Rise Of Incarnates Is Soul Calibur Dev’s F2P PC Exclusive

By Nathan Grayson on April 23rd, 2014 at 9:00 am.

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Oh, Rise of Incarnates, what’s in a name? The answer to that timeless question here is I HONESTLY AND CATEGORICALLY DO NOT KNOW. What is an Incarnate? Why are they rising? Do they rise in a manner akin to that of triads, or do they rise with a uniquely iconoclastic flair? Isn’t everything in the world more or less incarnate? What makes these Incarnates more incarnate than other incarnates? Who incarnates and/or incarcerates the Incarnates? Behind every door, another question.

Here, however, are the facts: Rise of the Incarnates is a free-to-play 2v2 fighter from the developers of Soul Calibur and Tekken. It’s a PC-exclusive. The times, they are a-changin’. Trailer below.

So I guess it’s about the main character from Prototype (with a stylish new ‘do!) taking on evil Dr Wily. Er, evil-er Dr Wily. Or something. Or maybe these things:

“Forged by creators of the Tekken and SoulCalibur franchises, Rise of Incarnates unleashes unfettered 3D combat upon the PC. In this shattered landscape, Incarnates team up for 2v2 battles within famous cities that have been realistically recreated as they vie to determine the fate of the world. Run and fly through true 3D environments as Incarnates awaken untold powers – Ares, Lilith, Mephistopheles, Grim Reaper, and more await your command.”

There’s also a comic, and it is just precious.

Bandai Namco – or, in awful superhero comic-ese BAMco – is already taking alpha sign-ups, so get on that or don’t if you’re not into loose mythological connections, free-to-play, or fighting that dares invoke the third dimension.

Rise of Incarnates doesn’t really look anything like Soul Calibur or Tekken, but it does seem like it could be decent dumb fun. What say you, apparently somehow lesser incarnates?

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Top comments

  1. unangbangkay says:

    For those in the know (read: us weebs), Rise of Incarnates is less a game meant to evoke Tekken or Soul Calibur than it is an attempt by Bandai Namco (usually truncated to BanNam among weebs) to port the gameplay of their "Gundam VS" series to an IP that isn't as repellent to what they perceive as the anime-hating western PC gamer crowd.

    So if you want to see what RoI will play like it's more informative to look up gameplay videos for Gundam Extreme VS Full Burst, the latest release on the PS3. It's pretty fun.

    As a weeb, I'd have preferred they actually just port the Gundam games (they certainly seem happy to do so for the Dynasty Warriors Gundam series) instead of trying to open up another dead-end IP jab, but I sadly have far less influence on Bandai Namco than I'd like.
  1. unangbangkay says:

    For those in the know (read: us weebs), Rise of Incarnates is less a game meant to evoke Tekken or Soul Calibur than it is an attempt by Bandai Namco (usually truncated to BanNam among weebs) to port the gameplay of their “Gundam VS” series to an IP that isn’t as repellent to what they perceive as the anime-hating western PC gamer crowd.

    So if you want to see what RoI will play like it’s more informative to look up gameplay videos for Gundam Extreme VS Full Burst, the latest release on the PS3. It’s pretty fun.

    As a weeb, I’d have preferred they actually just port the Gundam games (they certainly seem happy to do so for the Dynasty Warriors Gundam series) instead of trying to open up another dead-end IP jab, but I sadly have far less influence on Bandai Namco than I’d like.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      The only problem i see with what they’re doing it’s the characters themselves in my opinion, especially the half demon one. They look like the result of far too many inspirations condensed into one messy envelope.

      The gameplay looks different enough that’s it’s still worth a try though, but then again as you said i’m stating this because i didn’t get to play that Gundam game.

      Oh and some environmental destruction would rock.

      I’m honestly dubious this whole thing will work anyway, but F2Ps are sometimes hard to predict so who knows.

    • Premium User Badge

      thekeats1999 says:

      Yup, I would have been more interested in the Gundam Vs game myself. But seeing as it is developed by the same crew who did the Gundam game I am just as happy to give it a try.

      Now if Dynasty Warriors 8 sells well enough on the PC I would like to see that Gundam game brought over or at the very least One Piece as that is the more recognisable licence at the moment.

      • Ansob says:

        Yeah, same here – I’d much rather they release VS than this.

