Asura's Wrath Review
Console(s): Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Release Dates: February 21st, 2012 (NA)/ February 23rd, 2012 (JP,AU)/ February 24th, 2012 (EU)/ March 9th, 2012 (UK)
Engine: Unreal Engine 3
Genre: Action Beat ‘em Up
Rating: T (Blood, Language, Partial Nudity, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence)
Unlease Your Inner Wrath
Let me just start out by saying that this game blew away all of my previous expectations and replaced them with things I have only dreamed of. To quote it best “This game was grown on a tree in heaven”. Asura’s Wrath may very well be one of the best game I’ve ever put into my Xbox 360. This over-the-top, visually blessed and extremely outrageous title won the award for Best Action Game at the 2011 E3 convention for all the right reasons. To clarify, Asura’s Wrath is indeed a mix of Asian Mythology and Sci-Fi but also heavily influenced by Hinduism and a tiny bit Buddhism.
The Demigods known as The Eight Guardian Generals watch over the mortals of Gaea from the monstrous creatures known as The Gohma. Among the demigods is General Asura who defeated and pushed back the Gohma.
Honestly, I was completely caught off guard with how well the story was done. Being able to interact with the cutscenes and the connections with the characters is truly remarkable. What I really liked are all the manga comic strip stories that fill the gap between episodes. Each one is illustrated by a different artist and features unique artwork.
I seen a lot of people comparing Asura’s Wrath to God of War or Devil May Cry, but I’m here to tell you that’s not quite right. Yes, this title does seem to be a Japanese version of God of War. However, it’s more accurate to say this is a blend of Heavy Rain and God of War. You see, Asura’s Wrath plays out like an interactive anime using QTE. (Quick Timed Events) Yes, it is a beat-em’-up game and it does feature a set of combos but the main attraction comes from the QTE. During these segments, you rapidly push a button or time your button presses to success. When you do fight, your main goal is to fill up your Burst gauge by means of performing combos, counters, and super attacks. Once you build up the Burst gauge, you can activate the interactive cinematic. Trust me, if you’re a fan of anime or know of Dragonball Z, you will love being able to play these moments. There is also the Unlimited gauge, which makes Asura stronger and allows him to use moves more often. The Unlimited gauge is filled by inflicting damage as well as taking it too.
Then you have the On-rail shooting sections of the game. These happen during moments when the action is fast and crazy. Be it a high speed chase on foot or falling from space, these parts help to break up the regular routine. The goal is still the same; to build up the Burst gauge to trigger the QTE. It is done through different means though. Your main ways of attacking are to shoot what looks to be Ki blasts from Asura’s arms. Using the reticle on-screen, you can rapidly fire these blasts or shoot off concentrated shots to deal out damage. That’s about it, Asura’s Wrath isn’t one of the most complex games out there but it makes up for it with outrageous moments and crazy action packed fights.
The graphics are crisp and smooth, which helps to capture how detailed the character models are. During battle, you can see the scars and bruises left on the skin of either Asura or those that oppose him. Even the surroundings are pleasing to the eyes. As for the soundtrack, it is filled with Asian culture music that only helps to add to the beauty of this title. During the fights, there is always a beat that just immerses you into the action. Asura’s Wrath, in my opinion, is a beautifully crafted title that is worthy of praise.
I haven’t been this excited for a game in a long time but I promise that I have examined the game without being bias. That being said, there are a few issues that hinder the game from getting a perfect score. The lack of combos is definitely a problem that hopefully will be fixed in the inevitable sequel. Also, there isn’t a lot of exploration that can be done. Meaning you won’t be able to open chests or anything of that nature. This game is a simple interactive animestyled beat ‘em up but at times though, simplicity is best. I can tell you right now that I will be playing Asura’s Wrath for months to come.
Have you played Asura’s Wrath? If so, do you agree with Marcus’ review? If not, are you interested?