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Pyre: Introducing Head-to-Head Versus Mode!

By Greg Kasavin December 3rd, 2016

When we first revealed Pyre earlier this year, we got a great response to the game's mystical purgatory setting, and its distinct blend of party-based RPG exploration and competitive action. We showed you a glimpse of the game's ensemble cast, and the ancient competition called the Rites, in which exiles battle to re-gain their freedom. Through it all, one exciting question kept coming up again and again: Is Pyre going to have multiplayer?

Today we can confirm that the answer is a resounding YES. We're proud to present our first-ever multiplayer offering in Pyre's head-to-head Versus Mode, where you can challenge a friend in one of the game's fast-paced ritual showdowns. Our new trailer offers a glimpse of the action in store:

We love playing this game against one another at our studio, so we cannot wait to see what you think you think of it!

Pyre Multiplayer FAQ
While we have you on the line, we wanted to address some of your questions about this part of the game:

Q: Wait, you're making a multiplayer game?!
A: Pyre is a party-based RPG that will have a two-player head-to-head Versus Mode in it, in addition to the single-player campaign. Think of the multiplayer as a bonus on top of the single-player.

Our focus during development has first and foremost been the single-player campaign experience, and creating the ensemble cast of characters of all shapes and sizes whom you'll get to know during your journey. Multiplayer was something we also thought had a lot of potential, but was something we were only going to pursue if we felt we could pull it off without compromising on our ambitions for the single-player. We had to get to this point in development to make sure of that.

The Spring of Jomuer is one of the many celestial landmarks in which the Rites take place.

Some of our team's all-time favorite games include old classics like Command & Conquer and Star Control II, which offered unforgettable single-player experiences along with multiplayer offerings that kept us playing for months or even longer once we finished the story (likely several times). Those and many other games set a very high bar for us with Pyre -- we want to create a world and cast you'll fall in love with, then be able to enjoy indefinitely in Versus Mode.

Q: What is the object of the game in Versus Mode?
The ritual competitions in Pyre play out like a one-on-one competitive action game. The object is to extinguish your opponent's ceremonial flame, by grasping an object called the Celestial Orb then diving into the flames with it, or simply throwing it in.

You have at your disposal three different exiles, though just one is permitted to move any given time (you can switch control between them instantly). You can slip past your opponents by sprinting or leaping over them. You also have a defensive aura that banishes your foes on contact, or can be cast like a projectile attack. Each of the different characters has his or her own unique attributes and special abilities. Which characters you bring into the field, along with the variety of unique environments, make it so no two Rites play out the same way.

Q: Can you play online or is it only local multiplayer?
A: Our Versus Mode pits you and your opponent against each other on the same system in local head-to-head competition. This arcade-style experience is well suited to Pyre's gameplay, and ever since Bastion we've wanted to make a game you could play with a friend in the same space.

As for online, we haven't made a decision yet on whether online play makes sense given everything else we're doing on Pyre with our small team. We think bad online multiplayer is worse for a game than no online multiplayer, and we promise to do what's best for the game as a whole.

Q: Will I be able to play Versus Mode single-player against the computer?
A: Yes! We plan to support that.

Q: How many different characters and stages will there be?
A: We're not saying just yet. Though, one of the single most exciting aspects of the game to us is the variety of characters and environments we have planned. As part of this announcement, we're revealing a new stage for the very first time -- the spectacular Spring of Jomuer -- along with several never-before-seen characters. We're letting folks get their hands on the Versus Mode for the first time at the PlayStation Experience event in Anaheim, where the setup is essentially a mirror-match -- but in the full game, you'll be able to choose from many different characters, each with their own distinct strengths.

Q: Did you say new characters?!
A: Indeed! Previously we revealed Hedwyn, a cool and collected young man; Jodariel, a stern and imposing demon; and Rukey, an easy-going doglike creature insecure about his mustache. In the campaign, you'll work together with them as part of a legendary band of exiles called the Nightwings. At the PlayStation Experience, we're revealing another of these so-called triumvirates, the Beyonders, along with several hardened exiles you'll get to know in the campaign: Barker, the degenerate hell-hound; Ignarius, a notorious demon; and Sandra the Unseeing, for whom a life sentence in exile has its own special meaning. We look forward to showing many more characters closer to the game's launch sometime in 2017.

Q: I have more questions!
A: Great! Send them along with any impressions to @SupergiantGames. We'd love to hear from you.

And thanks for reading! We're in the thick of development on Pyre and well on track toward our planned launch sometime in 2017.