Gaea, a world much like our own, is inhabited by a variety of human tribes. However, it is under constant attack from the bloodied, demonic, destructive and impure race know as the Gohma, created by the terrifying Vlitra who rests as part of the very planet itself. On the other hand, Gaea’s protectors are a group of powerful and technologically advanced demigods, ruled by Emperor Strada and his unstoppable Eight Guardian Generals.
After the latest open conflict with the Gohma and with Vlitra finally beaten back for now, Asura, one of the Guardian Generals is betrayed by his comrades, framed for the death of the Emperor, witnesses the death of his wife and kidnapping of his priestess daughter, and ultimately is killed by the scheme’s orchestrator.
12,000 years later, an reawakened, rage-fueled, and wrathful Asura has the chance to rejoin the land of the living… revenge the only thing on his mind!
A joint game venture by Japanese gaming houses Capcom and CyberConnect2, Asura’s Wrath is a very interesting experiment in gaming to say the least. Featuring a hugely distinctive manga-inspired art style, the game could be described as a rich, multi-part, Buddhist lore-infused anime series, punctuated with bouts of action brawling gameplay.
Split up into episodes and chapters, each with its own narrated introduction, credit sequences and some gorgeous CG cut scenes, the actual gaming is very much a stop start affair, and at no point are you never not aware of the all important progressing story line.
At the heart of the actual gameplay, Asura’s Wrath is a 3rd person brawler, with your character being gifted with the standard light and heavy attack options, a dodging/jumping ability, as well as the ability to unleash ranged mystic bolts, all of which can fluidly be combined as you are pitted up against horde after horde of both Gohma and demigod constructs. Boss battles make up a large percentage of your battles and as expected from such a stylized game, the battles are epic, very varied, and quite satisfying to compete.
And mind you, if the gameplay wasn’t already punctuated enough by all the story breaks, Asura’s Wrath goes one step further by utilizing the full range of context button motions, quick time events and good old single button bashing to constantly change things up in terms of the fight scenes, not to mention the clever shooter on rails sections they throw into the mix every now and then as well!
Like I said, everything is done on a grandiose and epic scale, and some of the animation sequences are without a doubt the most thrilling and awe-inspiring you’ll have seen in quite some time – but in the same breadth exactly what you kind of expect from a Japanese-made game by now. (For heaven’s sake, you even fight a former colleague who transforms into a being bigger than the planet and who is trying to crush you with his finger which is technically now a meteor approaching you in the sky!)
As expected from this type of game the combat is pretty fluid, though ultimately shallow and not particularly challenging, meaning that if you are looking to play a decent game, you’re probably going to be left disappointed. However, if you want an entertainment experience, then Asura’s Wrath certainly won’t disappoint.
An epic and hauntingly beautiful soundtrack complements some fantastic voice acting, and when you throw in the gorgeous and dynamic visual style of the game combined with slick and action-packed cut scene choreography that is simply on a scale of awesomeness not usually seen, you get one hell of an interesting gaming experiment that is quite unlike anything you might have played before.
Certainly worth looking at then if you have a soft spot for anime or Japanese-told stories, but perhaps not such a good bet if you are looking for a more traditional hack/slash action game or come from the first person shooter world.
I have to say, I myself enjoyed the experience but in the same breadth I can’t say that I loved it. Still, Asura’s Wrath is definitely a good surprise package, that’s for sure!
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asura%27s_Wrath