Asura's Wrath Updated Preview -- Who Needs Arms When You Have Unstoppable Rage?By Russ Frushtick - Posted Oct 31, 2011
If there's one thing that's clear about the star of Asura's Wrath, it's that he desperately needs a kitten. Every time we've seen the game, the one consistent feature is that Asura is really, really pissed off. That was indeed the case for the latest demo of the game, which highlighted his back story, as well as some new battles. So we're about to get down and dirty into a Japanese-created mythos for an anime-inspired character. Brace yourself.
Twelve-thousand years before the events of Asura's Wrath, the titular hero was not so filled with wrath. Actually, he was kind of happy. He had a wife, a daughter, and a job. At the time he was one of the eight guardian generals sworn to protect humans from a race of monsters known as the Gohma. Think of them like the morlocks from The Time Machine, and you're half way there.
Anyway, Asura's gig as a guardian general was going great until the leader of the guardian generals, a gentleman named Deus, decided to make a bid for power. Asura woke up one day, hands covered in blood, with the body of the emperor sitting dead before him. Bummer. Asura rushes home, knowing that his family is in danger, only to find his wife dead and his daughter has been kidnapped by Deus, who admits his whole nasty plot. Asura is then promptly killed and tossed down to earth where he remains dead for 12,000 years. But, surprise, surprise, he wakes up. And he's pissed.
We've seen Asura's Wrath a few times in the past and, thus far, the game has focused on large-scale battles against the seven remaining guardian generals. And by large scale, I mean battles against enemies whose pointer fingers could crush the Pacific Northwest. The large-scale battles tend to involve a lot of quick-time events (the developers call them "Synchonic Impacts" because no one likes to admit they have quick-time events in their game).
But Asura's Wrath isn't just about jumping from massive battle to massive battle. The game also has some smaller-scale fights. One of the fights we saw involved Asura having to fend off robotic sentry soldiers. And, unfortunately, Asura does not have any arms at the time. The combat engine accommodates this, still allowing him to power through enemies with weak and strong attacks (though ranged combat is out of the question).
Getting through a battle doesn't always involve just wiping out every enemy, though. Momentum is key. Sometimes the only way to progress through a fight is to fill up your Impact Meter. Once filled, you'll be able to trigger an interactive cut scene where Asura does something decidedly bad ass. That's really the crux of Asura's Wrath: watching him get really angry, Hulk out, and demolish the crap out of anyone within a square mile.
People have compared it to games like Bayonetta, but I think the draw of Asura's Wrath is simpler than that. It's the epitome of the power/revenge fantasy or, put another way, it's Japan's answer to God of War. It's hard to say whether the game will match the level of quality of Kratos' efforts, but Capcom is certainly going to try. And if it succeeds, I have a feeling that Asura will have plenty of wrath for a few more sequels.