Game Of The Year 2017 Editor's Spotlight Awards
Created by GameSpot Staff on
Pyre | Tony Wilson, Video Producer
I could talk about Pyre's beautiful art style or its evocative soundtrack, but I want to focus on two key areas where this indie darling excels: the story and the sport.
From your first steps into the Downside, the tale of Pyre is dour. The cast of characters have their own reasons for being there, and reasons for why they'd like to return to the land of the living. When (or if) you are able to send one of them home, it's an emotional moment. That's not just because of the joy or thankfulness that washes over your teammate's face, as their sentence in this purgatory finally ends; it's also the knot in your stomach that forms as you potentially give up your star player.
As for the sport itself, the combination of 3-on-3 basketball and action-RPG skills is something that could practically stand as its own game. Everyone on your roster has analogues on your opponents' teams. They are essentially different classes: speedsters that can charge right into the goal, heavies that can camp on your own pyre, and others that have bizarre yet tactically useful abilities like seeding the ground or instantly retreating. Winning games, leveling up, and unlocking perks for each team member further accentuates the hidden depth of this made-up sport.
These elements come together to chronicle an emotional journey that's also an incredibly fun game to play. Helping others to escape the Downside while slowly revealing your own fate is an experience you should have, and the game's local competitive mode means anyone can jump in for a simple pick-up game too.