    • Premium User Badge

      RedViv says:

      I was about to say, it really looks just like a copy of Gundam VS with humans of rubbish kitchen sink design, and smaller scale. Puzzling that they feel the need to switch IPs for that – Gundam seems well known enough outside of Japan, and the arcade-style gaming crowd likes robots punching each other as much as any.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        If Gundam, and mecha in general, were perceived to be a profitable choice for releasing games in the west, we’d have got some of the freaking Super Robot Wars titles over here by now. Preferably the OG ones.

        Definitely agree with the commenter asking for Dynasty Warriors Gundam on PC, incidentally.

    • Schiraman says:

      I’m struggling to understand how replacing giant robots with these characters would ever make anything more appealing to anyone.

      Dear Japan,

      Giant robots are awesome. Please send us more, not less.

      Love,
      Schiraman

    • DanMan says:

      Are the levels that empty in Gundam, too?

    • Premium User Badge

      Ksempac says:

      I was thinking “2vs2 fighting might be fun, but the characters are ugly”, and now you’re telling me we could have had GUNDAMS instead of this mismatched cast of ugly and generic characters ? Damn Japanese companies really don’t get what would or would not please the Western audience (though i can understand that, I’m pretty sure Western publishers don’t get Japanese gamers either). JAPAN PLEASE GIVE US THE GIANT ROBOTS !!!

      Since you seem to know the original title, was it F2P ? If so, what was the business model ? Pay for new characters, new powers, etc.. or more cosmetic oriented ? I’m scared of balance problems for F2P fighting games

    • Keyrock says:

      Wait, people in the west hate Gundam? This is news to me.

      • Philomelle says:

        People don’t hate Gundam, but the vast majority of the western Gundam fandom is Wing and 00 fangirls who spend most of their Gundam discussion on “LOL BUT WHAT IF SETSUNA AND LOCKON WERE KISSIN?!?!?!?!”. Which makes them allergic to the main draw of the series (giant robots) and the main source of its income (plastic models of giant robots), thus making the series not financially viable for a western marketing campaign.

        You could argue that they could just market it to little kids who like flashy giant robots, but the problem is that Gundam isn’t really a show for kids. It was originally envisioned as a sci-fi war drama for young adults, with mechs having been brought in by the director to bait sponsors into funding them. Which means Gundam is also pretty hard to market to little boys, who western marketers believe are the sole target audience for giant robots.

        The combination of these two aspects is why Gundam never managed to find its marketing foothold in the west despite being a cultural phenomenon in Japan.

        • unangbangkay says:

          I’d say you’re half-right there. In its native Japan (and places in Asia where Gundam does fine), the Gundam series has just as many or more female adherents who love the pretty boys getting angry at each other as much as as the western fandom’s female contingent does. In fact, a relatively recent study pointed out that there are actually MORE female gundam fans around these days in Japan than there are male ones.

          The problem is that of Gundam fans overseas, not enough of them (of whatever gender and inclination) buy plastic models (“Gunpla”) to make marketing to them worthwhile. In Japan and Asia there’s a built-in group of hardcore supporters who enjoy the war-drama aspect and such and buy models regularly, but there’s not enough of that out west.

          It’s not that the female fanbase doesn’t exist in Japan or that it is dominant in the west, but rather that it isn’t balanced properly overseas to generate profit and easy marketing.

          Further, even Bandai are seeing that its Gundam fans are getting older, so the last several recent Gundam anime, like Gundam AGE and the recent Gundam Build Fighters (which is amazing, even for non-gundam fans) have explicitly targeted younger viewers, as well as incorporating newer concepts like more readily supported customization, Skylanders-esque videogame hooks, and things like that.

          • Philomelle says:

            I didn’t say “there are no female Gundam fans in the east”, I said “the majority of western Gundam fans are yaoi fangirls”. They are very different statements that indicate different things.

            The core difference is that the Japanese Gundam fanbase is generally fairly balanced and healthy. There are people who are in it for the war drama (for whom Gundam Unicorn and partially 00 are oriented), people who want model kits (Build Fighters) and of course rabid shippers. Those parts of the fandom do not necessarily get along all the time, but they’re mostly in it together and all of them provide different marketing opportunities.

