The original White Knight Chronicles was well received by role-playing fans but didn’t go over quite as well with critics. Nevertheless, the sequel is headed our way – May 20 for Europeans and August 2 for Americans – and with these dates secured, it’s now time to take a close look at Level-5’s promising sequel. Just in case you missed out on the original, WKC2 comes packaged with the first title, so you can get the full White Knight experience. Featuring overhauled visuals and a slightly revamped combat mechanic, the story follows directly on the heels of the first game (the plot takes place one year after the events of WKC). We’ll also get more cut-scenes but we’ll be able to skip them faster, just in case you’re impatient to get your exploring groove on. But most want the story, right?
You’ll be able to create your own avatar right off the bat, and if you just so happen to still have the character you created in the first WKC, you can import it. New characters include Scardigne and Lady Miu, whom you will meet at the start of WKC2; these two will eventually meet Leonard and the rest of the familiar party. Your avatar plays a silent role as he/she did before but then again, how can you expect developers to write lines for you ? That’d be tough. Anyway, you’ll soon find that gameplay is similar to the original, as you will once again see enemies on the world map and engage them by selecting from your available list of commands. In this way, it’s reminiscent of Final Fantasy XII , and that isn’t a bad thing. Chain together combos, customize your attack approach, and gain victory.
Perhaps the biggest difference involves the positioning of your party members: this time, you have to be close enough to an enemy to successfully land an attack. Also, your position directly affects the amount of damage you will deal; obviously, attacking from behind is probably a good idea. New skills come along with this fresh fighting feature, and those skills will allow you to gain the ground advantage in different ways. Another new feature is the ability to break attacks- when a particular limb of a monster is about to do something nasty, a colored icon will appear over that body part. You will have attacks that correspond with that icon so if you’re watching carefully, you can nail that limb and stop the foe’s assault. In fact, it seems you’ll be able to have party members focus specifically on breaking particularly damaging attacks.
And then comes the crowd favorite; the creation and customization of your very own knight: the “incorruptus.” Once created to your own preferences, you can bring it with you online, where you can greatly expand your gameplay experience (as you could in the original). Furthermore, Level-5 is tossing in no less than 400 new weapons and pieces of armor, and we can also expect all new abilities and spells for the party. As for GeoNet, which sort of attained an addictive quality amongst big-time fans of WKC, this will also return and the developers say it’s basically the same, with only a few small updates. Oh, and lastly, the limit of four players per party has been upped to six, so that’s just more fun for all. We’re still not sure why US gamers have to wait so much longer for White Knight Chronicles 2 , but we’ll be patient. We kinda have to be.
After all, this is one of our most anticipated games of 2011. How about you?