Chronos: Before the Ashes, the review: a Remnant prequel for fans

With the review di Chronos: Before the AshesExceptionally, you can return to the beautiful and disturbing world of Remnant: From the Ashes. Once again Gunfire Games is involved, it is clear: in the summer of 2019 Remnant arrived on consoles and PCs, immediately capturing the attention of the public; it was an action RPG with very clear (and effective) soulslike ideas. The story of Chronos: Before the Ashes is linked to that of Remnant, but it is curious. Now, this video game has already been released in 2016, strictly exclusively for devices related to virtual reality. Thanks to Remnant's "success", Gunfire Games has seen fit to re-propose it in a version that no longer needs VR, from 1 December 2020 available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. How did it go? Not very well, but the title is still very interesting for fans, both of the genre of belonging and of the franchise in particular. We explain why.

The plot

Chronos: Before the Ashes, the review: a Remnant prequel for fans

If you read the Remnant: From the Ashes review at the time, you probably already know that the plot - intricate, never perfectly clear, indeed very cryptic - represents one of the most fascinating aspects of the production of Gunfire Games. It goes without saying, therefore, that fans cannot miss Chronos: Before the Ashes, not even beyond all its flaws, which are not few.

In fact, Remnant's lore is directly linked to prequel (it is natural) and both productions enrich each other reciprocally. We will try to explain why, without incurring easy spoilers. The world, in Chronos: Before the Ashes, is already ending, and the portals between the realms have been discovered, via the red stones. A brave warrior embarks on his mission in the Labyrinth, intent on facing and defeating the Dragon.

Chronos: Before the Ashes, the review: a Remnant prequel for fans

No Root, therefore, for the moment: their corruption will come later. The context is also much less science fiction (albeit with some forays) and predominantly fantasy. But it is still a very inspired setting, and treated in detail by the touch of Gunfire. You will therefore love all the atmospheres, worlds, and places visited again. And probably, at the end of the narration and after having collected all the documents and collectibles present, you will know even more about the lore. It is interesting to note the presence of both new creatures and the "uncontaminated by Root" versions of some of those that appeared in Remnant.

The gameplay: you get old when you fight

Chronos: Before the Ashes, the review: a Remnant prequel for fans

Il gameplay of Chronos: Before the Ashes alternates extremely interesting ideas with milder and less refined mechanics: a mix that does not always work, and that keeps the player's attention and interest awake only for a certain number of hours. Overall, we feel the nature of a production born on VR and designed for VR, then adapted by necessity to a completely different use.

Let's start with the most innovative idea: in this production, to fight one becomes old. Each time the player dies (and will die several times, because even in this case the RPG action mechanics meet the soulslike ones) he sees his age increase by a year. The adventure begins with the 18-year-old hero, and will end with ... well, probably in old age, if not directly close to seniority proper. Growing up (and getting old) means unlocking some bonuses, but also some penalties. Every ten years, for example, a passive bonus of the player's choice is activated: more health forever, more experience points after each elimination, overall better weapons, and so on.

Chronos: Before the Ashes, the review: a Remnant prequel for fans

At the same time the statistics change. For example, aging means being affected by the parameters of attack and defense. At the same time, arcane abilities become more efficient, with a penchant for magic. The style of play therefore adapts to the years spent in the Labyrinth, marked by the various deaths of the player. To keep the gameplay unchanged, in a certain sense, it is appropriate to die a little.

PlayStation 4 Trophies

Getting all the Chronos: Before the Ashes trophies won't be easy, as you'll have to explore all the possibilities offered by the title - fights, collectibles and puzzles included. However, you will also be rewarded with the coveted Platinum Trophy. Attention to the level of difficulty, definitely not within the reach of every player; as well as the genre, after all, which could welcome you very brutally.

Weapons and combat

Weapons and combat by Chronos: Before the Ashes are extremely basic. The hero wields a one-handed weapon (simple sword, ax, scythe): the attack and offensive parameters change slightly, but nothing that can really change a style of play all in all based on quick attack and instant dodge. The other hand holds the shield with which they parry, deflect and interrupt enemy attacks.

The player can take advantage of thelight attack and the loaded one, alternating them with the defense and with the parry. Nothing incredibly deep here, too, but the combat-related mechanics work quite well. The fact is that it all ends here, there is little else: we are far from the depth and tactics of Remnant. Weapons can be upgraded, but without great possibilities; their variety is, moreover, at an all-time low. By leveling up, you can spend points to increase your stats.

Chronos: Before the Ashes, the review: a Remnant prequel for fans

At most, charged attacks and some bonuses take advantage of the magic, which however can never be used for ranged attacks, because they do not exist. In short, you must like close combat, and a very mild type of it: the enemy movesets are basic, the hero's possibilities are just as meager.


Tested version PlayStation 4 Digital Delivery PlayStation Store Price 29,99 €


Readers (4)


Your vote

Chronos: Before the Ashes is a very interesting prequel for fans of Remnant: From the Ashes, but everyone else will probably find more limitations than stimuli in the Gunfire Games production. Beyond an interesting lore and very inspired worlds, in fact, Chronos offers solid but not very detailed game mechanics; very little variety in weapons, moveset and player skills; lastly a technical sector that is little more than discreet, and an honestly embarrassing camera. If all this does not scare you, and you are satisfied with an action RPG clearly inferior to the vast majority of those on the market, you could still evaluate the purchase.


  • Inspired plot and settings
  • The mechanics linked to aging are interesting
  • Pleasant, for those who appreciate the genre
  • Technically just ok
  • Dancer camera
  • Limited in content and gameplay
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