Asura’s Wrath: Preview

Please note that this preview is based on the demo for Asura’s Wrath currently available for X360 here.

When people wrote about Don’t take it personally Babe, this just ain’t your story (including Arcadian Rhythms’ Shaun) one of the main sticking points was that it may have provided a great story but there was little that resembled game mechanics.

Asura’s Wrath seems to exist in the same world except instead of a great story it has an enormous amount of spectacle and little in the way of player agency.

As far as I can tell Asura is some kind of 6-armed demi-god badass who delights in punching gods in the face. The game is loud and beautiful in places with Dragon Ball-esque fights taking place in epic megapunch-laden one-on-one face-offs.

However, the conveyance of these battles is limited. The demo has two boss battles that may or may not be the whole chapter. The interactions are limited to a few sections where you paint targets with a reticule and then press a button, then spam some buttons in a really limited 3D fighter while responding to counters and performing counters yourself, and finally a shitload of Quick Time Events.

Aforementioned mega battle involves repeatedly hitting the B button.

The gameplay exhibited is almost 80% about responding to button prompts that overlay bombastic scenes. There is no denying that what’s going on looks impressive, with the wrathful Asura appearing suitably angry, and there are some attempts to marry what you do on the controller with what is happening in-game, but it doesn’t really seem to be enough.

It pains me to say that although both experiences I attempted in the demo were utterly hollow, I’ll be damned if I wasn’t grinning from ear-to-ear while vaporising a giant hand trying to crush the earth.

Seriously: you punch a Titan so hard that you almost go through his chest and end up knocking him into orbit, and then he goes all Power Rangers on you and gets even bigger.

Like, fucking huge.

If the demo is supposed to showcase examples of the best that the game has to offer then I am extremely worried about the full title. The budget seems to be focused on extravagant cut-scenes and character design, with all the action scenes heavily scripted and the outcome decided by binary button presses like a more impressive Guitar Hero.

Hopefully there is more depth or at least some variety to the combat and interactions in the full Asura’s Wrath, but if the game continues in the same vein as this initial teaser promises then I do not expect the full title to carry itself through on a 60 dollar/40 pound price tag.

Buuut.

There is definitely enough “Holy shit, that was pretty awesome” present to merit downloading the demo. You get to fight on the Moon with a guy who has a sword that can skewer the Earth. If that isn’t reason enough then I don’t know what is.

Asura’s Wrath is due out on the 24th February – thanks Eurogamer for the info.