Preview: 'Skara: The Blade Remains'
The Blade Remains (Bit Studios / June 20, 2013)
The new indie MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game, "Skara: The Blade Remains" combines the kill-stream action and quality graphics of "Call of Duty" with the character control of "Street Fighter." "Skara" pits five races against one another for domination of a world torn apart by cataclysmic events. Success is tracked by leader tables and honor points, which can be used to unlock special features. The game aims to be the highest quality and most addictive F2P out there and is being developed for PC and next-gen consoles.
8 Bit Studios has launched a Kickstarter campaign to create the next version, aiming for it to be produced and funded by gamers, for gamers. That is how the game has attracted the best and brightest from Spain's gaming world, who in some cases quit their jobs at successful companies like Ubisoft and Eurocom to be a part of the project. Pablo Rodriguez and Cesar Ortega (co-founders) started working on the project in 2009.
"Skara" promises to be innovative on a variety of levels. By effectively becoming cross-platform, Skara can be enjoyed on PC, next-gen consoles and portable devices.
It will also enhance the way fighting takes place. On an Xbox, for instance, it utilizes the joystick to attack and defend. The fighting will be realistically lethal -- one mistake can spell death -- and democratic. New players have just as much chance of killing experienced players as the other way around.
The world of "Skara" is inhabited by five races, all with their peculiar histories, customs and culture. These characteristics play into how the races fight, with some being quick and agile, while others are slow and powerful. Players will choose a race not only for their abilities but also because they identify with their character.
To this end, the creators of "Skara" have opted to give the players and Kickstarter backers as much control as possible, from the weapons they use to the clothing they wear. Plans for naming and designing cities, characters and arenas are even open.
As a live action game, "Skara" will have a social aspect to it. The best fighters will be tracked on leader tables and can collect honor points for outstanding achievements, such as fighting more than one opponent at a time or conquering a fortified position. The honor points will act as a kind of currency to unlock game features, such as better weapons. Dying will bring with it penalties, but players can quickly respawn and resume battle.
From its inception to its format, "Skara" has put a high premium on compelling gameplay. It seeks to involve its players more than the average game, and for that reason, it has opted for crowdsourced funding. That way, it can be less formulaic and can instead grow and change with its users.
"We want to create an artistic and legendary reality that captures the imagination," said Rodriguez, whose sketchbook was "Skara's" birthplace, "not just a new game idea that makes money."
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