They thought him dead. They let him fall into the depths, be embraced by the darkness and be swallowed by a horror no one could survive; but he did. He came back and he’s got a list. He has written the names of all those that betrayed him and he’s already crossing them out. If you walk down a dank alley at night remember where your loyalties lay; for if they ever shifted he may find you, familiar.
|Concept:||Pyke as a spectre of the sands.|
|Model:||New model for Pyke and glow for his eye and sword (Ctrl + 5 to toggle the blade glow).|
|Particles:||New particles for his abilities, auto-attack, joke, respawn, death and recall.|
|Animations:||New recall animation.|
|Sounds:||New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack and recall. New quotes when attacking, walking and killing an enemy.|
|Splash Art:||For background we only have the suggestion of a temple, perhaps, with a facade that is barely visible under the glare of the Sun. Fine, it’s probably the desert but the effect is too extreme without adding much meaning so, the context suffers. Before this we find a victim of the wraith of the sands. Perhaps another adventurer foolish enough to covet the treasures inside the temple? That’s as much a guess as a wish. There’s too little to make any educated tries.
Pyke’s portrayal has all the clarity that the background lacks. The style is cartoony but the reflective metal, sharp lines and complex decoration make him interesting to look at. At least, the central area of head, torso and right arm. The rest of the body is blurred away by the sands which make an statement about his nature yet also devour too much of him. In terms of clarity for a presentation card, this is a depiction that shows little. The scene is interesting but the sand can look like a coloured splash of water and lack a more relevant meaning that simply being an extension of Pyke.
The result is a splash art that has an interesting setup but that, ultimately, doesn’t show enough. There’re suggestions given by several diffuse elements yet the only thing one comes away with is the ambush of the wraith on some people near a building. With the potential to practically show a little story and also make the portrayal clearer and more interesting the splash art ends up letting down.
|Conclusion:||The idea of changing water for sand and turning the Bloodharbor Ripper into a sand wraith is quite straightforward; which is noticeable in the skin. The new model shows clear influence from Prince of Persia in the clothes. The bandaged arms hint at a mummy underneath but only the glow of the eye gives the spectral feel that one would expect from a wraith. That said the contrast of colours is nice despite the familiar looks. It’s certainly a stylised approach but eye-catching enough.
The new particles fully revolve around sand. Whereas Classic Pyke employs splashes of water those get changed to bursts of sand. Glows are also adapted into a sandy colour which would’ve benefited from a stronger addition of sand. The new blade design is a big part of both Bone Skewer and Death from Below which makes the weapon an important part of the theme and gives those important abilities a link. Auto-attack, joke, respawn and death also receive new particles to keep the consistency of the sand theme which is good.
Sounds, much like particles, change splashes of water for the hissing of sand. Unfortunately, there’s even less variety than in particles. Abilities seem to use the same sand sound simply longer or shorter as necessary. One sound that does stand out, as it should, is Death from Below’s tune. It’s more dramatic and elaborate than in Classic, yet without exaggerating, but the feel is identical. This makes it a better option for Classic but not a good contribution to the sand theme.
The new recall is the sole new animation. Pyke plays with some trinkets and throws them around showing his disregard: his interest lies elsewhere. It’s a rather subtle reference that lacks proper context. The relaxed sitting pose, at best, says more of the same.
The result is, as evidenced by the direct adaptation, an effective but hardly innovative skin. Sand Wraith Pyke leaves the docks and moves to the desert and that’s it. There’s nothing beyond the surface and what’s there isn’t particularly impressive. Still, it’s a good skin and surely feels different to the classic persona; at least on the surface.
The release skin for the Bloodharbor Ripper is Sand Wraith Pyke. It’s a straightforward skin that changes water for sand and gives him clothing inspired by Prince of Persia. The result isn’t bad but the theme is adapted so directly that it becomes shallow. Thankfully, the skin feels different enough to classic to justify being an alternative even if it fails to impress.