Sands of Aura preview: setting sail in the dunes

In this preview we will talk about Sands of Aura, a Hack & Slash with soulslike elements developed by Chashu Entertainment

Sands of Aura is an interesting title that mixes the basic mechanics of Hack & Slash with a view from above to some typical elements of the soulslike. The title has been in development for many years by the small software house Chashu Entertainment and now it has finally been released in early access thanks to Freedom Games. If the game has caught your interest and you want to know more before buying it, then we invite you to read ours preview of Sands of Aura.

A world wrapped in sand

Sands of Aura is set in Talamhel, a fantasy world that has been wrapped in a sea of ​​sand due to a cataclysm. In this monster-infested desert land it is really very difficult to resist, but luckily several groups of people continue to survive in small settlements. The survivors also recreated a form of civilization and also founded several factions and institutions. In fact, in the game your protagonist (freely customizable) will be a member of Knights Remained, a sacred order that works to help humans survive.

At the beginning of your adventure you will be just an initiate engaged in a seemingly simple mission of water recovery but later, due to several unforeseen events, you will end up playing a much more important role and you will be forced to travel far and wide for the good of humanity.

The plot of Sands of Aura is very classic, but it becomes interesting thanks to a fascinating setting and to one seemingly profound lore. In addition, during your adventure you will meet so many NPC very different from each other to interact with. Some of them will only serve to make some places more alive or to explain the past of the world, while others will be able to remain impressed thanks to their personal stories.

Sands of Aura preview: setting sail in the dunes

Hack & Souls – Anteprima Sands of Aura

Basically the gameplay of Sands of Aura is very similar to that of any Hack & Slash with a top view, but is influenced by many typical Souls elements. For example, there are limited care, of the checkpoints that bring enemies back to life and, in the event of death, you will leave all the accumulated money on the ground. The game, however, also takes its cue from the soulslike fights. In fact, although the clashes are quite fast, most of the attacks will leave you very open and your PC will not be very resistant to damage. This means that during the fights you will have to plan your moves well without just attacking quickly blindly.

This will certainly not be a problem in one-on-one battles with fairly weak enemies, but it could be problematic in melee and bossfights. Fortunately, however, your protagonist will be able to count on several skills very useful in battle.

Whenever you inflict damage on an enemy, you will fill yours by a tot corruption bar and later you can use it to perform a powerful special attack. These moves are already very powerful, but can be further improved with Saving. Gems are magical artifacts that are inserted into your weapon and that will allow you to activate the Spellblade mode.

Spellblade mode lasts until you perform an action and grants you gods considerable advantages based on the type of gem used. For example it is able to infuse your weapon with a element, significantly enhance your special attack and even modify your dodge. Each time you use Spellblade mode you will consume a charge, but thankfully just hit an enemy with your special attack to recharge it.

Sands of Aura preview: setting sail in the dunes

Gear is Everything – Sands of Aura preview

As in any self-respecting Hack & Slash, even in Sands of Aura the equipment will play a fundamental role for the growth of your PG. In fact, during the adventure you will not be able to level up and improve your statistics (although at some point you will be able to unlock some passive ability). The only way you will have to make your character stronger is in fact to equip him with ever better weapons and armor or upgrade the ones you already have.

Given the importance of the equipment, it is normal that i money play a central role in Sands of Aura. In this title, however, the money will not be used so much to buy new equipment, but for forging new ones. In fact, through the forge it is possible to combine money, materials, artifacts and special rare handles to create new weapons with truly lethal passive effects.

The most interesting aspect of the forge though is the possibility of create a sea of ​​very different equipment. In total, in fact, there are five categories of weapons that can be combined with six different fighting styles that will allow you to create a total of thirty completely different weapons. Thanks to all this variety you will spend a lot of time trying out new fighting styles and you are free to always use the ones that best suit a given situation.

Sands of Aura preview: setting sail in the dunes

Wandering in the Sands – Sands of Aura preview

After a good introductory game section, your protagonist will be entrusted with a vessel that will allow him to plowing freely across the sea of ​​sand. For this reason, despite having a specific goal, it will be possible to go wherever you want right away. In this way you will surely find yourself facing much stronger enemies than expected but, if you manage to overcome them, you can get your hands on extremely powerful new gear.

Obviously the most useful treasures are hidden inside intricate dungeons that are teeming with enemies, but unfortunately very often it will be possible circumvent most of the dangers. This happens because in Sands of Aura it is possible jump freely at any time and this in many cases allows you to completely bypass entire sections of many dungeons. Unfortunately the jump significantly damages the level design of many areas of the game and, considering that its usefulness is simply to get you through mediocre sections of platforming, this feature ends up doing more damage than anything else.

Sands of Aura preview: setting sail in the dunes

A Technical Disaster – Sands of Aura Preview

From the artistic point of view Sands of Aura turns out to be really very pleasant. All the settings are well cared for and, although sometimes uninspired, even the enemies are well integrated into the game world.

But unfortunately the game really suffers a lot from a technical point of view. One of the most obvious problems is the graphic sector, extremely deficient from every point of view, but the most serious is certainly linked to performance. In fact, the game manages to maintain good performances within closed areas, but ends up suffering very serious frame drops as soon as you set foot outside. This is most likely due to the effect used for simulate waves in the sea of ​​sand which end up making the title terribly heavy, thus compromising the entire gaming experience.

Sands of Aura preview: setting sail in the dunes


Now the point of our preview has finally arrived where we take stock of Sands of Aura. Although at the moment it is still in early access, this particular hybrid between Hack & Slash and soulslikand it already has enough content to keep you glued to the screen for many hours. Of course, currently the title suffers from several problems as regards the technical sector and beyond but, considering that it is in access, anticipated they are supposed to be resolved over time. If you love Diablo Hack & Slash, then Sands of Aura will surely be able to entertain you.

Sands of Aura is available now in early access on PC. If you are interested in staying up to date with all the news on the world of video games and much more, then continue to follow us here on Furthermore, in case you want to buy some games at an advantageous price, we suggest you take a look at the many offers on Instant Gaming.