At Sega%26rsquo;s gamer%26rsquo;s day soiree on Wednesday we got to see a whole slew of games in rapid succession, sometimes getting a hands-on, and sometimes just sitting back and watching someone else play (always the best way to experience a game- that was sarcasm, by the way). Golden Axe: Beast Rider, unfortunately, was not a hands-on. A chance to sever limbs ourselves may have changed our general sense of being underwhelmed, although for the better or worse it%26rsquo;s hard to say.
Beast Rider is intended to capture the spirit of the original Golden Axe, and if they mean shallow, arcadey hack-and-slashery, well they%26rsquo;ve probably succeeded. Of course, we didn%26rsquo;t see enough to say for sure if the game presents greater depth as you play it, but what we saw was fairly basic. The viewpoint is standard behind-the-character third-person view, although not shoved in behind the shoulder as is so trendy these days. We were treated to an embarrassingly obvious and gratuitous camera angle in a cutscene, where the view panned up the heroine%26rsquo;s ass in creepy elevator-eyes fashion.
Taking a page from Heavenly Sword, the protagonist is a lithe, yet shapely red-haired warrioress, replete with sorta-there skin hugging attire and acrobatic foe-dispatching. The animations for the various combos and finishing moves looked pretty badass - limbs flew off like veggies on a cutting board, although carrots usually don%26rsquo;t gurgle and spray fountains of blood. It wasn%26rsquo;t uncommon for enemies to be left armless and headless, stumbling about for a bit and making rather visceral splatting and choking sounds. At one point, our heroine tossed a baddie into the air before chopping him in half at the waist, sending the remaining halves hurtling away.
Hoping to avoid the ever-present threat of mindless button mashing that all slashers face, the combat utilizes a %26ldquo;parry and evade%26rdquo; system instead of a block button that you hold down. Parrying naturally involves timed button-taps to block each individual attack, while evading seemed to encompass both sidesteps (which allow for quick backstabs) and even just manually jumping over low swings- at least we thought that%26rsquo;s what our demo master was doing. It%26rsquo;s possible all forms of evasion come from a single button, but if not, it%26rsquo;s pretty cool to jump over sweep attacks.