Bandai Namco is hitting the free-to-play space with this 2v2, 3D battle arena title, Rise of Incarnates. According to a press release from Bandai Namco, the team behind Incarnates includes people from the Tekken, SoulCalibur, and Gundam Extreme VS games.
It’s a frenetic experience in an open 3D battleground. Your core abilities include both melee and ranged attacks, shields, and Dissidia-style dashing, leaping, and flying. If you enjoyed the Dissidia fighting style, you probably want to keep an eye on this one. The freedom of movement seems to be both Incarnates’ biggest strength and biggest weakness. It’s a unique combat experience, which opens a number of interesting strategies, but it’s also quite disorienting at times.
Even though this is a PC game, it’s clearly meant to be played with a controller, so if you decide to check out the alpha (details at end of article), you’re going to want an X360 controller for your PC.
Story-wise, don’t expect anything much more interesting than the SoulCalibur franchise — it is a fighting game, after all, so we have to set our narrative expectations accordingly. Basically, the world has gone to hell in a wastebasket with meteorites falling from the sky and freak weather incidents. At the same time, a number of individuals, known as Incarnates, have become fused with “daimons” granting them extraordinary powers — there’s kind of an X-Men thing going on with these people. The daimons are manifestations of mythological beings from around the world. The four currently-announced incarnates are fused with The Grim Reaper, Ares, Mephistophales, and Lilith.
Each character feels significantly different in play style, and each has a number of different attacks available at any given moment. These skills have a sort of ammo-like system, with the ability to use each replenishing over time. Additionally, there are special abilities which charge up when you deal damage. Jedrek Tyler can turn into a demonic monster, something like a Devil May Cry devil trigger form, while Dr. Gasper Watteau can summon hordes of zombies out of the ground to overwhelm his enemies.
It’s still early in its cycle — Incarnates just had its first alpha at the end of last month — but it seems like an interesting new take on the fighting game. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. There’s a good chance that Bandai Namco is hoping for Incarnates to become a staple of the eSports fighting game world, and it certainly has a shot.
If you want to try it out yourself, you can sign up for the alpha or watch the trailer at the Rise of Incarnates website