By Jordan Hall (ApocaRUFF)
Rise of Incarnates is a free-to-play fighting game available on Steam. From the same creators that worked on games like Tekken and Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs, there is a certain expectation for the game. You will take on the role of an Incarnate, a person who has found themselves with the power of deities, demons, and other such mythological creatures. You will fight in a team of two against another team of two in death matches, striving for dominance. After their widely marketed open beta launch earlier this week, we figured the game was done with the hype machine. But with tons of announced updates, new characters, and a full launch announcement this month, we figured we’d give Rise of Incarnates one more chance to wow us. Does it now live up to player expectations? We shall see.
Customization is limited to making use of some pieces of equipment and Skill Cubes. Equipment is self explanatory, but you can equip things like accessories and weapons. These are cosmetic in nature, so they don’t effect your characters at all. Skill Cubes can be placed in the Skill Grid to grant your character bonuses. Overall, the Skill Grid system feels lacking and you almost wonder why it was included after you’ve messed with it a bit, but the costumes are a nice touch (if you have the money to spend on it, that is).
Rise of Incarnates is a pretty game. From the battle arena, to the characters, to the effects of your attacks. It all looks fantastic. This is both great and bad. Great because who doesn’t like a good looking game, right? Bad because there isn’t much in the way of graphics options, so if you don’t have a decent computer you won’t have much luck with lowering the graphics to fit your needs. Not that it matters much, as Rise of Incarnates’ optimization is quite bad to begin with (but I’ll get into that later). But if you’re the type who needs a game to look great so that you can enjoy it, this will meet your criteria.
For the most part, quite smooth. As long as you have a gamepad to play with, that is. The keyboard controls were bad when DizzyPW first tested this at E3 2014, and have not aged well since then. Unless you have a will of iron, and skills that far exceed your foes, then you won’t have a good time without using a PS3, Xbox, or some other gamepad to play. Personally, I used my PS3 controller (along with Better DS3) and had a blast playing. I did try to use the keyboard and mouse, but ended up rage quitting because it was too annoying. So, the controls are a pleasant experience, but only if you’re playing with a gamepad.
Early on, the game had more than a few issues that resulted in a lot of angry players. Most of them have been fixed (such as adding the ability to buy all characters with in-game currency), so a decent number of players have come back or stayed with the game. Back when I first tried playing the game, I found it incredibly annoying to find a match. Now when I try to find a match, I’ll get one almost instantly, even at the later time zones (in America). I’m not sure if I would call the community large, but I don’t think it’s small.
The last time I played Rise of Incarnates, which was several months ago, the game suffered from a lot of issues. This time around, things are a bit better but there are still problems. Having to open the “Gameplay” section with complaints sucks, but it’s hard not to when four out of five matches I try to play result in a random disconnect. And, on top of that, the game still needs to be tweaked for better performance. So while the gameplay itself is quite fun, actually getting to enjoy it can be quite the ordeal.
Combat is typical of a fighting game. If you’re the type who enjoys fighting games, be it Mortal Combat, Dragon Ball: Xenoverse or anything in-between, will find something appealing in Rise of Incarnates. Although I have to admit that it’s definitely closer to the Dragon Ball: Xenoverse end of the spectrum. You have two attacks, two special versions of those two attacks, and one “uber” move that results in different things depending on the “Class” of the character you’re playing. Combat is very 3D and, while you can’t fly freeform, you’ll spend a lot of time strafing in the air.
Speaking of classes, each character falls within one of a few archetypes. In general, there are those that don’t transform, those that transform, and those that summon. At least where the current lineup of characters is concerned, anyways. Each character is given a ranged attack and a melee attack, both of which have a “special” version. Combos are present, but seem limited for most characters. Team combos exist, though, so if you enjoy playing with friends in fighting games, you can work together in some interesting ways.
Right now there is only the option for two-versus-two fights. You can either enter a solo queue or you can join a friend in the team queue. The goal of the match is to simply defeat the enemy team in combat, but how you do that is a bit interesting. Each character is assigned a “Cost” value to revive. Some characters cost as little as one health, but are relatively weak. Other characters can cost as much as three health, but are stronger. Each team is given a pool of health that can be spent to revive team members that die and when your team loses all of its pool of health, characters can no longer be revived and thus you lose the match.
As you might imagine, the above results in the possibility for some strategies to come into play. If you’re prone to dying, but have a friend who is good at staying alive, perhaps you’ll choose a character that only cost one health to revive, while he may choose a three health character. From there, you can try your best to be an annoyance to the enemy team, willingly putting yourself in a bad situation in the hopes of giving your teammate an opportunity to unload their full arsenal on unsuspecting foes that are focused on you. All without risking much for your team when you die.
Rise of Incarnates is such an awesome concept. Who doesn’t want to fight like a god against other gods in modern iconic settings? The battles are epic and intense, with the graphics to make them look just as amazing as you would imagine. However, there are still a number of rough spots that need to be worked out. The “Mixed” user rating on Steam is evidence of that. In the end, though, I would say that Rise of Incarnates is definitely a game to keep an eye on, and if you’re willing to put up with a few potential problems, give the game a try as it’ll be worth it in the long run.
Features: 3/5 – The features are just fine. Rise of Incarnates focuses on one concept, which means all future improvements should directly improve the experience of everyone.
Customization: 2/5 – Not there, despite a small attempt at allowing for some.
Graphics: 5/5 – Game looks good, simply put. Whether or not your machine will get to experience it in any manageable fps rate may vary.
Controls: 4/5 – Pleasant, but entirely dependent on owning a gamepad.
Community: 3/5 – Smaller community, probably due to the fiasco of the game’s beta and earlier periods.
Overall: 3/5 – Once the game gets some more performance tweaks and becomes more stable, it’ll be a 4/5 in my book.