For those who played Supergiant’s previous titles, Bastion and Transistor, Pyre‘s art style and presentation will be familiar. While neither Bastion nor Transistor felt small, Supergiant claimed that Pyre ups the ante. “We can now safely say that it’s the biggest game we’ve ever created, offering substantially more ways to play and more characters to meet than either Bastion or Transistor before it.”
The party-based RPG brings a ragtag group of misfits together to travel across eerie lands and compete in “ancient competitions.” In our preview, we likened Pyre‘s team-oriented competitions to a magical version of NBA Jam. The competitions are referred to as Rites, fast-paced three-on-three battles where the goal is to take out the other team’s signal flame before they manage to extinguish yours.
Each exiled party member has their own unique backstory and abilities, making your choice of who to send into the Rites in a specific scenario a matter of strategy and play style. Despite the increased emphasis on high-stakes action, Supergiant still wants Pyre to deliver a seamless narrative experience. If you fail in battle, you will never lose progress, and the story will carry on, regardless. How exactly this mechanic will work in practice, we will have to just wait and see, but it is an obvious nod to players who enjoyed the narratively rich experiences found in Bastion and Transistor.
Beyond the single-player mode, there is local two-player multiplayer. Players assemble a three-person team from more than 20 characters, customize their team’s abilities, and duke it out across a range of stages that require different approaches.
Pyre is a change of pace for Supergiant. We will find out if it pays off when it launches July 25 for PS4 and PC.