Century: Age of Ashes is something we didn’t know we needed, and left us wondering why it took so long for something like it to come along in the first place. Age of Ashes is a free-to-play dogfighting game where instead of piloting some spacecraft or fighter jet, you’re riding a friggin’ dragon. Just the concept alone was enough for us to download the game and give it a try. Plus of course, it was free to play. We were both pleasantly surprised and left wanting a lot more. Let’s fly into the review.
Century: Age of Ashes – Gameplay
There’s no story here, just a team-based PvP dogfighting game. Like we mentioned above, just the premise alone was enough to make us download and try the game out. Flying around on epic looking dragons while spewing fire on opponents, what’s not to like?
When you first start the game we’d recommend going through the tutorial because there’s a bit of a learning curve, both with combat and maneuvering the dragons. However, once you get a grasp of the controls, what you have with Century: Age of Ashes is a pretty decent flying experience, with the ability to pull off maneuvers you never could in any other dogfighting game. This is also largely thanks to the level design, which is littered with peaks, tunnels and castles to weave through in order to give your pursuers the slip.
Combat is also quite satisfying, with enemies burning to a crisp when you finally take them down. The targeting system works well with the game’s control scheme, and taking down enemies feels rewarding, especially if they’re slippery. The same applies to when you successfully manage to outmaneuver pursuers, or even better, turn the tables on them.
Century: Age of Ashes – Dragonrider classes
The game currently features three playable classes, all of which are already unlocked, and it looks like there’s one more on the way.
The three featured dragonrider classes include the Marauder, the Windguard, and the Phantom. Each of them have a different role to play, with the Marauder being a straight up bruiser with skills designed to help him ruthlessly hunt down enemies. Marauders can choose between frost bolts to slow opponents down, or gust to stop approaching projectiles, i.e., fireballs. Their main ability, hunter’s mark, allows them to rain fireballs on enemies without any cooldown. The Windguard is the game’s support class, who can heal and buff allies with shields. She can also leave behind a trail of poisonous fog, which deals damage and prevents opponents from being able to lock-on to you. This fog also does a great job of blinding pursuers. Finally, the Phantom is the game’s stealth or assassin class, with the ability to go invisible and deal increased damage and set traps via mines. Each class has a fixed primary ability, and the ability to choose between one of two abilities for the secondary slot.
Century: Age of Ashes – The game modes
Century: Age of Ashes currently has very limited game modes and maps. There are four in total, including the Spoils of War, Skirmish, Carnage, and Gates of Fire. Skirmish and Carnage are straight up brawls; the team with the most kills wins. Skirmish is a 3v3 while Carnage is a 6v6. Racking up kills also racks up a bounty, and taking down someone with a bounty nets more points. Gates of Fire on the other hand is Age of Ashes’ version of Capture the Flag, and it can get pretty fierce with constant back-and-forth.
Spoils of War is the game mode they’ve clearly put the most work into, with it being the game’s only ranked game mode as well. Here you need to hunt down AI-controlled gold carrying dragons and steal their loot to bring back to your vault. Additionally, you can also steal loot off of your enemies, and even steal their vault key, locking off their vault and preventing them from being able to deposit gold. There’s also a bomb that spawns on the map, which if carried to the enemy vault blows it up, sending all their gold flying. All of these additional mechanics add a lot more depth and strategy to the game mode. This particular mode is quite skewed in favor of the Phantom class, which can go invisible. Naturally, most of the lobby for this game mode is populated with Phantoms. Don’t let that take away from the other classes in any way though, they’re all very enjoyable. Each of them requires you to adapt your playstyle in order to excel.
Unfortunately, once you’ve experienced the three classes, the four maps, and game modes, you’ve seen everything Century: Age of Ashes has to offer. You’ll definitely keep playing thanks to excellent gameplay mechanics and the gorgeous visuals, but the lack of variety becomes evident very fast.
Century: Age of Ashes – Leveling, and the cash shop
Player levels affect the number of game modes available to you, and certain game modes are locked behind levels. Carnage for instance unlocks at level 6, and ranked play at level 10. This makes sense, ensuring that players are familiar with the game’s mechanics before jumping into ranked matches. As is the norm now, you’ve got a battle pass and you’re rewarded with goodies and cosmetics as you level up and complete challenges. There’s also a weekly chest system, with daily missions which improve the quality of the loot you’ll get at the end of the week. This includes cool stuff like cosmetics, titles, and dragon eggs, which you can actually hatch and watch them grow by completing in-game challenges. Unfortunately, dragon eggs come along rarely, after the very first egg you receive, it takes a while to reach the next milestone that rewards a dragon egg.
Century: Age of Ashes also features an in-game cash shop, featuring tons of epic looking cosmetics, both for your dragonrider and the dragons themselves, titles, emblems, oh and of course, MOAR dragons! This is the fastest way to get more dragons without actually grinding for eggs or the currency itself to buy them directly. There are a LOT of dragons in the game, with unique options for each dragonrider, and, we can’t stress this enough, all of them look awesome. If you’re not willing to shell out real money, you can, like we mentioned, grind your way to the cosmetic or dragon you want, but keep in mind it will take a while. The cash shop also features XP boosts to speed up the leveling, which can be pretty slow otherwise.
Century: Age of Ashes – Graphics and sound
This game looks amazing. The dragons look kickass, the animations are beautiful; on the visual front, we have zero complaints, this is what a dragon dogfighting game should look like. There’s so much attention to detail with all the dragons, especially the named Legendary dragons that look out of this world. The accompanying soundtrack is also very fitting and the sounds, from the fire breathing to the roars, are great.
Century: Age of Ashes – Verdict
Century: Age of Ashes features some of the best aerial combat we’ve seen in a game. I may be biased towards the fantasy genre in general, but the visuals are breathtaking and the dragons look epic. The unique classes in the game are badass, and whatever game modes and maps the game does have to offer are excellent. Unfortunately, it’s too little, and once you’ve experienced the same content, no matter how great the experience, for the nth time, it will start to get stale and repetitive. Once the game has more game modes and maps, and sorts out some balancing and matchmaking issues, this would be the no-brainer dogfighting game recommendation from us.
SCORE! – 7
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 5, Xbox One
Played on: Microsoft Windows