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Asura's Wrath Preview

I like crazy games. Games that are so crazy, it’s surprising that they even got picked up by a publisher. Asura’s Wrath is teetering on being one of those games. It was the last, but definitely the wildest game GameZone officially checked out at the Capcom Gamer’s Day in London last week.

Asura’s Wrath’s producers, Kasuhiro Tsuyachiya and Hiroshi Matsuyama, gave us a rundown of what to expect when picking up the game. I don’t understand Japanese, but it was clear in their animated gestures that these guys were ecstatic about their game.

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They initially explained the concept of the game: Rage. It’s the key motivating factor for everything that happens within the game. This isn’t a 3rd person brawler although it looks like one. It’s a rage brawler. The plot is knitted together with gameplay that’s dictated by RAGE. If If there needs to be a Quick Time Event, it’s a QTE full of RAGE. If it’s a brawling level, it’s brawling with RAGE. This theme permeates into even the smallest details of the game. Kashuhiro and Hiroshi demonstrated, rather humorously, that even something as simple as a punch is full with the utmost rage.

But why is Asura so freakin’ angry? The plot seems to borrow a lot from Asian mythology and slams it together with science fiction. Asura is a demigod who is framed by the gods for killing the Big Cheese on the Japanese Mount Olympus, Deus. He gets banished from this plateau in the sky and is petrified in rock for generations on earth. Through the prayers of a villager girl who reminds him of his daughter, he gets released from the rock, only to be filled with rage towards the gods who had falsely accused him.

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The gods who betrayed Asura, seven of them in all, are in for a beating as Asura starts out by restoring the duties the gods have neglected to do. It is the gods’ job to protect the humans from the Gohma, hideous animalistic creatures covered in a black, varicose lava. It was unclear why they were that way, but during the presentation we saw Asura take on a zoo of these creatures including a giant tortoise and a troupe of gorillas.

The button mapping has deliberately been kept simple and facilitates dash and dive attacks that are simple to execute.

QTEs, or chronic impacts as they liked to call them, play a disturbingly large role in the gameplay. There feels like there isn’t a core gameplay mechanic, and because of this, QTEs could very well be a crutch mechanism that pushes the theme of rage through the game when nothing else will. Let’s hope there’s more to this title than the scope of what they showed.

The game is clearly action-packed and high octane, the passion of the producers was clear and that could be the magic ingredient that makes Asura’s Wrath a pretty hot game. It’s scheduled for European release on the 24th of Feb 2012.

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