Alongside a selection of Capcom games that will see release in 2012, Asura’s Wrath was available to try out at the Ultimate Capcom Showcase in Sydney on Wednesday night. Accompanying the game were two important men, Kazuhiro Tsuchiya, producer of the game, and Marco Bombasi, head of the localisation phase. For those who enjoy beating supernatural enemies and storylines full of gods, then this is the game for you. My time with the game involved a fleet of ships, gigantic monsters and catching missiles.
Asura is a demi-god and one of the most respected generals for the gods before being forced to be a patsy as he is blamed for the assassination of the Emperor. Escaping the imperial forces, he returns home only to find his wife dead and his daughter kidnapped. In his pursuit, he finds out that Deus, the head of the Gods, murdered the Emperor. After a defeat, Asura is dropped to Earth. 12,000 years later, Asura awakens from hibernation. He re-ignites his revenge quest and rescue. This is where the player enters the game.
The game will be set out in episodes, similar to an anime or TV series. On the day, episodes seven to twelve were available for playthrough. The episode I got to try with was episode nine. In this episode, Asura launches himself into the air and is greeted with a fleet of airships. During this sequence of gameplay, Asura must shoot projectiles in order to bring them down. There are two ways to take them down: rapid fire projectiles and lock-on projectiles which cause greater damage. In fact, the lock-on projectiles covered the ship, taking it down in a barrage of blows. After passing through that, Asura crashes through one of these ships. The fleet is manned by one of these gods, known as the tactician of the group.
During some of these cutscenes, including Asura’s launch, involved what was described by head of localisation as player driven events, or PDE for short. Unlike quick time events, the game’s player driven events do not need to be repeated if failed. In fact, player driven events will determine the outcome of the scene to an extent. It may also determine how many arms our hero has as well as the player’s score and ranking at the end of the episode. However, they do strike a similarity to quick time events. The player presses the button to perform the action, usually the face button or the analogue sticks. What I found interesting is that the button presses mimic the action within the scene, unlike the quick time events. I enjoyed how the various inputs determined the action on-screen.
The close combat gameplay replicates the classic hack-and-slash method, except with multiple arms. He has both a light attack and heavy attack. However, his heavy attack has a cool down timer to avoid players spamming away. Holding down the attack buttons will execute a charging attack, like an uppercut, allowing more combos to be executed. Players will encounter various supernatural enemies inspired by Asian mythology. Asura will also have access to Unlimited Mode, a powered up mode where Asura will have pack in more damage with its punches as well as invincibility. However, this is for a limited time.
Unfortunately, my time with the game did not end the way it should have been, but, as the producer was there, it was a good thing that he did spot it. But, with the time I did have, as well as watching others play the game, my first impression is nothing less than extremely positive. It was extremely fun to play and the story seems to be intriguing and interesting. The graphics of the game look impressive. All in all, this is a game worth checking out.
In addition to the game, I had a small chat with both Kazuhiro and Marco. Kazuhiro found development challenging yet exciting. He also divulged how player driven events will affect certain points in the scene or how many arms Asura might have. However, don’t expect any multiple endings, so the story will be quite linear. A good choice as it will bring the story into focus. Both the producer and head of localisation were fun to chat with.
Asura’s Wrath will be available on February 23 for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.