else that you wish to mark the map for - it’s totally up to you.
When you start you can only build and craft some basics, however, hidden throughout Embervale are other Flameborns waiting to be released from their slumber. Currently there are five Flameborns that you will have to awaken: Blacksmith, Carpenter, Alchemist, Hunter and the Farmer. Once awoken, each of these can be placed at your base or any other Flame Altar you may have throughout the lands. However, I think it is best to just have a main base and have everyone one close by as it will make crafting a bit easier, at least until you can start producing magical storage chests.
These NPC’s will send you out on quests to recover items or find information which can unlock new technology, allowing them to create new and better items, potions or equipment. Finding new resources can also unlock new things for them to craft. You will unlock new quests as well as you explore and find information through scrolls or letters found throughout the lands.
Resources can be found everywhere - dirt, rubble, even pathways can be dug up and used as a resource. Then you have resources such as metals which can be found throughout Embervale and used to create a whole variety of items, equipment and things for your base. Digging will require a pickaxe and take a toll on your stamina. It can be quite time-consuming to get enough of the resources you want. You also have to deal with wear and tear on all your weapons and tools.
Smashing things up is a good way to gain some resources, especially early in the game when they may be a little bit scarcer, although even later in the game, smashing things up can produce some much-needed items; it’s quite satisfying to smash the hell out of everything in a room or two while no one is looking.
You’re going to have to enter the Shroud, which can be a dangerous place with various creatures wandering through it. Once you enter the Shroud a time limit will appear in the centre top of the screen to tell you how long you can survive in the Shroud before you succumb to it. Some parts of the Shroud cannot be entered, and this is called, Deadly Shroud, entering this will kill you very quickly. The Deadly Shroud will dissipate and become normal Shroud though as you progress through the game and is more there to stop you from progressing too far in the game before you have completed certain quests.
You can increase the length of time in the Shroud through upgrading your Flame Altar at your base, through items and gear or potions but once the timer runs out you will die and be returned to the last Flame Alter you visited. You will drop some items when you die but can go back and collect the items you lost. An icon will show you where on the map and there will be an object you must interact with to retrieve your items.
While you can fast travel to any Flame Alter you cannot fast travel while surrounded by the Shroud, so keep that in mind when entering as you can get lost at times in the Shroud and it can be hard to find a way out.
When it comes to protecting yourself, you have a variety of weapons at your disposal, including melee, ranged and magical weapons. You are not locked down to just using one type of weapon, you can swap between any weapons stored in your Item Bar, which is found at the bottom centre of the screen. There are two item bars of eight slots which can be swapped between at any time. There is also an extra slot for your ranged weapon (Bow). Here you can store weapons, potions or anything else you want quick access to while roaming about.
Ranged weapons will require arrows and you will have to craft these; you can craft basic arrows from twigs to begin with but later you’ll be able to craft better and more damaging arrows through the Hunter when you unlock the required resources.
Magical weapons (Staffs) will also require you to craft various types of ammo for you to be able to use a staff, it will also require the use of Mana. Without mana and ammo then the staff won’t work at all. You can also have magical Wands these don’t require ammo or mana to use but are not as powerful as a staff, but they can be quite handy at times.
There are different types of melee weapons - axes, swords and hammers - each having their own benefits. One-handed weapons can be used with a shield and are faster in movement and attacks than two-handed weapons, but you can still block with two handed weapons even though you can’t hold a shield.
The weapons come in different rarities, levels and power and you can upgrade some of them if you have enough runes to do so. If you don’t want any weapons, you can scrap it for runes and use it to upgrade other weapons. Runes can also be found throughout the world or dropped from enemies.
One thing that you cannot scrap is your gear: your helmets, gloves, pants, boots, chest armour and accessories. The only thing you can do with these items is delete them if you don’t want them anymore, which I find a bit wasteful. Whether this will change in the future I don’t know but I hope so as it can be another source of resource whether as materials or as runes.
As you progress you will earn Skill Points, you can use these to unlock various skills in the Skills Tree. Here there are skills for the various class types that you
I haven’t done a whole lot of building yet; I only have a squarish base made with basic rock walls with a small wooden hut on the flat roof for sleeping under the stars for now. But it has everything inside which is currently required although there is a lot of room for improvements. As you progress and find new materials you may be able to use those to build walls, roofs and anything else you need to build.
You can also create furniture such as beds, tables, lights, desks, chairs and regular items like bowls, cups, mugs and a whole bunch of other things to make your base more welcoming. You can even decorate the place with trophies of the heads of the bosses that you have defeated on the walls.
Making your place as cozy and comfortable as you can will help you rest. When you are warm, sheltered and comfortable you will start to feel rested. The more comfortable you are, the longer you will feel rested. Currently while in my base I can become rested for thirty-two minutes but out in the world I may only be come rested for five minutes while sleeping with a skeleton on some rusty bed in a tent in the middle of nowhere. So, after leaving my base I will have the Rested Buff for thirty-two minutes after which I will lose the bonus buff until I become rested again.
I am really loving playing Enshrouded. I love a game like this where I can go and wander around exploring, collecting resources and being able to build my base at my own time, or if I wish I can go and find a fight. The world as it stands is quite big but the overall size of the map is even bigger so I expect that in the future the areas you are currently unable to visit will become available.
I love just climbing to the highest ground possible, jumping off and then gliding across the land.
The game is in Early Access so while I am enjoying playing the game there have been some issues. I’ve had the game crash to desktop about five times, although for the first forty or fifty hours of playing I never had one crash.
I did have one time where I got stuck between a wall and a large barrel after I slipped and fell behind the barrel while attempting to jump on it and climb up to the wall above it. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem as you can just smash the barrels and everything else but this one time I was just frozen there in place. So, I had to exit the game and come back, it wasn’t much of a problem as I had only just left a nearby Flame Altar, but had I been some distance away when it happened, I might have been a bit miffed.
Another thing which has plagued me since I first started playing the game is that the graphics will start flickering. I was running the game on Quality settings with DLSS on and tried turning settings on and off and did a quick search and some folks said turning the settings up to Max Quality fixed the issue. This did seem to work for the most part but at times it came back. The flickering was really annoying and got to the point where I would have to exit the game to hopefully get rid of it, which it did most of the time.
I look forward to seeing what happens in the future, especially as the game is in Early Access, so things can certainly change one way or the other but so far, I think it is looking good.
I haven’t tried playing the game with anyone online so I cannot comment on that side it. However, I have heard that I could take my character from my private server and use it in an online game, which is great as at least I wouldn’t have to start from scratch. It would also allow me to join a higher-level game should I wish to at some point. You can even trade weapons, equipment and gear with people in online games.
Review written by Piston Smashed™ for Zeepond.com
Positives+ Good graphics
+ Enjoyable to play
+ Huge open world
+ Base building and crafting
+ Gliding from the highest peaks
+ Co-op game play
+ Has achievements
Negatives- Game crashed on me several times
- Annoying flickering
- No cards currently
Awoken from a long slumber, it is your job as a Flameborn to push back the Shroud which has devastated the lands of Embervale after it was released through the people’s greed for the magical Elixir.
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Zeepond Rating: 8/10
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