Skara: The Blade Remains Offers 16-Player Melee Combat

By John Walker on February 27th, 2014 at 3:00 pm.

Shooting at each other is something we’ve been doing in sixteens for many a year. But clubbing each other to death is so often more personal. Skara: The Blade Remains is looking to fix that, in what they wildly inaccurately call a “massively multiplayer online versus game”. 16 is lots of people in a fight, but it’s not “massive”, you sillies. It does, however, look pretty decent for an alpha only eight months in the making.

They’re aiming to make it “free-to-play”, but it’s not yet clear what format that will take. They’re also hoping to get an alpha up on Steam Early Access as soon as possible, and with this in mind, have released this footage:

There are clearly some impact issues still to resolve, but in eight months I’d have managed to make a stick man mutatedly lumber across the screen. No. No I wouldn’t. I would have given up and played games on my phone. That video shows the Lava Coliseum, which will be the location for the alpha version, which is apparently but a few weeks away. The game has already cleared Greenlight, so will appear on Steam when they’re ready.

They’ve big ambitions – they explain that they want to become big in the e-sports world.

“Players choose from one of the different races, each with unique skills and combat styles. Races divide into teams called factions and fight to ascend in rank. The best players rule their factions, the best factions rule SKARA.

Unlike some versus free-to-play, anyone can kill anyone in SKARA, sometimes with a single, well timed attack. Through unique versus combat technology, players can control the direction of their attacks and make specialized combinations, block and dodge their enemies and counter-attack. The Combat system will be customizable and players will be able to unblock new movements, special attacks and even fatalities as they progress in the game.

SKARA rewards its best fighters. We value fair fights, so characters are never leveled up to the point where nobody can kill them. The only way to progress is to beat your enemies in the arena.

Rankings will determine who the best players are, given the numbers of casualties, successful battles and any truly epic performance. Only the best fighters will get the opportunity to try these features. They include creating factionsm invite others players to play in and dominate other clans. Leading players will be able to conquer arenas and even build their own powerbase!

SKARA aims to be a leading eSport game. We plan competitive tournaments on top of the melee arenas.”

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28 Comments »

  1. Ishbane says:

    16 PLAYERS THAT’S MORE THAN 12 PLAYERS THIS GAME MUST BE SUCH AN IMPROVEMENT TO TITANFALL DISREGARDING EVERY OTHER GAMEPLAY ELEMENT, GRAPHICS OR SETTING.

    I’m sorry, it’s just that i’ve been rummaging through old news posts regarding Titanfall, and pretty much every commenter seemed to knew beforehand, that the game will be consolized, void of life and casualized, which is especially aggravating having played the beta myself which seemed perfectly fine to me.

    OT: I’d really like to see a melee-centered multiplayer game get big. Imagine what kind of games we’d have by now, if CoD4 had been a ridiculously successful Chivalry.

    • derbefrier says:

      Yup same here. Sadly its a sub genre overshadowed by the popularity of man shoots. One reason I hope that kingdom come game is a huge success.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        War of the Roses, a Swedish developed game also features MP melee combat.

        I also hope Kingdom Come becomes a success, the few melee focused games that exist are all MP. I’d have to go to Dark Messiah: Might and Magic if I want to experience some nice singleplayer melee fun. Jedi Outcast/Academy also works.

        Now that we mention Sweden, Skara immediately makes me think of the town Skara and the amusement park Skara Sommarland, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skara_Sommarland, that was founded by the closest we have in Sweden to Donald Trump, Bert Karlsson. Skara is also the Swedish word for crowd.

        • derbefrier says:

          Yeah I bought WotR when it came out and while it had some good ideas it execution didn’t grab me. I prefered chivilrys first person view and more meaty feeling combat. Chivalry is by no means perfect either but out og them both chivalry is the only one I still play occasionaly.

          Dark Mesiah is a great little game that pretty much went unnoticed by most people. Loved every second of it. More single player games like that would be great. Hellraid looks sorta promising as well but I am not expecting it to break any barriers and just hope its fun.

          • headless97 says:

            Chivalry is an excellent game. The combat felt really weighty and meaty which is why I preferred it to War of the Roses. Dark Messiah was also great, despite the cheesy dialogue and voice acting. Melee games don’t happen enough, so I would like to see this one turn out well.

