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Rise of Incarnates

Rise of Incarnates is a 2v2 arcade style fighting game that emphasizes cooperation between teammates to overwhelm the opposing team. Choose from a wide selection of character and call upon latent mythical powers in brutal, fast-paced combat.

Publisher: Bandai Namco
Playerbase: Medium
Type: Fighting Game
Release Date: July 1, 2015
Pros: +Fluid gameplay. +All characters free to play for first 24 hours. +Great team based gameplay. +Gamepad support.
Cons: -Lag spikes. -Buggy gameplay at times. -Difficult camera angle at times. 

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Overview

Rise of Incarnates Overview

Rise of Incarnates is a 3D fighting game developed by Bandai Namco. Players compete in 2v2 matches, selecting from a wide range of characters offering unique play styles and abilities. Chip away at the opposing team's stock lives, calling upon gods and mythical powers to aid you in combat. Simple controls make Rise of Incarnates easy to pick up, but gameplay offers a level of depth difficult to master as you perform combos, perfect positioning, and time your strikes. Work with your teammate to unleash devastating Tag Combo's, obliterating health as you each strike at your opponent mercilessly. Mix and match characters to find new combinations that balance each other. A unique life stock system balances gameplay by making powerful characters cost more lives should they be killed. Matches are intense and fast-paced, with fluid animations and vibrant abilities. Along with ArcheBlade, Rise of Incarnates is one of the few free to play fighting games on the market.

Rise of Incarnates Key Features -

  • 2v2 Battles - arcade style fighting emphasises teamwork to unleash devastating combos.
  • Balanced gameplay - powerful characters cost more lives if defeated, balancing their abilities against weaker characters.
  • Try Every Character - all characters are free to play for the first 24 hours!
  • Awakening System - temporarily transform into a powerful god or summon one to assist you in battle.
  • Simple controls with in-depth-system - learning to play is easy but mastering the nuances of combat is difficult, as you learn timing, position, and cooperative strategies.

Rise of Incarnates Screenshots

Rise of Incarnates Featured Video

Full Review

Rise of Incarnates Review

By, Sean Sullivan

Rise of Incarnates is a fast-paced 3D fighting game drawing from mythology and religion to model its characters. It’s Bandai Namco’s attempt to inspire Western audiences with the same arcade mechanics that capture the attention of Japanese arcade goers. Considering the development team is made up of staff who worked on Soul, Tekken, and Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs, Rise of Incarnates ought to develop a captive audience. It’s a game that can be played by rolling your face over the keyboard, but to truly master it you’ll have to understand the nuances of its mechanics. And with its 2v2 match setup, you’ll be relying on your partner to secure victory.

White Belt Basics

It doesn’t happen often but I actually grinded through the tutorial for Rise of Incarnates. In each fight you have an IKEA catalog of choices to make that ultimately determine the matches outcome. But at its most fundamental level, each team has a set number of lives. The team who loses all of their lives...loses. Basic enough? What’s interesting, and unique, is that each character has a different life-value corresponding to their strength, or power level. Sometimes focus-targeting one enemy will secure victory rather than you and your teammate squaring off against your opponents. Even pro players can’t guarantee a win if their partner is a high-life value noobie who’s addicted to dying like I am to coffee. It’s an interesting way to balance the game. Rather than trying to even out character's skills, life value is reallocated. But you’ll have to know how to play to chip away lives.

Face Rolling

Sure you can roll into a match, smashing buttons on your keyboard like its Frets on Fire and maybe get a kill or two. But that strategy won’t last for long. Rise of Incarnates presents a simple system divided into melee and ranged attacks, and then throws in a menagerie of nuanced variables that are difficult to master. You can cancel attacks to trick players into blocking, lowering their defense for a quick melee cranium smash. Or, chain combos while also attack canceling, to fool players and dish out enormous damage. And then periodically you unlock the ability to morph into your Incarnate—your god deity—increasing your attack power.  While my first few matches made me feel like a beast, it was only because everyone I played with was habituating to the controls. Eventually, dedicated veterans will make noobies look like fools, the same way pros in Chivalry deter new players, but that doesn’t make the game any less accessible for a pick-up match. It's the perfect system for quick games. You're in and out in a few minutes and there's enough variety through characters to create refreshing experiences.

Playing With Gods

There are enough characters offering their own play style to cater to everyone, from ranged shooters to lumbering melee attackers. Normally, a character leans towards one style or another. Although transformations can alter how the character is played. Fenrir is better ranged in his human form, but when he transforms into a Nordic wolf myth his melee attacks become more powerful. So, keeping in mind how your character plays after transforming is equally important as to know your character's human play style.

For the first 24 hours of your playtime all of the characters in game are free, allowing you try them all out and pick which ones you may want to purchase after they’re locked behind a pay-wall. You can purchase all of the characters using in-game currency, called LP. It’s an approach more games should utilize, such as Heroes of the Storm or League of Legends. That way, you can determine which play style suits you best, so you’re not left second-guessing yourself or spending money on a character you end up disliking.

