Stoke the fire for Pyre.
The hype for Pyre at this weekend’s PAX East in Boston was stoked to white hot fervor and for good reason. Supergiant’s announcement of a hands-on play-test for their 3rd title resulted in 2 hour long lines around their booth and several instances of line-caps. And for good reason as Supergiant’s other titles, Bastion and Transistor, are already indie legends for their deeply immersive game play, gorgeous visuals, and award-worthy soundtracks. And Pyre is shaping up to be another solid victory for Supergiant.
In the Pyre demo, you assumed the role of a social outcast, rescued from a desert wasteland known in the game as The Downside by three masked wanderers. The three strangers are the heroes (or perhaps villains) you see on Pyre’s promotional art, adoring elaborate masks and robes. As you befriend and begin traveling with these rescuers, they let you know of the world’s history as well as their hopes for freedom from the oppressive subjugation that they receive at the hands of other cultures and classes. To receive this freedom, the band of adventurers, of which you become a part, must engage in a series of ritualistic competitions.
These Pyre matches are more akin to a fast-paced, magical Lacrosse game mixed with the American Gladiators’ event; Powerball. In the Pyre match, players are required to pass a magical sphere between themselves as they move around and through a playing field filled with obstacles and dangers. The objective is to smash the orb into the opponent’s Pyre to ‘score’. However, whoever scored the point for your team is then temporarily exiled into another dimension, leaving you with only 2 players for a short time. Each player boasts their own strengths and weaknesses, so strategizing who should be on offense, defense, as well as who should score for your team is a huge mix of fun, challenging, and very fast-paced strategy.
All aspects of the Pyre demo flowed seamlessly into one another and nothing felt out of place or frustrating. Talking with my companions as we traveled the world was easy and engaging. Depending on who I talked to and what questions I asked could increase certain stats to that character. Boosted stats greatly affected their abilities in Pyre matches, which in turn advanced the story and unlocked new places to explore in the story.
Needless to say, Pyre is quickly shaping up to be another indie-legend for Supergiant.
Pyre is slated to drop in 2017 on Steam and PS4.