Anger is atomic in the world of Asura’s Wrath. Just as atomic are the battles, character design, storyline and quick time events. If you are looking to experience a different kind of a game, and a story that you can only truly appreciate through this interactive medium, Asura’s Wrath is definitely one to take on. From the onset of the game’s over-the-top galactic battle, the player is bound to be overcome with intrigue to dig deeper into what the heck is going on.
Asura’s Wrath is a game best enjoyed by the player experiencing it, so I won’t tear open the details that developer CyberConnect2 and Capcom have wrapped up in this package. To sum up the overarching story, players take the role of demigod Asura, one of the Eight Guardian Generals protecting Gaea and its human inhabitants. The planet’s animal inhabitants are twisted incarnations of their former being, known as the Gohma. The Gohma are enraged and darkened elephants, gorillas, manta rays and more. Something pissed the Gohma off and it is pretty likely to have been the humans. Boiling at the core of Gaea is Vlitra, a monster of mother earth. It is the demigods and their heavenly array of spaceships and godlike super-cyber powers that can only quell the rage of Gaea and “purify” it. When deception and deceit defile the ranks of the Eight Guardian Generals, not even 12,000 years can calm the rage of Asura.
Asura’s Wrath has the kind of events and story you want to share with the non-gamers you may know. Yet, its story is best told through this interactive gaming medium. Be prepared for many quick time event reactions (pressing buttons or pushing thumbsticks in the right direction). Besides keeping players on edge on what button command is coming next, some of the movements (or intense button mashing) put you in one with Asura. Whether it is extending Asura’s six arms or taking a swig of sake, interactive moments are beyond the standard jump or punch at the right second. That said, don’t expect extended third-person action sequences. Asura’s Wrath teeters in between games like Heavy Rain and third-person games. There are three main parts to the story of Asura’s Wrath, divided up in an episodic style (as seen in games like Alan Wake and Alone in the Dark). The episodic presentation helps set the tone of the upcoming conflicts and provide recaps of the story if you have taken a little break from the game. It also reminds you how story is the driving force of Asura’s Wrath.
The graphics of Asura’s Wrath border in between a cell-shaded and a light textured style. Using the Unreal Engine 3, this is yet another unique application of Epic Games’ production tools. At times, Asura’s Wrath feels like an anime. Sprinkled throughout are illustrations and many unlockable pieces of art to take in the unique artistic direction of Asura’s Wrath. The character designs are well crafted, being unbelievable at times. Players may feel the character designs fall somewhere in between Bayonetta and Devil May Cry, but uniquely all onto its own in Asura’s Wrath. See why the Brahmastra makes the Death Star look subatomic. The soundtrack also entertains with a unique blend of styles from western themes to Symphony No. 9. As for the voice acting, Asura’s rage is heavily enunciated throughout the game. For the most part, these are burly deities you are dealing with here. That’s an understatement for Asura’s Wrath.
Asura’s Wrath is a single-player game, with a fairly expected Capcom letter ranking system for replay value. For players to truly get a grip around Asura’s Wrath and experience an additional chapter, an “S” rank must be attained in at least five of the 18 episodes (or complete 50 episodes in various degrees of difficulty). Besides unlocking more of Asura’s Wrath character art, special gauges can also be unlocked. The gauges allow for differing effects during battle (such as better defense, recharging of powers and more). So to fully achieve the game’s value, expect some replay of some levels. To appreciate the story, and build up your power gauge options, start on Easy and then go from there.
If you tire of sequels and the many standard game genres, Asura’s Wrath delivers a truly refreshing story, incomprehensible atomic battles and visually striking character designs. Gamers open to experiencing something different will be pleased with what they find in Asura’s Wrath. If it is open-world, fighting, third-person action, FPS or some other popular genre like that you are looking for, well, there is plenty of it out there to satiate you. If you want to play something a bit different, unbound with energy and deep with story, Capcom and CyberConnect2 have offered up this serving of atomic rage in this must play experience of Asura’s Wrath.
4 out of 5 stars
Thanks to Capcom for making this review possible.