            Meanwhile, the western Gundam fanbase is roughly 75% shippers, 24% people who are in it for the story, plus the incredibly small number of people who are in it for the model kits. This is in part because the first Gundam to have really gained ground in the west is Wing, which had shitawful mecha designs, mediocre story and a horde of pretty boys giving each other meaningful stares. The result is that marketing opportunities are much more narrow and would involve a full-blown campaign if they’d ever want to establish a foothold on the market.

            And correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t AGE struggle to find an audience in Japan because it was a kids’ series in a franchise mostly oriented toward young adults?

    • MM1011 says:

      I don’t think RPS can be the site that mocks yearly CoD sequels and attempts at new IP at the same time. Sure, the premise looks a bit silly, but so what? That’s true for a lot of IP that we already love (SPACE MAREENS). Not saying this as a direct reply to anybody in particular, just throwing that out there. We, as consumers, aren’t going to get new IP from big companies if we just dismiss them out of hand.

      But back to the game. I, personally, am a huge fan of the Gundam Vs. series. I figure most people on here haven’t played it, but the two (to my knowledge) game that were released in the west are Federation Vs. Zeon and Gundam Vs. Zeta Gundam, both for the PS2. If you like giant robots that fight go pick up GvsZG on Amazon, it’s still a lot of fun, especially if you at all like the original show.

      I really like that they’re trying to release new IP in the west with that gameplay though. Most of the “fighters” in the Vs. series really are limited to beam sword, laser/bazooka, machine gun secondary as to what they fight with. The most fun I’ve had are with the Mobile Armors, which usually had completely unique fighting styles and tools at their disposal. If this game keeps the same style of gameplay as the Vs. series while increasing the ways you can play the game, I’ll be very happy.

      • unangbangkay says:

        I’m not with RPS, and don’t speak for it, so I can dismiss new IP out of hand all I like :D

        I’m just saying that BanNam’s philosophy of avoiding trying market any anime-ish game to westerners (aside from the guaranteed audiences of Tales and its licensed titles) is short-sighted.

        I think Gundam VS would do just fine had they just opted to port that game, rather than trying yet again for a “western-style” edginess that just makes them look out of touch.

        Games like Quantum Theory, Inversion (that gravity shooter), and the Call-of-Duty-but-even-worse military hoo-ah of Ace Combat Assault Horizon are a strong case for JP designers being better off being themselves rather than aping Infinity Ward, Epic, etc.

        • Philomelle says:

          No offense, but you’re just running your mouth without doing any research at this point.

          Over the last decade, Bamco tried to offer westerners every single anime franchise they came up with. .hack, Xenosaga, God Eater, Fragile, Ni no Kuni and Tokitowa all had western releases with very decent promotion and marketing to accompany them. Do you know what united all of them?

          That’s right! With the exception of Tales and Ni no Kuni, all of them bombed so hard you could hear it on Venus. While Xenosaga and .hack started off just strong enough to justify finishing the localization of their respective franchises, even there the sales eventually dwindled beyond any justification of later releases.

          The market has spoken that no matter how good Bamco’s anime games are (Fraglie and God Eater were both incredible), they simply do not sell. And with Gundam adding the mess of negotiating all the western and eastern trademarks in order to release a single game, there is absolutely no reason for them to take yet another big risk.

  2. phelix says:

    *crosses out RISE OF on the Generic Prefix Bingo list*

  3. Premium User Badge

    Tinus says:

    War is not a choice. And neither is suicide bra armour, apparently.

  4. pakoito says:

    So now “going PC” means going F2P. When they crash and burn they’ll whine about…piracy? not enough revenue? West hates anime?

    Well it was nice having at least one Naruto on PC.

  5. John Connor says:

    “Every generation thinks they are immune from war.”

    I swear to god Japanese writing has to be a joke I’m not in on. Writing stupid shit is one thing, writing stupid shit that you think is profound is another.

    I just don’t get it, it’s like Japanese games are where game writing goes to die.

    • unangbangkay says:

      Comments like these are why they decided to use this as a vehicle for Gundam VS gameplay instead of actually just porting Gundam VS. Ironically, Gundam (or at least the Gundam anime) are much better-written than whatever fiction usually comes out of Bamco’s original IPs.

