Pyre has the atmosphere you would expect from a game by Supergiant Games. When I got my hands on it at PAX East, I found the graphics to be lush, and the music to be beautiful just like their past games – Bastion and Transistor. What left me scratching my head a bit is that Pyre is also sports game.
You are exiled in a purgatory-like land, and the only way for you to return is to win the Rites. Literacy in the world of Pyre seems to have some sort of mystical power associated with it, and being able to read allows you to compete in the Rites. What are the Rites? You control a team of three players, and they must get a ball into a goal. You are opposed by another team which is AI controlled at this point. You can run into your opponents or shoot them from range and banish them from the field for a time. You can pass the ball to your teammate, and you can throw the ball into the goal, or run it in. Pyre is some sports-ass sports.
The game was already pretty fun, and I’m assuming by the release day in 2017, there will be extremely deep gameplay. It did feel like a bit of a strange choice, but I personally would give the team at Supergiant Games the benefit of the doubt. There were light RPG elements, and plenty of story in-between sports matches, but with the release date so far off, it is hard to say what the final product will look like. I look forward to keeping tabs on Pyre as it develops.