.hack creators CyberConnect2 and Capcom are creating an over-the-top action game where you play as enraged demigod. Why is Asura vexed? He was betrayed by his fellow demigods and robbed of his strength. Asura was left dormant with his anger festering for 12,000 years. Meanwhile, his daughter Mithra is captured and is about to bring about a "great rebirth." If you missed our hands-on impressions read those here, then check out our interview with Hiroshi Matsuyama, CEO of CyberConnect2, and Kasuhiro Tsuyachiya, Producer at Capcom.
Let’s go back to the beginning of Asura’s Wrath, you were envisioning a new game and decided to make a deity a main character and then you added sci-fi elements?
Hiroshi Matsuyama, CEO of CyberConnect2: When we started the development process for this game we were talking about what kind of game we want to make. The first thing we said is we don’t want to make an action game. There were too many of those out there where you go from stage to stage an battle a boss at the end. We wanted to break the mold and try something new.
From the very beginning, the concept started mixing mythology and sci-fi with themes of anger. We also wanted to create a game that’s not just for Japan, but something players around the well would enjoy as well. One of the main concepts in the game is Asura rising and falling. He is betrayed and badly beaten up, but he comes back in the end. The feeling you get when you watch a drama with cliffhangers at the end is a big part of that theme.
And that’s why you end with "to be continued"?
HM: [Laughs.] Yes, exactly!
Asura’s Wrath, at least from the demo, has a number of quick time events (QTEs) and CyberConnect2 also had those in the Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm games. What makes QTEs interesting? Is it because they make games more dramatic?
HM: Yes, we wanted to make the game more dramatic. That was our intention from the start and why integrated quick time events seamlessly into the game. We get comments from a lot of people that when they see Asura’s Wrath they think of the events in Naruto. I want everyone to know these are very different from the QTEs in Naruto.
While they are seamless in both games, in Asura’s Wrath the QTEs are designed so the players become Asura and feel for him. You mimic what Asura does, for example by moving the analog sticks you spread his hands out. We wanted to add a level of immersion to the game.
In those events, Asura gets fired up and grows more arms, but how else does Asura develop as a playable character?
Kasuhiro Tsuyachiya, Producer at Capcom: Asura’s Wrath doesn’t have a normal power up system, it’s kind of complicated. I’m sure you’ve seen the trailers where Asura is fighting with no arms. There will be situations where he has six arms and six are of course better than two. Sometimes you will have zero arms and we want players to feel "how am I going to fight with zero arms?" is the type of excitement we want players to feel.
You have to figure out how to fight in whatever state you’re in. It’s not a simple progression from level one to level two where you power up from two to six arms. One more thing… his six arm form is not his ultimate form.
HM: But, that doesn’t mean he’s going to get more arms! [Laughs.] He will get more powerful in different ways, which is based on his anger.
Our interview will continue tomorrow with discussion about Asura’s personality and how CyberConnect2 worked Asura’s highs and lows into combat.