Pyre. Comfort, magic, adventure

Supergiant Games are known for the fact that every few years, releasing recognized indie masterpieces, filled with charming atmosphere, thought-out plot and original ideas. Bastion  and Transistor  won numerous awards, and now from the studio is no longer waiting for the “average” or simply “good” games. Announcement Pyre in April 2016 immediately showed a departure from “faded» Transistor and the position of the lone protagonist. Bright colors, team play and a little strange (in the best of senses) RPG with elements of sports simulation – that’s what gave us Supergiant this time.

Exiles and long road home

The first landscape greets us very juicy picture.
The game does not show the logos of partners and even the studio – the main menu appears on the screen in silence, broken only by the soft crackling of the burning fire.
Click a few buttons, and almost immediately transported to the story. We – Reader, expelled from the Commonwealth for literacy and reading skills, as these skills are outlawed.
The only way to return from exile – to perform rituals, which according to legend can free the outcasts. On our way we meet people and bad people in strange masks, and with them have already joined the Order of the “Wings of the Night.” At the end of the cycle, we challenge other communities of exiles, who also want to regain their freedom. Or take it away from others.
Unnamed expanse of the world sometimes seem somewhat … surreal.
For the visual component is impossible to make a complaint – landscapes and arts characters are made at the highest level. Pyre like a fairy tale for older school age, and this is the basis of its charm – it allows you to relax and immerse yourself in a cozy and magical atmosphere of the new world, full of magic and colorful characters. You will command the adventure with friends, most of which you will spend reading the dialogue and descriptions, and immersion in the game world is multifaceted.
Exiles worn during rituals bizarre mask.
Along the way you collect a large and very heterogeneous group, where every character is able to create interest and even sympathy. You will meet an impressive demon who speaks in short, terse phrases; meet squeaking demonenkom whose cries the first time and can not tell; chat with “moon marked” savage, who hears the voices of his ancestors, and even see a sea worm in knightly armor.
Moreover, each character has A character with a capital letter. All of them – living and being formed with their ideals, desires and reasons to return home. More importantly – they are all somehow sentenced to banishment, and in most of the stories it adds an extra element of tragic. But (and this is especially nice) plot no pressure on emotions and not constantly trying to soften the player.
Heroes worthy of experiencing defeat and failure and humbly accept victories and triumphs. And because at the second hour of play you risk attached to each of your new friends, and then often to detect on his face foolish smile from ear to ear.

The flame will heal

After a split second, the opposing team lose its attacker.
But sometimes you need to be distracted from the beautiful visual novel – the story – and to do last rites. Responsible for them is the most athletic of the game. Rituals – a three on three matches. Each team has a fire, where the opponent has to throw the celestial sphere (or just jump her into the enemy fire). All characters have different characteristics of speed, throw distance, the height of the jump, as well as the “aura”. Aura – is the area around the hero, once in which the enemy for some time is eliminated from the game. Excellent attack tools.
In the campaign, we provide nine unique characters, each of them has unique abilities. The same demonenok can explode almost instantly revive … and the explosion will take place over a large area and will knock out of the game all fell under his opponents. Reasonable dog is able to jump over enemies (and even make double or triple jump), and the demon on landing throws enemies in hand.
But Rituals rules allow both to move only one of the three. So that the player is switched between static characters, passes the celestial sphere partners and trying to throw it into the fire on the other side of the field. All this – in the endless attempts to overtake the sometimes unfair fast AI.
Rituals are working on the principle of a sports league. They are all the same, but after a series of common games you derive a conditional final – Ritual of Liberation. The winner gets the right to return to one of the team members from exile.
Each arena for rituals is unique in design, layout and placement of obstacles.
Initially rituals seem a fun mini-game, enliven the narrative. But after a study of eight matches against all opponents suddenly we are given to understand that the rites – a key process, which depends on the development of the plot. You lose – the story still continues, but the characters will react to this event. For example, if you lose the Ritual of Liberation, you can see the unique cutscene – you will be shown how the winners fought and sacrificed themselves for the sake of which the battles.
Sometimes team members may refuse to participate for various reasons, whether it be sea-sick, or fear of a specific opponent.
Complexity is increasing gradually, but steadily, as “losers” in the Pyre in the usual sense is impossible. The number of “liberation” is limited, and you probably will not be able to pull out the first passage of the expulsion of all the friends. At one point we even deliberately lost the ritual of liberation, to see how to behave in the opposing team, and whom she was released. The result did not disappoint us.
In addition to this sports mechanics, Pyre has unpretentious system equipment (one character – one subject), crafting and basic character development. Each has two short branches talents on four levels – and with each increase in the character gains a sizeable gain in the rituals.
Bleeding does not seem difficult or tedious, but in the later stages, and will please fans of challenges. At some point, you get the optional modifiers complexity – the so-called “constellations of the Titans”, very similar to the modifiers of the Bastion. Each of them gives you the percentage increase to gain experience (here it is called “enlightenment”) and makes the condition difficult Ritual – increases the number of “lives” of enemy fire or the revival of the ejected players on your team. Always nice when the complexity can be delicately “twist” for themselves.
The game has local multiplayer – matches can be trained to safely plot against the AI ​​or other players. But we hope ever to see and full multiplayer – for the war with the whole world via Steam and PSN.

Adventures and Tales

In his free time traveling the player’s character can engage in their own affairs.
In contrast to the Bastion and Transistor, in Pyre no narrator, but there is a lot of text. Really a lot. And the real freedom of choice, which affects the final game … so far as such freedom is possible at all in a visual fantasy novel with integrated simulator magic basketball. We will not spoil, but the game involves quite impressive variability of the final (though as of this writing, we have seen only one version of the ending). We are waiting for at least three “global” endings (poor, good and perfect), and eighteen unique endings for the characters – depending on the results of the Rites of Liberation. Not all saved opponent will be your enemies on the other side, and not all players released figures stand on the side of “good”. But the result is directly dependent on the selection and playing skill.
Many opponents have a personal score to settle with your team members.
Emotionally Pyre us back to the state, something occurs after reading the first Harry Potter book – at night under the covers with a flashlight. It’s not dark fantasy, there is almost no violence, abuse and darkest shades (almost – but not quite, and it’s excellent). Sense of fairy tale covers players from all sides. Music by Darren Korb amazing fit into the dialogue, locations and battle themes. Crown banjo composer this time supplemented by the harp, sometimes – wild elektronschinoy, but somewhere – exotic instruments, whose names we will not even guess. The main thing is that they sound magical. No matter what happens on the screen – the music perfectly underlines this mass variations: from blues and folk motifs to combat oppressive electronic music and drum’n’bass-bits under the harp and flute.