White Knight Chronicles Preview (PS3) - Part One
White Knight Chronicles is the latest game from developers Level-5 and it’s the company’s first project for the PS3. Despite the PlayStation 3 being just under three years old, WKC will be the first major RPG developed for the console. But it couldn’t come from a better company, since Level-5 have a deserving reputation for producing amazing games. Part one will look at the gameplay aspects of WKC.
The story focuses on main character Leonard, who helps a princess when her coming-of-age banquet is gate-crashed by an evil Corporation called Wizard. During the escape Leonard happens to stumble upon a magical armour that allows him to transform into the powerful White Knight, giving him the strength to repel Wizard and its leader, a general called Dregias.
Selecting from a world map, the player then chooses a location it’s visited in the past to instantly go there (which seemingly means backtracking is reduced). Along with a preview, the area has a quest list showing the player what needs to be done. From here, the player can choose a quest before visiting the area.
The battle system is a mix of the Dark Cloud series and Final Fantasy XII. You control the main character while the AI controls the rest, though you are free to switch to the other characters at will. Encountering an enemy automatically puts you into “Battle Preparation” where a menu appears and the player chooses a set of seven commands for each character in the party. These seven commands make up the “Function Palette” part of the battle preparation system. Commands can be linked to create combos and more importantly, several palette’s can be stored, which gives you a tactical edge, needed to survive the game. But going in and attacking the enemy will only see you get your attacks block or deflected and see your party beaten down. You have to wait for the enemy to be vulnerable and then strike.
Other notable parts of the battle system is the ability to execute combo attacks, Leonard able to change into his White Knight form by building up a gauge when using normal attacks on minor enemies and - adding a Monster Hunter vibe to it - the ability to gather raw materials from beaten enemies, though some are only available through online quests.
Part two will look at the features that is shaping WKC to be one of 2010's must-have RPG for the PS3.