Pyre, the latest game from Supergiant Games (the creators of Bastion and Transistor), came out yesterday. I got the chance to play a round of Pyre‘s versus mode at last year’s PlayStation Experience, and I knew from those few minutes that I was going to love this game. Now that it’s out, I can officially confirm that I was right. I’ve only been able to put a little over an hour into it, so this isn’t anywhere close to a review. But it was a hell of an hour.
Here are some more specific thoughts:
The core gameplay itself, consisting of a sports-adjacent three-on-three battle known as the Rites, is smooth, intuitive, and a lot of fun. Pyre‘s balancing act of offensive advancement, defensive chasing, and pre-emptive destruction of opponents takes a little getting used to, but it’s simple enough to pick up and play. The whole point of the rights is essentially to score goals on your opponents and extinguish their pyre before they can do the same to you. And it’s a blast.
The characters, at least the ones I’ve met so far, are varied in terms of both personality in the game’s story segments and contributions to the team during the Rites. Attributes, including speed and even points scored (known in the game as Glory), vary between them—meaning there’s a bit of strategy that goes into determining which three members of your team are going into battle. Their interactions with each other and with me as the player (which is a fun perspective for the game to put players in) feel true to what little I’ve been able to learn about each of them so far, and they’re all clearly distinct individuals.
Pyre‘s post-apocalyptic/fantasy world setting and its quest for redemption, mystery-tinged plot are right up my alley, so it’s no wonder I’m digging it so far. It would have been almost impossible for me to not be into a game with that setup, but Pyre does more than just appeal to my interests in those areas. It’s telling an interesting story in its world accompanied by often thrilling gameplay in the Rites. I feel like I’ve only taken baby steps toward the game’s final destination, but I’m eager to get back into it for to see where the story goes just as much as I am to get back into the Rites themselves.
At this point, Pyre is firing on all cylinders and not showing any signs of letting up. It’s not just fun gameplay and an interesting story with unique characters. It’s all of those things with gorgeous visuals and a killer soundtrack I could easily see myself adding to my collection.
Pyre has some stiff competition to get anywhere near the top of my 2017 favorites, but I can see it getting close if it keeps going the way it has been so far. It was one of my most anticipated games of the year after playing it at PSX last year, and it’s exceeded all of my expectations so far. If any of what I’ve mentioned here appeals to you, go ahead and check it out.
Pyre is out now on PlayStation 4 and PC.