As a third person action brawler, Asura’s Wrath has a standard behind the back camera, giving the player a comprehensive view of the battlefield, its limits and enemy positions. Fighting is simple with only one button for heavy attacks, another for light attacks, one for dodging and a fourth for jumping. Contrary to the popular narrative, this game has many sections that put the player in control of Asura expecting the player to fight and defeat various enemies with little to no Quick Time Events to bail them out. The boss battles reminded me of early attempts to replicate the Dark Souls magic, not in their difficulty but in their insistence on the player to learn the patterns of the demigods so as to earn enough energy to hit the burst button(RT/R2) and go into full QTE mode.
Quick Time Events were created to give the player a chance to do things that they normally wouldn’t be able to do in the game. Examples include Marcus Fenix kicking a door open in Gears of War, Kratos “delicately” beheading Helios with his bare hands in God of War 3 or Chris Redfield punching a boulder in Resident Evil 5. They range from functional, to engaging, to the absolutely ridiculous. Although used sparingly in the current generation, back in 2010, it was all the rage with its presence felt in all genres within the gaming industry. Asura’s Wrath, a game released in 2012 didn’t escape the QTE treatment, in fact it is absolutely littered with QTE’s. But unlike many of its contemporaries, the QTE’s in Asura’s Wrath make sense and seem necessary, this is because the player is controlling a literal God, taking on other Gods. Much like God of War, it would seem out of place and even insulting to not give the player a chance to BE a God, defeating another God. So even though you have your standard battle with heath bars being depleted and the telegraphed attacks being memorized, the end of the battle cannot be just another generic cut scene with the defeated foe at the players feet, no, a fantastical setting like Asura’s Wrath deserves much more.
This game is a testament to the longevity of stylized design. While games like Max Payne 3, Resident Evil 6 and Far Cry 3 show their age graphically, Asura’s Wrath only reveals its age with the inclusion of extensive QTE sequences and the absence of any modern day censoring. Other than those 2 gripes, it would be easy to pass it off as a 2022 release, and that’s because it doesn’t look that much different from any stylized games released in recent years such as Scarlet Nexus, Code Vein or Tales of Arise, games that will also age like wine in terms of appearance.
The Music in Asuras Wrath is generic for the subject matter. There’s a lot of synths, horns and lonely voices that seem to scream even though they are singing. Some of the vocals are laced with so much despair it brings chills to the players back. Furueru Kokoro is the one that grabbed me personally, it manages to encompass everything in the main campaign perfectly, the despair and anger of the humans, the soldiers ready to lay waste to everything at the drop of a dime and the arrogance of the seven deities. There is a huge issue with the sound balance in-game, for some reason the music is louder than any of the voices during cut scenes in which there is music. This unfortunately forced me to have to turn on subtitles as I could not hear anything, even though the plot is not that engaging in general I was invested in it so this was a bummer.