The video game Pyre takes place in a high fantasy setting. The player controls a character who has been exiled from society and quickly meets three other exiles. Pyre is an action role-playing sports video game developed by Supergiant Games for Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS and PlayStation 4, released on July 25, 2017. The macOS version was released on August 3, 2017.
The three exiles discover that the player-character is literate and invites them to join their party, nicknaming them the Reader. The Reader aids the exiles and other exiles met during the course of the game in their travels through the land of purgatory as they look to cleanse their souls via defeating other exiles. The story is told through on-screen narrative passages that include a hyperlink-type system used by the player-character to explore the story further. In addition to guiding the exiles during “Rites” which resemble a sports game, the Reader must determine how to help support or improve the party, by performing activities such as scavenging for supplies, learning more of the world’s lore, or mentoring the exiles to improve their abilities.
Through the land, the party encounters other groups of exiles, which starts the Rites, the game’s combat system which was described by Marty Silva of IGN as a mix of DOTA, Rocket League, and Supergiant’s previous game, Transistor. Rites takes place on a field with two columns of flame, or pyres, at opposite ends and the three exiles facing off against three opponents on a top-down perspective. Each team attempts to destroy the opposing pyre by launching a single glowing orb at it, which steadily whittles away at its health. The player only controls one character at a time by passing the orb among the three. A character traveling with the orb is vulnerable to being temporarily banished from the Rites if an enemy’s aura touches them, which would drop the orb at their feet. The different characters have various skills that aid them in the Rites, such as dashes or long-range projectiles. Each of the player’s characters also have different passive abilities, such as one that can move quickly about this arena but does little damage to the opponent’s pyre, while another is slow and bulky, but can do the greatest damage.
The game includes a local multiplayer mode which allows two players controlling separate teams to compete. Supergiant was unsure if they would be able to include online multiplayer in time for the game’s launch and opted to keep this mode to local as well as player-versus-computer matches for release.