E3 2014: Rise of Incarnates Q&A and Impressions

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All impression is based on an Alpha build of the game and not a representation of the launch version.

Bandai Namco is looking to invade the free to play sector with its newest online title, Rise of Incarnates.

RoI is a relatively new gametype here. Popularized by the Gundam Versus series in Japan, the concept is to cooperate with a partner and work together to bring down opposing team, who will also be doing the same. It’s a game that demands the utmost coordination with your teammate and awareness of everyone on the field to come out ahead.

The controls for RoI expand on the previous four button scheme from the Versus series, there are four buttons that will shoot a ranged attack, perform melee attacks, jump into the air, and change targets. Jumping consumes a boost gauge that limits the amount of airtime you get. Each character comes with an arsenal of abilities that are mapped to at least two other special move keys. Each of those abilities are limited by an ammo counter which slowly replenishes itself after running out. In addition to those new keys, RoI adds a dedicated block button which momentarily blocks all attacks coming to the direction you are facing. Timing the block is crucial as it consumes the boost gauge. The majority of the fight you will be trying to hit your opponents while avoiding theirs at the same time so making sure those shots count is important. The game’s balance revolves around a cost system. Both teams have a set amount of cost points of 6000, the characters themselves are classified into their cost class of 1000, 2000, and 3000. Fragile characters like Lilith, a keep away character, cost only 1000. More powerful characters like the hulking Ares cost 3000. When they repawn, their cost value is subtracted from the team pool. First team to deplete to zero loses.

There was a demo area for ROI at the Namco Bandai area already pitting two-man teams against another. I found it weird that for a game that’s keen on being marketed towards the PC gamer, the setups used XBOX controllers. The current control scheme is awkward and intuitive for those wishing to play on keyboard and mouse. I played two quick rounds with other journalists with the first one using Ares, a smartly dressed enforcer who can summon the god of war to assist him. Other characters include Grim Reaper, a mad scientist, Mephistopheles, a rather hot headed swordsman, and Lilith, a voluptuous dual wielding vixen. From the start, I could tell that the other players were not familiar with this type of game and simply began mashing all the attack buttons much like you would see a newbie playing his first fighting game. The game relies heavily on movement and positioning which my opponents were still grasping to figure out. The overall impression of tag teams seemed unrewarding and often forgotten by my partner. Incarnates, the unique power that each character possesses are the right step that are in tune with their respective play styles. Other elements such as a socket customization also seemed incomplete though I told those would be addressed in the next beta of the game.

I was able to attend a Q&A session with producers Ryu Baba, Michael Murray alongside Daisuke Murano, who is overseeing development on the title, to discuss some of the details surrounding the game. We were shown two new playable characters named Brynhildr and Odin which you can watch below:

http://youtu.be/tYhzWGLreVE

The Q&A continued with the producers showing off an on-going online comic book that gives a little more background to our characters. The website will periodically update with new issues as more content is added to the game and can also be used to tease new content or characters. Much of the discussion revolved around how Namco plans to move the game type from its Gundam roots in order to appeal to a broader audience. By making an original IP, they can start fresh to make RoI into a popular competitive title much like the popular MOBAs and fighting games on the market. I asked about the inclusion of destructible environments and their roles in the game specifically. The general response we were given is a cryptic possibility and the team will look to see what to bring to the game through testing and community feedback. I’m hopeful for they bring to the next beta test in the summer and I hope they clean up the controls to better accommodate keyboard players.  As a gundam versus fan, I want the rest of the world to enjoy this unique type of competitive games.

 The next beta for Rise of Incarnates is planned for sometime this year. If you’re interested I suggest checking out the official website for more details.

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Hokan Lo
Hokan Lo 324 posts

Hokan Lo is a contributing writer and photographer for Nerd Reactor. He likes Pizza Butts and Mello Yellow. You can contact him on twitter @colorinlive. <a href="http://nerdreactor.com/about/">Meet the Nerd Reactor Team</a>