TGS 2008: White Knight Chronicles Updated Impressions

So what if we're saving a princess again? How many princesses get saved by knights in behemoth-sized armor?

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TOKYO--Level 5 is a developer to keep a close eye on for sure. Its upcoming role-playing game, White Knight Chronicles, is an exclusive PlayStation 3 game that is like two games in one. You have a solid single-player experience that will take you through the main storyline, and if you want, you can take the adventure online to play with up to three friends. Last year at the Tokyo Game Show, we were able to get some hands-on time, but this year, it was only a PowerPoint presentation and a couple of trailers. We met with Sony Computer Entertainment Japan to see how the game is progressing, as well as take a look at some of the characters, customization, battle mechanics, and online components.

The trailer opened up by showing some gorgeous images of a densely populated city and a giant turtle carrying an entire city in its back. We were introduced to the main characters in the game. Just by watching the trailer, we could tell that we were in for an action-packed RPG with elaborate cutscenes and a touching story. The second trailer introduced character or avatar customization, and we saw some of the online play, which felt very much like a massively multiplayer online game.

This guy means business.

During the presentation, the producer of the game, Kentaro Motomura, went over some of the key aspects of White Knight Chronicles. He said that Level 5 wanted to create an authentic fantasy world where the most prominent features include objects and creatures that are enormous in scale. The gargantuan turtle we saw earlier was an example. Size also comes into play when your main character, Leonard, is able to transform into a towering White Knight.

The story involves rescuing a princess, and though that storyline has been used many times, it's not just about the overall goal--it's about how you get there. Leonard, who works for a wine merchant, happens to be at the castle when it is attacked by a wizard. He helps Princess Cisna escape and finds a mysterious suit of armor that is able to transform him into a powerful warrior. While he's busy fighting off the enemy, the princess ends up getting caught anyway, and in typical heroic fashion, he decides to go after her.

The active time-battle system was described as being heavily customizable because you are given a good chunk of commands to work with to create and name your own combos. You are given a palette to work with, and once you have it set up, the controls should be simple and easy. When Leonard is fighting, his gauge will fill, and once it is full, he can transform. Motomura said that there is strategy involved in the battles because you can't always count on transforming. Sometimes the monsters you face will also be very large, and it is possible to defeat them without being oversized.

The presentation also went into the avatar system where you can create your own character and adjust his or her features. There was a lot of customization that could be done so that each character is unique. Your avatar will come in later during the main story, but having an avatar means you can also play with other people's characters online. Through the PlayStation Network, you can link up and play co-operatively with three friends to go on quests. The demo that we saw had a group of adventurers take on a hulking troll. We were told that the data for your avatar is shared online and offline, so everything you earn (money, experience, items) online in quests will stay with you when you play in single-player mode. Quests can only be done with four people, but the online lobby can have up to 16 players. Like other MMOGs, you'll be able to send messages to each other and mess around with character motions.

It's too bad we didn't have a chance to play because the trailers looked amazing, and there seems to be a lot you can do with the battle system. White Knight Chronicles is scheduled for a December 25 release date in Japan only. No announcements have been made for North America, but we hope to be able to get more information on this game soon, so be sure to keep checking back.

Discussion

156 comments
shamsul_LP
shamsul_LP

my friend already play this..they can understand japanese...this game is damm good..

Tomboy_666
Tomboy_666

According to Wikipedia this game has already released in japan.... in December 2008!!!

TheTenth10
TheTenth10

let's hope it will be easy to form groups in taverns for example, and you can add the guys to your WKS friends list to send them messages to form a group

black-master
black-master

I have to get a ps3 with all those great exclusives like uncharted 2, white knight chronicles.resistance 2,la noir,and the list goes on.

Blink3r
Blink3r

WTF is happening?! many games have close release dates in japan but haven't even been announced to come out in america -.-

KrayzieJay
KrayzieJay

Looks pretty damn good. I'll probably get hooked on the online play.

mergedsalem23
mergedsalem23

what bothers is I wonder what battles will be like as a knight because you are moving a giant knight I hope it dont move like godzilla.

mergedsalem23
mergedsalem23

09 is the year for sony to make a come back, just a matter of time.

mergedsalem23
mergedsalem23

I really do want to try this out it will be something new to the game console market single campaign mode/mmo and with the history level 5 have I know it will be good.

