Chronos is an RPG from Gunfire Games that we liked quite a bit when it was released in 2016. “Gunfire Games knows how to imbue combat with weight and a sense of rhythm,” we said in our 84/100 review. “The Chronos team previously worked on Darksiders and Darksiders 2, and like those games, Chronos requires that you master the basic techniques of attacking, dodging and parrying, or even simple enemies will take you down.”
Unfortunately, it was released exclusively for the Oculus Rift VR headset, and so despite the positive critical response it didn’t get a whole lot of attention from mainstream audiences. So now, THQ Nordic is taking another run at it with Chronos: Before the Ashes, revealed today and set to come out on December 1.
Death is not the end. pic.twitter.com/3WP4Zby6x1September 9, 2020
The original game told the tale of a young adventurer exploring a mysterious labyrinth that only opens once a year; each time the hero dies, he’s ejected from the dungeon and forced to wait for it to reopen in order to try again. The aging process impacts how your character develops: Attributes like strength and agility become more expensive to upgrade as he gets older, but arcane abilities get cheaper, reflecting the growth of experience and wisdom.
The teaser doesn’t reveal finer details about the nature of the game, but players of another Gunfire game, Remnant: From the Ashes, will pick up on the connection to Chronos: Before the Ashes. Chronos exists in the same universe as Remnant (admittedly an action game about traveling to different worlds through portals), with the end of the first Chronos taking place about a month before the beginning of Remnant. It’s a neat connection that isn’t immediately obvious.
The official Chronos Twitter account also hinted that the new game could dive deeper into the nature, and possibly the origins, of Chronos’ labyrinth:
#WhatIsTheLabyrinth ?September 9, 2020
One thing the trailer does seem to confirm is that VR will not be required for Chronos: Before the Ashes, which is listed as coming to PC, Stadia, and consoles at the end of the trailer. I’ve reached out to THQ Nordic for more information, and will update if I receive a reply.