THQ Nordic reveals Chronos: Before the Ashes

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.

The original Chronos 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.

In an update released today (the original announcement on September 9 included only the title), THQ Nordic confirmed that Chronos: Before the Ashes will be "based on" the 2016 version, "overhauled and optimized to work on all platforms without the need for VR support." It promises brutal and unforgiving combat, and will employ the same unique aging mechanic that will see players begin the game "young, nimble, and quick," but come to rely more heavily on wisdom and magic as it progresses.

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.

Chronos: Before the Ashes is set to come out on December 1. Have a look at some screens below, and find out more at

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.