E3 2021 Preview – Sands of Aura
One of the more unique games that caught my attention this E3 was Sands of Aura from Chashu Entertainment. With a large open world setting where you can freely explore by sailing a ship across the dunes to discover remote islands, I was eager to learn more about this world. I was fortunate enough to be able to speak with the developers at Chashu Entertainment about their game, as well as be able to try it out for myself.
In Sands of Aura, the fictional world of Talamhel has been devastated by a cataclysm, which broke the hourglass of time. This devastating event caused the sands of the hourglass to spill across the world, creating an endless ocean of sand and thrusting Talamhel into a state of perpetual night. The resulting effects caused most of the life on Talamhel to become corrupted legions of undead, intent on destroying everything.
Fortunately, not all hope is lost. You play as one of the Order of Remnant Knights, the last defenders of Talamhel. When a new catastrophe hits Talamhel and causes the Night Plague to mutate, it’s up to you to take action. You’ll have to sail across the sands to each remaining island and cleanse them of their corruption before all of mankind is lost forever.
If the premise isn’t enough to get you intrigued, the gameplay should be enough to seal the deal. Sands of Aura is an isometric action/adventure game with Souls-like combat. You’ll also be able to use your ship to sails across the open world seas of sand, although this aspect wasn’t available for the demo. I’ve been told that for now traversing the dunes in your ship is a safe process, but they are considering adding enemies to the sand. Nothing has been set in stone as of yet though.
The demo contained four main islands and eight smalls islands, but there will be about ten main islands and thirty-five to forty small islands in the finished product. They said the game should take about twenty to thirty hours to beat, depending on your skill level. The combat is very Souls-like, so if you’re not very adept at that sort of gameplay, be prepared to have your journey take a bit longer.
From what I’ve played so far, the gameplay is very smooth and responsive. There are seven different types of weapons, each with their own distinct playstyle. There’s also many different upgrades you can get for each one, which can alter the feel of each one. In addition to these upgrades, there are dozens of armor sets, specialized pommels for your weapons, personal upgrades, and various skill trees. Each of these factors will give players tons of customization options to better cater to their personal playstyle.
While I’m a little bummed I couldn’t explore any of the open world with my ship, I’m still really impressed by what I’ve played so far in Sands of Aura. It’s still in early access, but I’m impressed with how polished the parts of the game I could play were already. I’m excited to play the finished product once it finally releases.
Sands of Aura will be available sometime in 2022.