Enlarge (credit: Supergiant Games)

Role-playing games and sports video games have more in common than you think.

Decades ago, series like Sensible World of Soccer and Tony La Russa Baseball (on PC, not console) filled their career modes with lots of money- and roster-management menus. Modern major-league games and soccer games like FIFA 17 have carried those traditions over, sporting enough card-slotting and story-driven career modes to make them a hat and a wizard robe away from being a full-blown adventure.
But what if a sports game went further with its RPG elements? What if it had a high-stakes, internal-drama story, where relationships between teammates—along with the winners and losers you confront along the way—affected everything from the storytelling to the number-crunching min-max possibilities? I invite the big dogs at EA Sports, 2K Games, and Sony Santa Monica to look at a tremendous example of that experiment: Pyre, out today from Supergiant Games.
Pyre is a departure from the top-down, world-roaming adventures of Supergiant’s previous games Bastion and Transistor. It’s definitely not a Zelda-like quest with gritty narration, but it does see Supergiant continuing its streak of taking an established genre and saying, “we’re gonna build a helluva narrative and aesthetic world in there.”
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