I can honestly start this preview by saying that when I discovered the booth for D3 Publisher and got my hands on White Knight Chronicles 2, I geeked out more than I have in recent years. The original White Knight Chronicles was a personal favorite of mine and the second one looks to take things to a new level with some solid improvements.
Right off the bat, the guy at D3 Publisher showed me the coolest addition to White Knight Chronicles 2 and that is the ability to fully customize your knight. Not only can you change the colors of the knight’s armor, but you can also fully customize what kind of armor and weapons it will carry. The game uses a system of AP points where each piece of armor or weapon costs a certain amount of points. As you level up your knight, it will gain more of an AP max and you will be able to equip better armor and weapons.
Customization is not the only thing that has been given some extra Humph. The combat system was noticeably faster as the time between attacks has been reduced dramatically and the player now has attacks such as the dash which gets them to the enemy and slashing with all kinds of speed. You won’t always be fast though, as the game has brought back a weight system where if fully decked in plate armor, your player will be slower between attacks but won’t be so easily knocked back. On the flip side, a character with leather armor will attack faster but be more prone to getting knocked on his or her ass.
As I stepped out into the world of WKC 2, I was immediately impressed with the improved graphics and frame rate that the game sported. The environments and characters all look to have a new level of polish added to them and even the big White Knight looked a bit more crisp. Gamers should also be happy to know that while the first game was mostly setup as an MMO and set the stage for the series, I was told this game would be one that would dive more into the characters and story of the world, unravelling the mysteries of the knights.
Though I didn’t get hands on with it, the game will now feature 1-6 player parties online, up from the 4 players in the first game. I did learn that the new game will allow for the use of up to two knights at a time in online play and the Georama system of creating towns makes a return.
At the end of my playthrough, I walked away from the booth even more excited than when I walked up. White Knight Chronicles 2 features enough improvements and hopefully the story and characters will offer a bit more depth to the entire experience. The addition of knight customization and the sped up combat system are great moves towards another good experience only found on the PlayStation 3.
White Knight Chronicles 2 releases August 2nd in North America and this Friday in Europe.