Asura’s Wrath is an upcoming action game published by Capcom and developed by CyberConnect2 that was first announced at the Tokyo Game Show in 2010. The game takes elements form Asian mythology and blends them with Sci-Fi to create an interesting premise.
As soon as you start the demo you are treated to a crazy ass looping video in the background of the main menu that consists of the things you’ll be doing in the demo. The demo consists of two playable episodes, episode 5 and episode 11, both of which I played and both of which I enjoyed. The gameplay mechanics for both episodes were different but shared some similarities including a large amount of QTEs in the cutscenes. I wasn’t sure about the game until I played the demo. It looked cool from the start but hearing it described as similar to Heavy Rain killed most of my hype. I enjoyed Heavy Rain though, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t think that sort of style (heavy use of QTEs and cinematics) would work in a game that looked to be like an episode of Dragon Ball Z.
Episode 5: Hollow Victory, sees Asura fighting against a giant fat guy named Wyzen. The first part is an on-rails shooter sort of thing, much like Sin & Punishment, where Asura runs towards Wyzen while shooting fire/energy balls at him and avoiding Wyzens own shots. You can rapid fire with X or paint targets by aiming with the stick and hitting Y to fire at the locked on targets. Landing hits fills up the Burst Guage which when full prompts you to pull the Right Trigger to progress the story. This seems to be the main goal of the gameplay, do actions that fill up the meter then activate the Burst to move onto the next bit. Once you’ve done the first part you are treated to a cutscene where you need to pull off some QTEs and then Wyzen calls in a giant flying battleship to shoot you with lasers and missiles and a bunch of foot soldiers to harass you. This part plays similarly to the first except you aren’t constantly moving forward but instead have a small area to move side to side in with the addition of enemies that can be killed with a few hits of B and missiles that can be sent back to the ship with a well timed hit of Y. The third part plays like the first part except running side by side with Wyzen and with the missiles from the second part. When you Burst here though you end up punching Wyzen so hard through the stomach that he shoots off into outer space. The final part is all QTEs where Wyzen transforms into a planet sized giant and tries to crush you with his finger but you punch it so hard is kills him.
The gameplay is different in Episode 11: The Final Lesson, instead of playing like an on-rails shooter it plays more like an action brawler. You run around an arena and beat-up on Asura’s old master Augus while on the moon. There is still a fair amount of cut-scenes and QTEs in this episode too and both are full of DBZ-esque dialogue and monologues, some of which you can interrupt by hitting the B button to ‘Shut them up’.
Playing this demo really gave me strong Dragon Ball Z vibes. It really is like playing/watching an interactive DBZ episode. Yes, most of the really cool looking and awesome stuff happens during QTEs or cutscenes (like the super giant Wyzen trying to crush Asura under his finger or being run through and pushed back to Earth by Augus’ sword) but it’s still entertaining. Maybe not for everyone but I’d say if you love over the top action, DBZ or interactive movie like experiences (like Heavy Rain) then keep your eyes on this game. I’ll hopefully have a review up when it’s out here.