Cooperative Play

Where Rise of Incarnates shines is its emphasis on cooperative play; it’s a game designed to be tackled with friends. Working together, you can easily smush opponent’s faces in the gravel, like bullies in the schoolyard shaking down kids for lunch money. It’s paramount that you work together to take down more powerful opponents that are worth more lives—to steal the win. It’s all about tag combos, where you and your partner attack the same target to unleash a barrage of damage. I was more often than not the victim of two players working together, likely over a voice-messaging service like Skype. Two Mephistopheles’ had me stun-locked as my teammate circumnavigated the White House, leaving me to die without being able to retaliate. So to really decimate the battlefield you're going to want to play with a friend.

And mix and matching characters offers new tactics to approach combat. But it’s easy to see how Rise of Incarnates lends itself to a highly competitive scene, with forums touting the best character combos for tournaments or specific roles.

Controls

When it comes to fighting games, keyboard controls always leave something lacking. I don’t blame the QWERTY layout, it’s just more comfortable and easy to slide your fingers across a sleek, greasy, Xbox controller—or similar. But it’s not unplayable on mouse and keyboard. Still, I turned my PC MASTER RACE certification upside down on my desk, and plugged in a controller to play.

While the controls are fine, the camera angle can be a burden. Since you’re always locked on to a target the camera locks your window to your target's position. And this obscures environmental objects, such as buildings or other obstacles, as well as hiding where your opponents’ partner is located. You have to tab-target between your enemies, ensuring you know their positioning at all times. Otherwise you end up ganked and dead.

Presentation

Rise of Incarnates’ maps are well designed, from crumbling New York to devastated Paris. But your eyes won’t be able to concentrate on the environments for long. The chaos of battle is a frenzy that made me reconsider my eyeglass prescription. Animations are vibrant, and attacks are fluid. You feel like a god, jumping through the air and unleashing combos as classic arcade battle music pumps away, mirroring the epic scene unfolding in desolated cities around the world. From the menu, bass drums hammer like some tribal preparation for war.

Some of the voice-acting is underwhelming, somewhat fitting for a Westernized Japanese game. Such as when Doc from Back to the Future (Grim Reaper) says, “But I’m supposed to be immortal!” And of course, as is traditional for fighting games, the dialogue makes no sense at times, leaving you to wonder who exactly they’re talking to. Or, it comes across as laughably cheesy but perfectly fitting for the game's context.

Skill Grid System

And then of course there are skills. What modern game isn't without some type of skill tree? Rather than stats, Rise of Incarnates features cubes, coinciding with the story elucidated in the game's graphic novel. Skill cubes can be used to increase your stats and abilities, but they have a use-limit before their rendered useless. And each skill cube takes up an amount of space on your grid. You can mix and match cubes to increase their longevity, but eventually they’re all destined for the trash. The first cube you receive is a 2x2 square, filling up the entirety of your available slots. It plays out like a mini-game, where you mix and match what you have to create the best stat enhancement combo. You can pay to increase the grid, but it costs IP or LP, the game’s currencies.

Cash Shop

It wouldn’t be free-to-play without a cash shop, but Rise of Incarnates does not offer pay to win elements. Instead you have access to a huge assortment of cosmetic items to show off your flair, and how big your wallet is. Change into a kashmir suit, or get a makeover as a bank robber—show off how you're a special snowflake!  Although beyond cosmetics there are a few skill cubes for sale. Nothing seemed overwhelming, such as Life Inrease III, that increases your HP + 7. And they’re purchased with the currency from winning matches, LP. While IP, premium currency, is largely used to acquire cosmetic items.

Final Verdict - Great

There aren’t many free to play fighting games, but Rise of Incarnates has set the bar for any future incarnations. Fast-paced combat set to beautiful animations and a simple but nuanced system makes for a game that is clearly going to be competitive. 2v2 matches emphasise cooperative play and adds new tactical elements as players mix and match characters to find the ultimate combination. If you're a fan of the fighting genre there's no reason you shouldn't be playing Rise of Incarnates.

Screenshots

Rise of Incarnates Screenshots

Videos

Rise of Incarnates Videos

System Requirements

Rise of Incarnates System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Windows 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10 (64 bit required)
CPU: Core i3 2.5 GHz / Phenom II X4 910 or better
Video Card: GeForce GT 630 / Radeon HD 5870+
RAM: 4 GB
Hard Disk Space: 10 GB

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: Windows 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10 (64 bit required)
CPU: Core i7 / AMD A10+
Video Card: GeForce GT 660
RAM: 4 GB
Hard Disk Space: 10 GB

Music

Rise of Incarnates Music & Soundtrack

Coming Soon!

Additional Info

Rise of Incarnates Additional Information

Developer: Bandai Namco Studio

Open Beta: August 09, 2014
Beta Closed: August 17, 2014

Release Date: July 1, 2015

Development History / Background:

Rise of Incarnates was developed by the Japanese game studio Bandai Namco and is one of the few free to play fighting games on the market. The team that worked on Rise of Incarnates also worked on Soul, Tekken, and the Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS series. Rise of Incarnates was announced at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo. Bandai Namco is collaborating with Marvel Comics to release an online graphic novel and publish it as a 16-inch comic book detailing the Rise of Incarnates' universe.