Ember is a gorgeous indie RPG in the vein of classic RPGs such as Baldur’s Gate as well as action RPGs such as Diablo. This game is utterly gorgeous to look at. The environments are detailed, vibrant and lush. They’re (obviously) not up to modern AAA standard, but they’re charming, engaging and immersive.
That said, I would have loved to see a more tightly plotted narrative. The description boasts about 30 hours of gameplay, which is an incredibly respectable length for an indie RPG. However, I finished it in about 15 hours and a good chunk of its side quests felt like busywork and padding. The world never really got to shine. Except in the goblin library. I adored that section.
I would have loved for Ember to focus on its main narrative, fleshing out the history of the embers and Domus as a setting in general through the game play rather than books. It would have vastly increased my emotional involvement and given the ending a far more satisfying impact. The plot twist comes out of nowhere, the antagonist isn’t fleshed out at all, and the relationships you have with other characters is almost non-existent. It’s a similar issue to DA:I’s Here Lies the Abyss which is a plotline that relies heavily on the player’s investment in the characters. If the investment isn’t there, neither is the emotional turmoil or payoff depending on the choices made.
In the end, Ember is a fun, light and entertaining RPG with an intriguing and promising setting. But if you play games for their stories, you may well find it disappointing too.
This post previously appeared on Patreon and is sponsored by generous patrons. Thank you so much for your support! It means the world to me! <3 I love you all!
If you’ve enjoyed this post and would like to support me in creating more free content, please consider subscribing or spreading the word to others. Visit my Patreon page to discover how to get early access to posts as well as various Patron-exclusive posts and goodies!