    • Shooop says:

      I had doubts about Titanfall just because of who was working on it and publishing it but I was hoping to be surprised.

      Sadly I wasn’t. The low player limit was just another cringe.

  2. Rovac says:

    I always worried whenever someone develop games designed specifically for esport. Unless you’re immediately successful or you have as much money as Valve/Blizzard/EA/Riot, you’re screwed.

    Anyway, haven’t seen the video yet. Doesn’t show up on my phone but melee combat got my interest.

    • Moraven says:

      I never understood this either.

      It it is not just the company backing it, it is the community backing it as a eSports. Just look at Hearthstone. It has no eSport friendly features for broadcasting, but there is already sponsored tournaments and even a show, with future events planned.

      DOTA and really LoL at launch were not developed with eSport. They got popular and tournaments with money were more common. The big push from their respective developers (in Valve’s case, it was already established as a eSport, where they updated the game to include eSport features from the get go and new engine) is what catapulted it to the stage they are now. But they did not start there with a huge backing. Riot has been playing catch up to Valve to include eSport features.

      Games should be good and include aspects that allow it to be eSport friendly. I know Day9 has preached this for the past year. But to say from the start it is eSport based does not mean a thing. Hell it might even turn people off as this game is going to be hardcore and elitist.

  3. karthink says:

    That music immediately reminded me of KOTOR.

  4. TaylanK says:

    I don’t think multiplayer melee games are quite there yet. When I played Chivalry, the majority of the gameplay felt like just a fancy skinned version of Counterstrike knife fights, and from the trailer I don’t quite see how this one will be different.

    • MegaAndy says:

      The flaw is that no games have real control of hand movements, instead using preset animations\moves.

    • hungrycookpot says:

      I guess I couldn’t really disagree more…? Chivalry has quite a bit of strategy in it’s melee combat that becomes apparent as you gain experience.

    • Premium User Badge

      puppybeard says:

      When it’s good, it’s as strategic as any beat-em-up though, I’d say. Nothing like when you feint and your opponent buys the dummy.

    • Reapy says:

      Mount & Blade Warband.

      • Sharlie Shaplin says:

        M+B Warband. Best melee implementation and up to 64 players on official servers, 200 on unofficial. I eagerly await Bannerlord and hope it doesn’t pull an X Rebirth.

    • Premium User Badge

      _Nocturnal says:

      Jedi Academy, guys.
      Jedi Academy.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        I prefer Jedi Outcast, though, that’s because the SP is more fun and it’s easier to implement dismemberment.

  5. Moraven says:

    “Shaka/Skara, when the walls fell”

  6. Shooop says:

    I’m beginning to think “massively multiplayer” is thrown into descriptions only so it shows up in Google searches.

    I’m reaching a new level of cynicism. I may need professional help.

    • MegaAndy says:

      I think of it that massively multiplayer is worded in the way to imply it is all/mostly about multiplayer. Otherwise massive multiplayer would make more sense as a phrase to mean large amount of players.

      Though that may be silly logic.

      On topic of the game however, the more multiplayer melee games the better

    • derbefrier says:

      Gamers themselves are just as guilty of this too. I have seen people argue dayz is an mmo and others like it. Though I agree with Walker its a bit silly.

  7. Erik Aurum says:

    16 players? Oh boy!

    Now if you’ll excuse me I’m gonna defend a castle in a 100 vs 100 melee siege in Mount and Blade Warband.

  8. Skara says:

    Hey guys! This is one of the Skara developers speaking. Very excited to be featured in Rock, Paper, Shotgun, loved the article and the hilarious comments! Just to be clear we never said that we are a massively multiplayer game, just a MOV – Multiplayer Online Versus.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hideous says:

      The title is hilarious to me – “Skara” is the name of a small town here in Sweden… And it’s not a place many people would fight to rule over.

      • Skara says:

        It´s funny because we were just playing around with some words and didn´t realize about that until the name was registered, so what a coincidence, uh? Anyway, Skara means ‘crowd’ in Swedish, and if I´m not wrong, the town Skara was known as a viking settlement, so everithing makes sense… by accident but makes sense xD