TOKYO--Edge of Twilight is presented as a game of contrasts, and from what we've seen so far it looks set to live up to that. In it you play as Lex, a half-breed being who is the one person in his world who can move between its coexisting day and night states. These two states exist in the same space, it seems, but are wildly different--even Lex's form changes massively as you move from one world to the other.
Popping down to Fuzzyeyes' booth at TGS to take a look at the game, we were presented with a demo of the combat in both worlds. Starting off in the light world, which is dominated by mostly decaying steampunk technology, Lex is armed with a significantly sized gunblade that looks to be part shotgun and part cleaver. Clambering up an abandoned industrial installation that's being reclaimed by the jungle, he was rapidly assaulted by a bunch of strange creatures appearing through voids, apparently from the night realm. These fast-paced creatures were humanoid but very feral. They attacked with fervor and gusto but were easy enough to defeat with a few slices of the gunblade. Certain combinations of movement and light and heavy attacks enabled some impressive attacks, which looked even more impressive as the combat came to an end. Whenever there is only one enemy onscreen, the camera moves in close into a cinematic mode, with blood spattering the camera as the blade swishes past.
The demo showed off a couple of other nice touches in the combat. Once an enemy falls below a certain critical level of health, you can perform a one-hit kill through a finishing move that is unique to that creature. In our demo, the only one we saw pulled off was against a fearsome troll-like creature called a bruiser. This involved charging at it, then decapitating it with one blow of the gunblade as Lex lept when it stumbled forward. One-hit kills are also possible if you entice enemies to lunge in and attack you recklessly by repeatedly blocking their attacks without attacking yourself--but if you time it wrong, you'll find yourself rapidly dead.
The encounter with the bruiser also demonstrated one mechanic that you don't see often enough: damaging friendly fire among enemies. The bruisers are single-minded beasts wielding massive clubs and with a tendency to charge at you. If they miss you with a swing of the club, they're quite capable of taking out other, smaller enemies that happen to get in the way. This should open up some interesting gameplay possibilities as the game moves on, and many more such instances are promised.
We also got to see an application of the day-night switch-over during our demo, which does a whole lot more than just change the lighting. Lex's form changes completely when he finds and activates a shrine to switch realms, and he goes from being a large-but-agile brawler, bedecked with overcoat and gunblade, to being a creature that is barely humanoid. His combat abilities change dramatically too; he can no longer block, and rather than fighting with a gunblade, his primary weapon becomes the bone spikes that emerge from his arms in an almost Wolverine-like manner. His leaping and grabbing abilities are vastly improved too, and it was this feature that proved useful straight away because it allowed Lex to leap across a chasm and scramble down a wall to traverse a previously impassable obstacle.
The final element to the combat is ether. It acts as life force in the night realm but acts rather differently in the day realm. In the light it can be used to power machines or to activate a mode that's like bullet time, which lets you spin around enemies, landing multiple blows for a short period of time while time for them slows down.
Edge of Twilight looks to have some serious potential and a number of interesting mechanics, so rest assured that we will keep you posted as it nears release and we get to see more of it.