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Ashura Dark Reign

From Sonic Retro

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Ashura Dark Reign
Latest version: Unreal Tournament 2004
Latest release date: 2008-01-01
Engine: Unreal Engine 2.5
Credits: The ADR Dev Team

Ashura: Dark Reign (or ADR) is an upcoming game being developed on Epic Games' Unreal Engine 5. The player assumes the role of Sonic the Hedgehog (and friends) to save planet Mobius from his nemesis Dr. Ivo 'Eggman' Robotnik and the nefarious Ashura.

History - Techdemo

Ashura: Dark Reign began in mid 2005 as a modest model pack of Sonic characters for the Unreal Tournament 2004 video game. Due to popular demand and mounting anticipation, the scope of the project expanded to encompass an entire game mode. A coalition of Sonic and Unreal enthusiasts formed a dedicated development team under the leadership of Dekrayzis. The core team formed of Dekrayzis (Lead developer, modeler, mapper), Xaklse (Lead programmer), TimN (Lead Musician), Digimaks (Lead level designer), PunkXBlaze/Vaiz (Concept artist) and several other members. Through their collaborative efforts, the project crystallized into its own unique identity and after months of deliberation, it was christened Ashura: Dark Reign as the working project title.

From August 2005 to March 2006 collaborative research and ideas of the Sonic-verse were gathered to come up a compelling storyline, and how to to tackle transforming one of the worlds most well known first person shooter games into a Sonic game with no access to the underlining source code. Over the next two years, the ADR team experienced a series of highs and lows with fluctuating periods of activity due to each individual team members busy life schedules. Despite these challenges, a tech demo modification of Unreal Tournament 2004 was released on January 1, 2008; granting the public a glimpse of what had been in development. This demo featured a single-player mode with a lengthy level spanning three distinct environments, Sonic as the playable character, various Badnik enemies and a single boss battle. Although the demo was generally well-received, it also faced criticism. These issues were addressed in an extended tech demo released in November of the same year featuring updated environments, introduced refined controls, branching paths, secrets, entirely new areas, Sonic 3 'Blue spheres' Special Stages and 2.5D gameplay area in its final act pre-dating Sonic: Unleashed release date by several weeks.

After the release of the extended tech demo, in late 2009, Epic games released their Unreal development kit (Unreal engine 3) Which gave better access to the underlining code to create things which was not possible as a game modification for Unreal Tournament 2004, and with the added benefit as being a standalone project without the need for the player to obtain a copy of Unreal tournament. Several members began working on an official game under UDK but due to each member having increasing difficulty to find time, it was decided that the game would be shelved in 2013 due to the lack of resource and time dedicated to see the game come to fruition.

Relevant Images

UT2004 Version (Defunct)


Revival and Current Development

In 2021, the project was revived, revising what was created from the tech demo, offering new possibilities and a broader scope. Led by Dekrayzis, with contributions from TimN, team member Jorge as 3d modeler and Xaklse and Andrew75 returning in a supporting technical capacity role, the game is now being developed as a fully-fledged C++ Unreal Engine 5 game project.


Gameplay

Ashura: Dark Reign is designed to be a story-driven narrative experience with up to four playable characters. It merges seamlessly with established Sonic lore, encouraging exploration and interaction within a richly detailed world. Players will revisit iconic Sonic zones reimagined with contemporary aesthetics, solving puzzles and engaging with a dynamic cast of characters.


Plot

In the shadow of the crumbling remnants and debris of the Death Egg Mk1 on the mysterious Floating Island; Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles uncover a site pulsing with residual technological energies. Unbeknownst to their investigation amidst the twisted metal and shadowed ruins, will soon disturb a relic from the past, whose emergence threatens to unravel the very fabric of time and reality. As they delve into secrets long buried, they face choices that could change their lives and the world forever. As alliances shift and truths are unveiled, the adventure to save their future from the ashes of the past begins--where every action could tilt the balance of fate.



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