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E3 2011: White Knight Chronicles II latest impressions

We'd be remiss if we didn't begin this preview by saying the first White Knight Chronicles wasn't that hot. After years of hype and promise, WKC1 fell on its ass in the avatar creation and MMO aspects, leaving a generic mess of an RPG. We've discussed in great length about the changes being made for the sequel, but we've just taken the game for a spin on the E3 show floor and have some quick updates.


We already mentioned how positioning has a much greater importance in battle. Melee and ranged attacks will affect your enemies and party differently depending on tactical placement. Level 5 aimed for a truer MMO experience last time, resulting in attacks landing no matter the placement in battle. It felt a little odd to throw out melee attacks thirty feet away and having them land, so the sequel has rectified that. One cool bit we saw was the ability to draw fire away from your party so enemies don't gang up on one ally.

Another small tweak to combat that seems to make all the difference is that now you can enter a fight with your battle gauge already filled up. Before you entered a fight and had to wait for your gauge to fill, letting enemies have the first blows. Now, you can enter battles poised to strike and spend more time figuring out the positioning of your avatar for the attacks.

 

We entered a boss battle where we took hold of Leonard's White Knight and battled the demented Duke Gigas, who transformed into a terrifying Chimera-like beast that could dual wield swords. It's important to keep in mind that your avatar can control their own White Knight. We just weren't able to see that today. Gigas was being buffed by these two crystals, which were sucking the life force from the planet.

We struck at these crystals, while the rest of the team whittled down Gigas' health. Like before you can issue basic commands to your team. Joe Fletcher – producer on WKC2 – summarized that the command system wasn't as complex as Final Fantasy XII's, but did have depth to it. Once the crystals were done, we turned our attention to Gigas until he was felled.

 

We're still skeptical towards White Knight Chronicles II. On the one hand, these changes could be enough to propel the game to greater heights. Hell, they're even including the first game on the disc, complete with the sequel's changes to alter gameplay for the better. On the other hand... the first game was a complete disappointment. Chronicles II hits later this summer and we'll bring you the word on whether the final copy can live up to its promises.

Jun 14, 2011

Topics

E3

3 comments

  • GringoStar - June 15, 2011 12:53 a.m.

    Why can't they just make the combat similar to their Ps2 flagship title Rogue Galaxy? That RPG was simply amazing...hoping for an HD remake.
  • ZidaneAlcor - June 14, 2011 9:58 p.m.

    My sentiments exactly, though I didn't play online. I thought WKC was okay... clearly not the best, but I liked it well enough to give this a chance. The fact that PCs get an incorruptus (and a customizable one at that) actually sort of has me excited. That was one of my biggest gripes about the first game... it seemed like everyone and their dog had a sexy magical mobile suit/golem/armor/thing and I didn't. It made me sadface. It's nice to know devs seem to be paying more attention to their audience lately.
  • reson8er - June 14, 2011 7:14 p.m.

    I won't romanticize first games flaws, it had a lot, but I found it pretty fun (especially online, did you guys play online?). I really hope L5 managed to recapture their RPG magic and deliver a much better game. As lacking as the first game was, in my eyes it had a lot of potential, lets hope it delivers.

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