20/20 Retrospective: Examining the Wrath of the Raakshasa

In the world of music, there is what is called the “supergroup”; established musicians and artists who come together far from their usual band and / or record company, to create something for themselves, all without gloves or strings. The Cream group pioneered the very concept of the supergroup, along with other notables like Velvet Revolver and more recently The Raconteurs.

This has never been done in-game outside of one-off collaborations, but Triple-I Games is perhaps the closest to the very first true supergroup in game development. You see, they’re a quartet made up of industry veterans Hemanshu Chhabra (ex-Bioware) on the directing / design, Paul Whithead (ex-Sucker Punch) on the artwork, Kevin Cecelski (ex-Bioware) on the animation, and Noel Gabriel (ex- Amaze Entertainment) on sound. Between the four we find the story like Star Wars the Old Republic, Sly Cooper, The Legend of Spyro, and Spiderman (no, not the one from PlayStation 4/5!). From this organic collaboration is born 20/20 Retrospective: Wrath of the Raakshasa on Xbox.

Much like the release of a music supergroup, Triple-I Games sought to create something that was meaningful to them. It’s not about what’s verified in the focus group or the KPI requirements of top executives at major publishers, here it’s about four seasoned game developers coming together to create something they’ve got. always wanted to play themselves.

The title of the game carries with them a strong philosophical feeling, the idea of ​​regretting and not having the power to reconstruct your story. Hindsight 20/20: Wrath of the Raakshasa takes that philosophical feeling and turns it into functional game design, all set in a rich world inspired by existential metaphysics.

Hindsight 20/20’s setup is dark; protagonist Jehan oversees his beloved realm of Champaner which is torn in flames after being ravaged by the Raakshasa, a disease turning citizens into ravaged creatures, along with other threats brought on by the rival realm of Gibsonia. Although Jehan witnesses the loss of all he knows, a mysterious metaphysical force gives him a second chance (or more chances in the end) to reconstruct his narrative in the hopes of saving his kingdom and those who hold him back. are expensive.

While the writing is far from Bioware quality, the themes are delivered efficiently as the story delivery is engaging and meaningful, full of moral dilemmas for Jehan to navigate. Besides the warring kingdoms and the outbreak of a deadly virus, the story has other moving elements, including the corruption within Champaner’s leadership. The game comes together with an irresistible dilemma: Jehan faces the man who murdered his father, who happens to be Champaner’s respected sheriff, and must decide whether to live or die. Video Game Narrative 101 will tell you to just kill the Big Bad Boss, and yet Hindsight 20/20 lets you choose forgiveness.

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This first moral dilemma also relates to the core design and game systems of Hindsight 20/20. The choices made are largely binary, but collectively they shape the narrative and how the rest of the game unfolds. It is a genuine interconnection of branching paths. In this process of choosing comes the combat system, as players choose between a ruthless and merciful approach to their enemies. Merciless means using your blade to cut your opponents to bloody pieces, while merciful means using a stun baton to force your opponents into submission. This involves depleting either a health indicator (ruthless) or a morale indicator (merciful), and although the result of the depletion of either is the same from a purely point of view. gameplay, the choice ultimately matters from a narrative point of view.

The option of defeating enemies with mercy without taking life is linked to the larger mythology within the game universe, which is largely based on Hindu / Buddhist philosophy. The setting and themes presented here draw inspiration from Indian and Middle Eastern cultural influences, and even infuse certain technological elements. It’s an inspiring setting to dive into, with quirky yet memorable character designs.

Regardless of your approach, basic combat is fun and intuitive, letting you create combos and charge up special attacks. While this is a simple button mash affair to begin with, there is a lot of nuance in fights with things like blocks, precipitation, and even counterattacks where you shoot enemy projectiles back at them. . The combat is fluid, as you are able to break out of a combo mid-attack, possibly triggering special spells that have dramatic effects. Enemy encounters are frequent but always fun, and boss encounters feature moral choices as well as interesting patterns in their design.

The fight takes place in a larger setting, as Jehan explores the city, interacting with various NPCs. Once the quest has started, players complete Zelda style dungeons as they battle enemies, collect keys, and solve some environmental puzzles before taking on the boss. It all comes together organically, and there is a great ebb and flow to the beat, especially when choices and actions shape the experience in a meaningful way.

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Your first game might take around 6-8 hours, but this is a title designed for repeat games as you try out different approaches and choices to see how the different branching paths go. With the combat and the pace being so fast and engaging, it’s an easy game to pick up on. Granted, not all of its level design and gameplay ideas blend together easily, but the overall design strength makes these issues minor at worst.

Admittedly, Hindsight 20/20’s graphic style is far from impressive, opting for a deliberate retro look, but the game certainly has style and a memorable presentation. The graphic style is eerily reminiscent of the Nintendo 64, playing some of the early 3D Zelda games like Majora’s Mask. The musical style is strong and memorable, bringing emotion to pivotal moments.

Hindsight 20/20: Wrath of the Raakshasa for Xbox is a creative tour de force from industry veterans, which incorporates its thematic philosophy both into the narrative flow and into the game design. The game incorporates weight and weight. consequences of the choice in the course of the story, but also in enemy encounters, as players have the choice to forgive their enemy rather than simply defeating these polygonal constructions. It’s a deeply engaging video game experience, both in its message about morality and how gamers choose to play the game.

2021 is a year of big releases and so it may end up being one of those games that is more popular in hindsight. Don’t sleep on this one.

20/20 Retrospective: The wrath of the Raakshasa can be reclaimed in the Xbox Store

In the world of music, there is what is called the “supergroup”; established musicians and artists who come together far from their usual band and / or record company, to create something for themselves, all without gloves or strings. The Cream group pioneered the very concept of the supergroup, along with other notables like Velvet Revolver and more recently The Raconteurs. This has never been done in-game outside of one-off collaborations, but Triple-I Games is perhaps the closest to the very first true supergroup in game development. You see, they are a quartet made up of veterans of the Hemanshu Chhabra industry…

20/20 Retrospective: Examining the Wrath of the Raakshasa

20/20 Retrospective: Examining the Wrath of the Raakshasa

2021-09-08

Jahanzeb Khan





Advantages:

  • Ingenious game design incorporating both narrative and combat choices
  • High replay value
  • Unique style and presentation

The inconvenients:

  • Rough on the edges but everything fits together with charm

Info:

  • Many thanks for the free copy of the game go to – Triple-I Games
  • Formats – Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One, PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch
  • Version reviewed – Xbox One
  • Release date – September 9, 2021
  • Introductory price from – £ 12.49


TXH Score

4.5 / 5

Advantages:

  • Ingenious game design incorporating both narrative and combat choices
  • High replay value
  • Unique style and presentation

The inconvenients:

  • Rough on the edges but everything fits together with charm

Info:

  • Many thanks for the free copy of the game go to – Triple-I Games
  • Formats – Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One, PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch
  • Version reviewed – Xbox One
  • Release date – September 9, 2021
  • Introductory price from – £ 12.49

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