I will be very interested to see what the critics think when Asura’s Wrath hits store shelves. That may seem like a strange viewpoint (I’m one of those critics, after all), but this game could be either loved or hated. That being said, I had a blast with the playable demo, which is intensely cinematic, beautifully drawn, and endlessly entertaining. In many ways, I was really surprised with the combined sense of ridiculous power and involving Quick Time Events.
But that’s where we really have to begin: the QTEs. You know what they are; they began in games like Resident Evil 4 and God of War but now they’re everywhere; during a cinematic sequence in which you don’t control the character in question, a button prompt will pop up, and you have to press it in a certain amount of time. This can involve analog movements or the face buttons and there are a lot of them in Asura’s Wrath . So many that some might be displeased.
Thing is, it takes some of the focus away from actual direct control, so it’s not really like Devil May Cry or something like that. There are two episodes to sample in the playable demo and both showcase the main character’s immense power and capability, but also make it plain that complex combos aren’t the order of the day. It’s more about mashing the attack button(s) until you’re given the opportunity to hit a bunch of continuous QTEs during attractive and hectic cinematic sequences.
I really don’t have a problem with it, but I imagine the hardcore action purists could be a touch annoyed. There isn’t anything particularly challenging about the QTEs; you typically have plenty of time and they’re implemented logically. So I don’t think you’ll be spending a huge amount of time memorizing and mastering direct-control combinations, although those simply may have been left out of the demo. The best part is hitting the Burst when it’s available and ending the world .
It’s hard to get an idea of the story, but all you really need to know is that Asura is pissed. He’s always pissed. He’s never not pissed. The gods ticked him off a while ago and ever since then, he’s been all about wreaking vengeance and taking down everyone and everything in his path. The voice acting is mediocre but unfortunately, that seems to be par for the course with Japanese productions these days. However, I’m fairly certain that the writing and plot won’t be huge points of interest.
There’s no doubt that Asura’s Wrath is going to be jam-packed with plenty of crowd-pleasing moments. Everything will just get bigger and bigger and bigger …or maybe it’ll start out huge and remain that way throughout. There’s a lot to like and this could turn out to be an original and awfully invigorating adventure. You should definitely consider a purchase when it arrives on February 21.