There's a guy named Asura, who you can control, sometimes with very few buttons. He's the star of Asura's Wrath, a new absurd action game. Asura keeps the world safe... from giant fingers and other divine threats.
Asura's daughter has been kidnapped by demigods. Plus, there's ogres of some sort that he has to worry about. The ogres aren't that big of a problem. They stand at about Asura's size and can be fought at close quarters or at range. Maybe that part of Asura's video game is controlled with sticks and buttons and flows like a Devil May Cry or a God of War.
When you've seen maybe 30 seconds of Asura fighting ogres but then a whole lot more of something else, something involving a Tennessee-sized finger, you forget about the ogres. You dwell on this other scene that goes on for several minutes and seems to mostly involve tapping one button.
The big finger scene involves a fat man who, at first, is as big as a mountain but who becomes as big as a planet. This fat man has a finger that could destroy the planet, if not for angry Asura.
The fight against this fat man was the main event of a demonstration of Asura's Wrath at a showcase for the game by publisher Capcom in Miami last week. The game's director demonstrated the battle with a PS3 controller, repeatedly using one key finger of his own — his thumb — to mash through an extraordinary battle that flowed with the logic of an Old Spice deodorant commercial.
It went something like this:
There's Asura. There's a fat buddha-looking guy who is as big as a mountain and who doesn't like Asura.
The fat guy is yelling at Asura.
Asura runs at the fat guy. The fat guy fires missiles at Asura. (Tap the button that matches the on-screen prompt to avoid them.) Asura catches a missile and throws it back.
Asura hops up falling rocks.
Asura divebombs the fat guy. Fat guy fires missiles up at divebombing Asura. Asura dodges. Asura shoots laser blasts at the fat guy.
The fat guy, who, remember, is as big as a mountain, throws Asura back. Asura runs toward him again.
Asura is standing on the fat guy's raised arm. Asura runs down that arm and punches the fat guy in the face. (Button mash, button mash)
The fat guy shakes Asura off and jumps in the air, flips and then lands, cratering the ground. The fat guy punches his house-sized fists into this crater. Repeatedly.
The fat guy taunts Asura, says he's a traitor and that his daughter is suffering because of Asura. Asura gets angry (Button mash, button mash) and sprouts four more arms.
Suddenly there's a flying battleship. It's shooting missiles at Asura. He's dodging them and tossing some back.
The battleship blows up.
The fat guy is running. Suddenly he's in a footrace with Asura. They're shooting stuff back and forth at each other. (Button mash, button mash).
Now we're seeing outer space. The fat guy announces he is releasing his "Mantra Reactor". He grows to the size of the planet earth, his belly now bigger than any real continent. He says his name: Wyzen of the Seven Deities.
He produces a single outstretched finger and points it to Asura, who is down on earth. He aims to poke him, if "poke" is the right verb for an index finger that's bigger than Tennessee.
He nearly flattens Asura. But (Button mash, button mash), Asura fights back, punching with his six fists at the ceiling of a giant finger-tip above him. (Button mash, button mash). Asura's arms are breaking off. One punch, though finally breaks back, sending a wave of destruction up Wyzen of the Seven Deities' state-sized finger, up his arm, to the rest of his body.
Wyzen of the Seven Deities explodes.
He is, one of the game's developers explain, "one of the weakest bosses."
The game can't be all battles like that, but... well... that was amazing, if not richly interactive. Think of it as a little bit of God of War III mixed with a little bit of Sin & Punishment.
Asura's Wrath, from Capcom and Cyber Connect 2, destined for release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 someday, will be playable at E3 in June. Attendees, prepare to mash buttons.
[Note: the trailer shown in this post features portions of the scene described above, mixed with other zaniness that wasn't demonstrated live]