      • John Connor says:

        I’ve played the first two Metal Gear Solid games, a series touted as having the best stories ever. They are fun games, but the storyline is high-school level at the best of times. It would take a lot to convince me that that Gundam thing would be any less abysmal.

        • Golden Pantaloons says:

          MGS games are not about telling a serious story, at least I never saw it that way.
          They are the perfect mix of tribute and parody, primarily drawing inspiration from hollywood action movies. It’s hard to make a good tribute without just copying the source material. It’s hard to make a good parody without offending either the subject or the people you are trying to make laugh. MGS does both at the same time, and only rarely slips up.

          So yeah, MGS actually has excellent writing/story. It may just be a different kind of writing than what you expected.

          DIsclaimer: I have not played MGS 4, so I don’t know if it manages to strike the same balance as the previous games. MGS 3 was a masterpiece in terms of movie parody IMO.

      • Schiraman says:

        From my (admittedly limited) experience of Gundam, that line sounds like it’d be right at home there.

        I always thought it was a shame that all those fun giant robots were shackled to a show in which emo teens endlessly debate the ethical merits of war (spoiler: war is bad).

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Right, that line is a million times worse than all the western writing we get in videogames these days…

      • John Connor says:

        I think you missed the part where Western games don’t take themselves this dead seriously, they know they’re not writing Shakespeare.

        • Kaeoschassis says:

          I have a feeling we have different opinions on what counts as taking one’s self too seriously. Especially since the example you used in the comment above was Metal Gear Solid, of all things.

          Batshit crazy stories that rely almost entirely of rule of cool to sustain your interest for any length of time are not taking themselves too seriously. This? This might be, I’ll give you that.
          As a general rule – and you started the generalization here, not me – a huge amount of japanese fiction, be it gaming, anime, what the hell ever, is inclined to take itself only as seriously as it absolutely has to in order to hold together – sometimes not even then. Wheras over here we have all those cyberpunk conspiracy thrillers, gritty, mud-caked manshoots and post-human space combat sims/4x strategies. All of which take themselves so seriously it hurts.
          Sorry, but I just flat out think you’re wrong here.

        • Philomelle says:

          Man, have you played any mainstream western games lately? Call of Duty, Bioshock and Gears of War are the narrative analogue of your grandpa who spends all of his time dressed in his old army jacket with medals being freshly re-pinned every morning and furrows his eyebrows at everything that mentions fun, then furrows his eyebrows even harder and quivers his lip pitifully when you ask him to stop taking everything so seriously.

          Indies are obviously more varied about it because they don’t have to worry about making back double-digit millions of dollars, but every mainstream title with war in it is so uber-seriuos it hurts.

  6. Prolar Bear says:

    So instead of Tekken we get this?

    Harada-san, why

    • Steven Hutton says:

      Wait, people still want Tekken games?

      • Prolar Bear says:

        I do. Tekken Tag 2 is amazing.

      • Philomelle says:

        Tekken is the only fighting game franchise brave enough to experiment and evolve. Why wouldn’t people want it?

        • Schiraman says:

          I like Tekken.

          But to be fair, Soul Calibur is also brave enough to experiment and evolve. It’s just evolved into being crap.

  7. gryffinp says:

    Oh, so it’s one of those “arena fighters” instead of a (real fighting game/2d fighter choose whichever offends you more.)

  8. baozi says:

    I got excited when I read »Tekken« and »Soul Calibur«, and then I watched the trailer. Guess I’ll have to buy a console after all if I want to play a fighting game in that style.

  9. bongosabbath says:

    I’m getting a FF Dissidia / Anarchy Reigns vibe from this. ‘Tis a good vibe. Speaking of Dissidia, where’s my sequel?

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      I seem to remember them saying there wouldn’t be another Dissidia, at least not anytime soon.
      Which, y’know, sucks. A lot. Dissidia’s characters are amongst the most genuinely varied and interesting to play out of any roster I’ve ever come across.

      012 is definitely worth getting if for some reason you haven’t yet, though. Yes, it’s an expandalone dealie, but you get a truckload of new stuff.

      I’m STILL playing it off-and-on, and I got it when it first came out.

  10. The Random One says:

    Jesus fucking Christ, that comic.

    That comic.

    That

    comic.

  11. bill says:

    I think that young lady has lost a button on her top. Someone should mention it to her.