ByJay Ricciardi, writer at
Former Senior Editor of Now Loading.
Jay Ricciardi

Pyre is being made by Supergiant Games, the same team behind Bastion and Transistor. Both games earned critical acclaim for beautiful visuals, innovative gameplay, atmospheric storytelling, and crazy-good sound design.

Both titles delivered something to the top-down action-roleplaying genre that no one ever thought they’d really need, but quickly appreciated. Now, we’re finally seeing Supergiant's next title.

Pyre is a strange take on a sports game. We’re excited about it.

This is Supergiant’s first party-based game, and the concept is distinctly Supergiant - we follow a band of intrepid exiles as they smash and dash through gorgeous stylized environments. The goal? If you prevail in enough 3v3 rites, you get to leave exile and leave the wastelands.

Fighting for control over the ball. Source: Poylgon
Fighting for control over the ball. Source: Poylgon

Where Bastion and Transistor focused on 1vAll, Diablo-esq action combat - Pyre takes distinct gameplay inspiration from team sports games.

In Pyre’s 3v3 matches, your goal is to collect a magical ball and ‘score’ by delivering it to the enemy's flaming goal post - aka pyre - as you defend your own pyre.

This means you’ll be fighting for control of the ball, passing back and forth, and using magical abilities to temporarily remove your enemies from the game. We see a lot of notes of soccer and rugby, even basketball and dodgeball, all smashed into a colorful and mystical package.

Bigger characters are strong, but slow.
Bigger characters are strong, but slow.

Supergiant loves playing with the literal concepts of narrative in games

Just as Bastion highlighted storytellers and Transistor focused on musicians, Pyre looks to thematically champion book readers. In a world where reading is outlawed, you’re exiled for this crime. But, as we quickly learn, reading is exactly how you’ll redeem yourself, too.

At the moment, it’s a little unclear how the player character’s role as ‘Reader’ will fully manifest in-game, but an early demo shows that you’ll be reading star signs and training fellow wanderers to be more potent teammates. Your job is to read the stars to discover where pyre rites will happen, to guide your band to the right places, and to help them defeat rival exiles.

Oh, and you get to drive the wagon, too.

"Cool wagon. Ever take it off any sweet jumps?"
"Cool wagon. Ever take it off any sweet jumps?"

There's a whole world outside of the matches themselves

Where most sports games (although it's so odd to consider Pyre among them) focus on the matches alone, you'll also be organizing your crazy road trip through the wastes.

You'll have to forage for supplies, keep the wagon running, and make sure your team is in good spirits by saying all the right things. If your crew's morale is low, they'll suffer respawn penalties when the ritual matches roll around.

There are always faces behind the masks.
There are always faces behind the masks.

So far, we’ve only seen the first three game characters, but Supergiant has mentioned that they’re looking forward to providing "a large cast of characters you can grow close to as you travel together across a strange and wondrous land."

"As you journey across the Downside in the wanderers' custom blackwagon, you'll meet a variety of characters of all shapes and sizes, and learn what's in store for each of them should they prevail in the Rites."

We’ll get our hands on Pyre in 2017, when it releases simultaneously on PC and PS4.


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