April 14, 2017 7:00 AM | Thomas Faust
There are no good guys in Asura. You are a demon, returning from the underworld to wreak havoc and take revenge on the Maharaja who got you into this mess by burning you at the stake. Time to learn a bit about Indian mythology and kill lots of baddies, action-RPG-style.
Instead of the usual gameplay loop of clicking and looting, Asura offers a slightly different, faster-paced experience. It has you attacking and dodging - ideally with a gamepad - while making sure your stamina doesn't run out. You have a melee and a ranged weapon that you can switch between, but you're only ever allowed to carry one of each kind. Pick up a new weapon and the old one disappears.
Vanquished foes can either be turned into experience or loot, so you can deck yourself out in awesome gear or work towards attaining more skills, some of which heavily impact the way you're playing. While this isn't a particularly deep system, it fits the fast-paced gameplay, as you won't spend too much time staring at inventory screens or distributing skill points.
Upon dying, you lose all of your progress and have to start from scratch, which does feel aggravating at first. However, the game keeps track of which elements you have already encountered and slightly alters every subsequent playthrough, so you're unlikely to repeatedly encounter the same skills and items.
In fact, the skill tree is procedurally generated, offering new surprises every time. This keeps you from relying on the same build and keeps you on your toes instead. When you're familiar with the game, you can also work towards unlocking more demon forms, which - you guessed it - brings even more variety into the mix.
With its fluid, motivating gameplay and the intriguing Indian theme, Asura is an impressive first effort for a small team. If you don't mind the fast-paced, stamina-dependent combat, you will find a lot to discover and like here.