Game Review: Pyre spins a powerful tale of redemption, religion, and monster dunks

Landing somewhere at the intersection of religious parable, visual novel, and Tecmo Bowl, Supergiant Games’ latest, Pyre, takes its time revealing itself to be the studio’s deepest story to date. The game invites players into the inhospitable prison realm of the Downside, a dangerous yet visually stunning wasteland populated by castoffs whose crimes range from desertion and betrayal all the way up to the horror that is literacy. Players take on the role of one such bookish criminal and serve as a kind of priest/team manager for a rapidly growing crew of eclectic, brightly drawn characters. They’ve been brought together by the promise of freedom from their purgatorial woes, via participation in an elaborate religious competition known as the Rites. Presided over by a sneering commentator—voiced, expertly as ever, by Bastion and Transistor star Logan Cunningham—these mysterious ceremonies take the form of a fast-paced three-on-three …

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