Candy27420
Candy27420

Wow is all I have to say, it sounds amazing. I can't wait.

Antagonist8503
Antagonist8503

Well, the PS3 has a pretty strong lineup in 2009. In February the PS3 has an exclusive that no 360 title coming out in that month can beat, Killzone 2. As for other exclusives, WKC seems a pretty fair bet at peaking RPG fans interests since there has been a dry spell of RPGs on the PS3. As far as exclusives go, PS3 still has a solid lineup that will rival if not beat 360 exclusives which include Twisted Metal(yes, if you encrypted the code from the special edition, it says Twisted metal on the PS3 - meaning if twisted metal black was any indication, the game is gonna rock), God of War 3, Final Fantasy Versus 13, Jak 4, Killzone 2, and WKC. Oh and if you say that Star Ocean 4 is an exclusive, it will not be a definite exclusive, it WILL come to the PS3 beyond a reasonable doubt. How do i know this? Well when asked the question, the game developer said that it may or may not, but never said it wouldn't and if I know the developer and some of the game's history as being on the playstation for so long, along with some of opinionated assumptions such as the developer wanting to get to the main fanbase, then I'm sure the game will come to PS3. Question is when and will there be added content like Eternal Sonata. I still have yet to see any 360 exclusives that will rival these games in 2009. Besides people, the PS3 has done really well, considering it came out 1 year later than the 360. So in my opinion the PS3 has come a long way facing stiff competition along with a crazy pricetag that turned down sony fans. If the PS3 came along with the 360 with a more affordable price tag, guess what, the 360 wouldn't be doing so well now would it, but it was microsoft's plan which worked for them. Kudos to them for thinking ahead but they failed in the beginning of the 360s life when it came to quality assurance. Sony on the other hand didn't. Although I loved my xbox because of Halo and Ninja Gaiden Black, I didn't see many other games worth buying.

higheclipse
higheclipse

this game sounds good, the heavy customization is something i would like to put to the test...can't wait

jacky531
jacky531

This game just keeps sounding better the more I hear about it

EnaVRi
EnaVRi

I don't play any 360 games yet... I'm sure they have plenty exclusives... But PS3 exclusives are great... Not only MGS4 and Uncharted... i'm not in the mood mentioning all the exclusives that I have but... They are good... And PS3 exclusives are getting better now... For example Resistance 2... R1 was already a Solid shooter... R2 is going to be much better and will be one of the best FPS games... This game will also rock the gaming scene... I'm expecting good things from this...

Tech-head
Tech-head

@gamzrsweet, So for the record, you are calling yourself an idiot right?

andyward_f5
andyward_f5

gamz, are you a freaking mongoloid? The PS3 is 1000X better then a 360 for several reasons, blu-ray; for size of format and blu-ray movie playing capabilities, free online and the Cell processor, 360 had there time in the light, but it's just plain to expensive to make 5 DVD games all the time, grow up and get the new stuff

gamzrsweet
gamzrsweet

kkkknaruto if u think sony even stands a chance with 360..pretty much every exclusive sony has had except for mgs4 and uncharted sucked big time and im not really seeing many exclusives in the future...oh thats right cause microsoft is getting most of em, obviously devs see that the 360 is way more superior than ps3, any idiot could see that...

felipenet7
felipenet7

kkkkknaruto you are write! 3rd party developers are being very stupid not to understand what they are making! PS3 exclusives are going to dominate the console and they all come from Sony itself. So Sony is becoming more stronger and in the future no 3rd party developers are going to be a match to Sony's titles. it's so dump from 3rd party developers not to make games that ps3 owners want but just some horrible ports! I had to make my mind between Resistance 2 and World at War and of course I'm gonna get the PS3 exclusive! I had to make my mind between SOCOM and Hell's Highway and of course I went for SOCOM!!! Stupid developers can't they see giving priority to an old 360 is making them loose ground!!!

jason231
jason231

I completly agree with SaintAjora.

kkkkknaruto
kkkkknaruto

ms's goal is to become like sony, as they spend all their money stealing exclusives, sony will just keep making more. this is a sign of leadership and any individual with a brain knows sony will dominate this generation, pass nintendo will be a miracle, pass microsoft a piece of cake.although if japan starts taking in more ps3, they might just take control

EnaVRi
EnaVRi

I'm guessing 1st quarter 2009... Can't wait...

