Today, Bandai Namco Games America announced Rise of the Incarnates, a 2 vs. 2 free-to-play title that bleeds the essence of the fighting genre. Made over the past three years by some of the creators of the critically acclaimed Tekken and SoulCalibur, Bandai is seeking to popularize the gametype extremely popular in Japan.
Players take the role of “Incarnates," humans that have untold powers as they attempt to change the world. Both feared and despised by the general public and used by governments for their abilities, the Incarnates have taken to battle after being called to destroy the "“Sovereign of this era.”
Examiner recently got hands on with the title and got to play all four of the revealed Incarnates: Ares, Lilith, Mephistopheles, and Grim Reaper. Each has a distinct playstyle that when combined with your partner opens up incredible combo opportunities. Every champion has a ranged and melee attack which can be empowered to a superior version which does more damage or covers more ground. It's the ultimate abilities of these characters that truly differentiate them however.
Ares summons an armored guard that allows him to pull off combos by himself. Mephistopheles evolves to a superior form which does more damage and recharges his abilities faster. The Grim Reaper, perhaps the most characteristic of the bunch summons a hoard of zombies which he rolls on top of, crushing and trapping enemies underneath him. They're all a ton of fun to work towards and can serve as complete game changers.
The emphasis on teamwork is humongous, without the proper focus and strategy the enemy team can separate you and pick you apart. Each duo is tasked with running the enemy team out of lives. Both members share a cumulative pool that eventually runs out and determines the winners.
Battling on multiple maps across real world locations including New York, Paris, San Francisco, London, Rise of the Incarnates could end up being the next incredibly competitive eSports title.
"The opportunity to optimize our content is the key to [our] success," comments In Joon Hwang, Director of Digital Games.
Many were curious as to why Bandai Namco went with a free-to-play model and his answer was incredibly discerning.
"Premium purchase either locks you into losing players and looking elsewhere [for potential purchasers] or giving in and changing your game." Hwang continues, "Free-to-play allows you to have players return in three years because [the experience] has improved."
And Bandai Namco is putting everything it has into making this a thoroughly enjoyable experience. "We have our brand name to uphold," says Hwang. "We cannot disappoint you."
Entering closed alpha towards the end of May or early June and releasing in the latter half of 2015 exclusively on PC, Rise of the Incarnates looks to be another revolutionary step in the free-to-play genre.