I am the Lightbringer, at least that’s what the crackpot said who brought me back to life. He was a bit hard to understand since he was shaking and soiling his leggings with equal frequency. But no matter, it appears there is a land to save and I’m just the undead one for the job.

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So here we are out for a casual stroll in the countryside. I say we follow this well worn path. What could possibly go wrong? And by the way, I look simply smashing in this black outfit with hood.

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Oh no, a terrible situation has developed, Bandits! Alas, my faithful companion Coren and I will have to take lively action.

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Well, the trusty Double-Strike skill has come in handy and the streets are flowing red with the blood of the non-believers. Let me just rifle through their pockets and we’ll be on our way.

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Oh, a copper deposit. Let us take a moment to break out the trusty pickaxe and harvest that rascal.

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Fish! I like fish!

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Huzzah, we’ve run into a mysterious merchant on the other side of this rickety bridge. Let us strike up a conversation with this nomad and see what goods he has on offer.

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An abandoned shack out in the middle of nowhere? I say we step inside and have a look around. Besides, there’s cheese!

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Wait a moment, before we go down the scary door to who knows what death lies in wait, let me just get comfy in front of the fire and roast a bit of fish. It’s been aging in my pocket and I think it’s just right for cooking. Hand me that seasoning.

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Oh, a book? Full or lore and scary stories. Let us see what sort of mischief lies ahead.

So you may be thinking, I already have Shroud of the Avatar, what do I need with this Ember business? Well, let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

If you have a look, many of the elements from SotA are featured in Ember. For example, there are horses you can’t ride. But there is fishing and cooking. You can hunt down bears and wolves and use their hides to make money. Bandits will spring out of the woods trying to ruin your day and steal your picnic basket. There are houses to explore, even when the residents are at home, and in bed trying to sleep. You can steal anything not nailed down. There are crypts, tombs and cemeteries to explore. There’s also merchants that appear out of nowhere waiting to sell you goods and buy your junk. You can grab a pickaxe and mine for ore. There are herbs to be harvested, which I’m sure are good for something.

Ember also uses the old school system of Health, Vitality, Intellect and Stamina. There is no overly elaborate skill tree you need to Min/Max with. You pick a weapon, suit up in some armor and use those against your enemies. Weapons and armor can have special abilities and those are triggered by simply clicking the ability from the menu. My current weapon has Double-Strike, which makes me quite ferocious, but it uses Stamina quickly.

Again, there is no multiplayer, and the combat is a simple point and click affair. Movement is controlled by clicking where you want to go. If you’re looking for layer upon layer of skills and combat options, keep on waiting for Shroud to be completed. However, if you want to jump into a game that is reminiscent of Ultima, hack and slash some purveyors of evil, smash barrels, loot gold, attack wolves, camp under the stars and ultimately save the world, then Ember is right up your alley.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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