NOTE: The game previewed in this article was in an early alpha build.
Skara: The Blade Remains definitely has an interesting concept going for it: what happens when you combine a MOBA with fighting game combos? You get potential. We were able to play an early alpha version of the game and it is intriguing to say the least. For being in early alpha, it looks very good running on the new Unreal Engine 4 complete with sand blowing in the wind and particle effects everywhere. The lighting adds mood whether it was in the desert of the Zem Moorlands or the close quarters arena of the Lava Coliseum. However the gameplay itself is where this game could truly stand out.
It remains to be seen how much of each genre they are going to put into the final product, but as of this build it is relatively light on the MOBA side. There are no creeps or bases to worry about. Instead this build feels much more like a 3rd person arena based deathmatch game. In each mode you could play as one of two characters: Durno or Kharn. At this time there are still three more characters being planned as well as four more arenas to start off with.
The gameplay itself seems promising with the next version of the alpha (not yet uploaded on Steam) containing the ability to counter-attack as well as perform fatalities, some of which were present in the build that I tested out. Combo attacks can be carried out using a combination of clicking and other keys. Here are a couple of combos as an example:
As stated at the top of this article, this is in early alpha, but I still need to share my experience with it in its current state. While the concept of the combat is intriguing, it didn’t feel great yet. The combos didn’t feel satisfying and the AI isn’t close to being done. Some commands like “guard” or “vertical strike” did not work with the special attack simply looking like the character was powering up with no end result. However, this is still early alpha and this is more of a tech demo than a gameplay one.
Skara: The Blade Remains is closing in on the end of its Kickstarter campaign which can be found here complete with video to show off exactly what the game looks like. If you feel like a third person combo based arena brawler for up to 16 players sounds like something you could get behind, check it out.