Pyre (video game)
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS, PlayStation 4|
|Genre(s)||Action role-playing, sports|
Pyre is an action role-playing sports video game developed by Supergiant Games for Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS and PlayStation 4, released on July 25, 2017. The macOS version was released on August 3, 2017.
Story and gameplay
The game takes place in a high fantasy setting. The player controls a character who has been exiled from society and quickly meets three other exiles. The three exiles discover that the player-character is literate and invite them to join their party, nicknaming them the Reader. The Reader aids the exiles and other exiles met during the course of the game in their travels through the land of purgatory as they look to cleanse their souls via defeating other exiles. The story is told through on-screen narrative passages that include a hyperlink-type system used by the player-character to explore the story further. In addition to guiding the exiles during "Rites" which resemble a sports game, the Reader must determine how to help support or improve the party, by performing activities such as scavenging for supplies, learning more of the world's lore, or mentoring the exiles to improve their abilities.
Through the land, the party encounters other groups of exiles, which starts the Rites, the game's combat system which was described by Marty Silva of IGN as a mix of DOTA, Rocket League, and Supergiant's previous game, Transistor. Rites takes place on a field with two columns of flame, or pyres, at opposite ends and the three exiles facing off against three opponents on a top-down perspective. Each team attempts to destroy the opposing pyre by launching a single glowing orb at it, which steadily whittles away at its health. The player only controls one character at a time by passing the orb among the three. A character traveling with the orb is vulnerable to being temporarily banished from the Rites if an enemy's aura touches them, which would drop the orb at their feet. The different characters have various skills that aid them in the Rites, such as dashes or long-range projectiles. Each of the player's characters also have different passive abilities, such as one that can move quickly about this arena but does little damage to the opponent's pyre, while another is slow and bulky, but can do the greatest damage.
The game includes a local multiplayer mode which allows two players controlling separate teams to compete. Supergiant was unsure if they would be able to include online multiplayer in time for the game's launch and opted to keep this mode to local as well as player-versus-computer matches for release.
The concept of Pyre came out from prototyping several game ideas by Supergiant Games, according to creative director Greg Kasavin, eventually coming to the theme of "what happens when you face defeat, and have to come back from it the next day, look your friends in the face, look yourself in the mirror, and deal with the consequences of the decisions you made". In trying to devise gameplay around the nature of failure, they came to see the use of sports as a metaphor for combat, featuring non-violent gameplay but consequences of losing. To connect these battles, the developers came onto the use of a narrative idea to have the player guide their party across an overworld, making decisions on where to go based on available resources and timing. They worked through prototyping to adjust how this part of the game would affect the Rites, adjusting the interaction of these two gameplay systems to get an appropriate balance. Kasavin stated they were worried that as some aspects of the game may be confusing, players that were not invested in the game's narrative would not come to appreciate some of these systems, and that if they were providing enough variation in the game to retain the player's interest over time.
The game was announced in April 2016 and first demonstrated in playable form at the 2016 Penny Arcade Expo shortly afterwards. Kasavin and his team used this PAX testing to help evaluate how they had set up some of these gameplay systems. The game was released on July 25, 2017.
Pyre received "generally positive" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic. Eurogamer ranked the game 41st on their list of the "Top 50 Games of 2017", and EGMNow ranked it 17th in their list of the 25 Best Games of 2017, while Polygon ranked it 22nd on their list of the 50 best games of 2017. The game was nominated for "Best PC Game", "Best RPG", "Best Art Direction", "Best Story", and "Most Innovative" in IGN's Best of 2017 Awards; it was also nominated for "Best Shopkeeper" (Falcon Ron) and "Best Cast of Characters" in Giant Bomb's 2017 Game of the Year Awards. It won the award for "Best Indie" in Game Informer's 2017 RPG of the Year Awards.
|2017||Golden Joystick Awards||Best Storytelling||Nominated|||
|Best Visual Design||Nominated|
|Best Indie Game||Nominated|
|The Game Awards 2017||Best Independent Game||Nominated|||
|2018||New York Game Awards 2018||Off-Broadway Award for Best Indie Game||Nominated|||
|Tin Pan Alley Award for Best Music in a Game||Nominated|
|21st Annual D.I.C.E. Awards||D.I.C.E. Sprite Award||Nominated|||
|National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards||Art Direction, Fantasy||Nominated|||
|Game, Original Role Playing||Won|
|Original Light Mix Score, New IP||Nominated|
|Song, Original or Adapted ("Vagrant Song")||Nominated|
|16th Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards||Best Interactive Score||Nominated|||
|2018 Webby Awards||Best Multiplayer/Competitive Game||Nominated|||
- Corriea, Alexa Ray (April 23, 2016). "Supergiant's Pyre Focuses on Companionship and a Little Bit of Sports". GameSpot. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- Silva, Marty (April 23, 2016). "PAX EAST 2016: SUPERGIANT'S PYRE IS BEAUTIFUL AND IMPOSSIBLY WEIRD (IN A GOOD WAY!)". IGN. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- Totilo, Stephan (April 23, 2016). "Supergiant's Audacious New Game Pyre Is Sort Of A Mystical Sports RPG". Kotaku. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
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- Francis, Bryant (April 25, 2016). "How Supergiant Games aggressively prototyped its way into Pyre". Gamasutra. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
- Webster, Andrew (April 20, 2016). "Pyre is the beautiful next game from the team behind Transistor". The Verge. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- Kasavin, Greg (May 30, 2017). "Pyre Launches July 25 on PS4, Pre-Orders Live Now". PlayStation Blog. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
- Grayson, Nathan (May 30, 2017). "Pyre, the next game from the creators of Bastion and Transistor, is coming to PC and PS4 on July 25". Kotaku. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
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- EGM staff (December 28, 2017). "EGM's Best of 2017: Part Two: #20 ~ #16". EGMNow. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
- Polygon staff (December 18, 2017). "The 50 best games of 2017". Polygon. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
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- "Best of 2017 Awards: Most Innovative". IGN. December 20, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Giant Bomb staff (December 25, 2017). "Game of the Year 2017 Day One: Old, Disappointing, Shopkeepers, and Looks". Giant Bomb. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Giant Bomb staff (December 29, 2017). "Game of the Year 2017 Day Five: Best, Worst, Cast, and Capture". Giant Bomb. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
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- "Horizon wins 7; Mario GOTY". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. March 13, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
- "2018 Awards". Game Audio Network Guild. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
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