Golden Axe: Beast Rider Preview
Golden Axe. Now there's a name you haven't heard in ages. It's been 17 years since we got our last Golden Axe game, and it was Golden Axe II for the Sega Genesis. There was a Golden Axe III, but it never saw light in the US, unless you count the five people who downloaded it via Sega Channel. There have been spin-offs, and a number of poor ports and remakes, one even released by Sega for their Sega-Ages compilation. Well, it's been two years since Sega made it official that a new Golden Axe would be arriving for next-gen systems, and we should be seeing it sometime this Fall.
Golden Axe: Beast Rider is the name of the newest entry, and its sub-title says a lot about one of the new focuses of the game. First thing's first, Tyris Flare, the female warrior from the original Golden Axe, is your primary character. As you can imagine, she'll possess the abilities to wield some gigantic swords and axes, and put them to damn good use. Melee combat will feature finisher moves, as well as some gruesome attacks that'll leave enemies dismembered.
When you wish to get a bit more barbaric, hop on a beast and do your killing from high a-top a creature that can pulverize everything in its path, and boast magical powers too. And when you're not riding around on your beast and using its magic abilities, you can use your very own spells and magic weapons. Your weapons can be upgraded with elemental powers, which will allow you to inflict additional damage and cast damaging spells, as well.
Your environments will be fully destructible, and Sega claims an expansive world to explore. Hopefully that world is still called Yuria, as well. Throughout this world you will encounter a variety of familiar friends, as well as a familiar set of enemies. We can only assume that these familiar faces will be allies Ax Battler and Gilius, and foe Death Adder.
The game is actually a prequel to the original Golden Axe, and it will deal primarily with Tyris' quest to avenge the murder of her tribe. But more specifically, if you recall the original Golden Axe, it wasn't just her tribe that was murdered, but her parents, as well, and Death Adder was behind that. According to the game's fact sheet, it looks like the game will begin before the first Golden Axe, and eventually lead into it, as Sega calls Beast Rider a "re-imagination."
So far Sega has been reserved about releasing media of Golden Axe in action. But, that is not to say we haven't seen the game. Recently, developer Secret Level posted a few screenshots of the game on their website, and an assortment of other screenshots leaked. We have those screens for you to look at and judge for yourself. Even though most of them are branded with a Sega logo, they look rather early. The game does seem to have a nice large scope, which was made obvious from an old gameplay trailer of the game Sega showed a year ago. But we hope that these images aren't an indication of what the final product looks like, especially considering how Secret Level's other game, Iron Man, looks.
There's still plenty of time left in Golden Axe's development cycle, as the game isn't due out until early Fall. So keep your eyes peeled for more.
3/31/2008 Arnold Katayev