Rivals of Aether is a game that looks and feels comfortably familiar – and that’s largely due to the fact that it’s a game inspired by so many classics that any aspect of it might remind you of one of your favorite games of the ‘80s and ‘90s.
A multiplayer fighting game, Rivals of Aether borrows some pages from other popular games, while still keeping itself fresh and unique. During a match, your objective is to try and knock your opponents off the screen. You do this by attacking them, which increases their damage meter. The higher their damage meter, the further they’ll fly when hit with a power move. It’s an entirely unique fighting game style for Xbox. It’s just a super game, where you and all of your bros try your hardest smash each other.
Rivals of Aether embodies all the video game mechanics we grew up adoring. The visual aesthetic is a love letter to 8-bit gaming, as is its character design. It’s very clear that developer Dan Fornace loves video games in the purest sense, and this is an homage to everything he likes.
So how does it play? What we’ve seen from Rivals of Aether so far is extremely promising: The controls are top-notch, and the special moves are varied, fun, and flashy. Each fighter represents an element type: fire, water, earth, or air. We tried our hand at a few of the characters, starting with Zetterburn – a lion guy with a mane made of fire. Zetterburn can use his flame attacks to burn other players, which causes them to take more damage from follow-up attacks. There’s also Wrastor, an air elemental bird; Orcane, a water orca; and Kraag the earth elemental beetle. And that’s just for starters.
There’s a story in all this, explaining why these characters are rivals… though we haven’t gotten to see much of that quite yet. Right now, we’re having fun just bashing each other off the screen with our awesome elemental attacks.
For those of you who have been wanting this kind of fighting game on Xbox One, you’re finally getting it when Rivals of Aether makes its debut later this year via [email protected]