Bandai Namco’s mid-April press event didn’t have too many surprise announcements or knock-you-on-your heels demonstrations, but one upcoming PC game seems promising. It’s called Rise of Incarnates, a free-to-play, four-player fighting game where you control half of a team of superheroes battling it out in a ruined city.
Rise of Incarnates is based on the two-versus-two fighting genre previously seen in the Japanese arcade and PS3 game Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Versus. With two opponents fighting against you and an ally on your side, battles can take a variety of interesting turns. You might square off evenly against one other combatant, suddenly become outnumbered, or gang up on a solo combatant. As fighters fly around the arena, the dynamics of each battle shifts dramatically.
These arenas come pre-destroyed.
In Rise of Incarnates, you play as a superhero with over-the-top powers. The four we tried out include Jedrek, a slick-haired bravado who transforms into the fiery demon Mephistopheles, and Dr. Wattau, a mad scientist who can summon an army of ghouls. There’s also the lithe Mireia and hulking Ares, who have very different attack speeds and power. Eventually, the roster will include around 20 characters, which will be gradually rolled out after launch.
Each character has a short and long-range attack, often involving swinging a sword and firing a gun or bolt of energy. In addition, you can charge up super attacks and fly around the arenas with a great deal of freedom. The arenas, however, are almost completely deserted, with only a few rare destructible items like buses. These arenas come pre-destroyed, and are set in the ruins of cities like New York and Paris.
Since Rise of Incarnates is a free-to-play game, you’ll be able to jump into a match and join a fight without having to pay for the initial download. However, you’ll have the opportunity to pay for extra customization and convenience, such as weapons, outfits, and consumable items.
With fast and varied action, we enjoyed our hands-on time with Rise of Incarnates. The characters all felt distinct, and we’re looking forward to seeing which new contenders join the fight. On the downside, the arenas felt sparse, and since the game was in an early state, the laptops we played it on were chugging along, causing a bit of lag.
Rise of Incarnates will be available by the end of the year, but you can sign up now on Bandai Namco’s website to be a part of the alpha testing phase. You can also get a feel for the story by reading the free online comic book, which introduces the initial four characters. Even at this early stage, Rise of Incarnates seems like a fun fighting game, and you can’t beat the price, so keep an eye out for it later this year.