For me, this is a very difficult game to like or hate. I was originally blown away by the first trailer and had extremely high hope for the game. Refreshing setup, kick ass action, preposterous enemies. Really really high hope. Then more I watched gameplay videos, less I was impressed. Finally the demo became available on PSN Today.
The demo includes two Episodes from the game. Episode 5 and 11. The major problem I have with this game is it has way too frequent quick time events (QTE) during the fights. Basic sequence is [button mash]->[QTE to trigger some mildly amusing actions]->[Button mash]->[QTE to trigger next stage]->[Button mash]…….. This context switching is simply way too frequent for me to enjoy actions comfortably. Two Episodes in this demo shows that problem very clearly.
Episode 5 is even worse including completely out of place, IMHO, shooting section to the game.
Episode 11 is an interesting piece. First of all, the music is “out-of-place”, IMHO yet again. I can appreciate that the developer wants to break normal heavy-metal background with classic tune to make things epic, but just adding the music simply does not work in this case. If the music slowly changed into more elaborated tune like mix of orchestra and heavy metal or India style music to match the theme, that would be much better.
The gameplay of Episode 11 is slightly better than Episode 5 due to the lack of shooting parts. But still, the QTE happens way too frequent and it breaks the rhythm of the gameplay. The insane sword scene at the end actually made me chuckle and somewhat raised my interest of the game back.
More I play this, more I appreciate how good the original God of War game was. The first hydra battle in GOW just blew the socks of me. A perfect example of fighting giant boss with multiple stages of fight. Of course, unfortunately GOW made QTE very popular among action games and Asura’s Wrath suffers from it by trying way too hard to make the gameplay epic by incorporating so many small cut-scenes using QTEs. The setting is epic without any question, yet the execution of the gameplay is somewhat lacking… big time.
The graphic wise, the artistic direction is quite good, but the technical side is somewhat inconsistent. Some parts look really good like character modeling, but others like background and other objects (like that stupid ship) are so so. However, this is only the demo. We will see.
I really hope this game delivers when it is release in February 21 US. Hmm.. actually it is released today in Japan. Better check some review 😛