SaintAjora
SaintAjora

Epic awesomeness! After WKC we need DarkCloud 3 on the PS3 ^_^

b1azt
b1azt

cant w8 4 this game to come 2 america

Crusader-Z
Crusader-Z

lol...xderosamel its because xbox 360 have stolen a lot of Sony exclusive games...one is Tekken 6

Media_Mind
Media_Mind

The last 'saving the princess' epic?

Antagonist8503
Antagonist8503

Just watched a pretty good trailer of the game. The combat seems more realistic in the sense that you can move around and even have enemies in holds, long enough for your teammate to make the finishing blow. Even though this game is still in development, it still looks great and has a great concept. Level 5 are the people who created Dark Cloud and Dark Cloud 2 which were pretty big hits on the Playstation 2. They also did Rogue Galaxy and J'D Arc for the PSP. All of these games were pretty top notch, so if those games were any indication of the talent involved, this game could be a JRPG worth mentioning as an PS3 exclusive.

valcrist09
valcrist09

Hey completist wrong company, liar was made by FACTOR 5, this is level 5 a japanese company.

TheCompletist
TheCompletist

After Lair, I won't let myself get too excited until I have the game in my PS3 and it's fun. It LOOKS awesome. I hope it is.

Pablo620
Pablo620

Epic Awesomeness. Cant wait for this game...actually, with the mass of good games coming out over the next 6 months I can wait...POLISH this gem Level 5

Ult_Byakugan
Ult_Byakugan

I see this RPG on the PS3 gaining much promise!

Roman16
Roman16

finally some progress on rpgs sony...

heavybotpoko
heavybotpoko

The reson why it wont come on the xbox, and i own all three with more games on my 360 then ps3 is that it cant handle the game unlike the ps3 where it will be on one dice where the xbox will need 8.

gshell
gshell

i've read in the past that some reviewers who have played demoes of WKC said the game was a little rough but too early to make a clear judgement. i find it interesting that at tgs they opted for a powerpoint presentation when everyone knows they've had at least one demo out there already....hmmmmm....i trust level 5, but i'm a little concerned about how the game is progressing. hopefully this means they took heed and are polishing the game.

FabioPizzini
FabioPizzini

Oh, a game for PS3 now i will see a really great game, but enjoyable?

zeke2040
zeke2040

sweet a co-op rpg game for the PS3

Kenji_Masamune
Kenji_Masamune

Dear Square Enix, please take note at how this japanese developer is showing off stuff in it's game well before launch. Please take this into consideration in the future as not be prude with your games info. Yes I'm talking about nothing to really be seen until the game goes gold in japan and starts disc production

SickzLife
SickzLife

Okay! You win Level-5 You'll get my money...

xderosamel
xderosamel

"finally RPG game only in ps3" Why do you people care if it only comes out on PS3? What's the difference if it's on Xbox? More people will play? I'm actually disappointed by this. No more exclusives!

Krusnikzero2
Krusnikzero2

Looks interesting, I'll keep this game in mind

killa4lyfe
killa4lyfe

wow looks preety cool ... ill be watchin this :)

nemmms
nemmms

finally RPG game only in ps3

tonychrenka
tonychrenka

it seems that the game is only gonna be cool when you are the white knight.

unbentonslaught
unbentonslaught

you know this game sounds strange (call me heretic) even though I love RPG this sounds really strange.

Benny_a
Benny_a

there is no game better than traditional JRPG!! I have both 360 and PS3 only for this reason to collect them ALL!!

ukpet_anime
ukpet_anime

Level 5's RPGS etc always seem to have that standard deep gameplay element that RPGs etc always offer but they do without the steep learning curve to get into the game. I find their games a little nicer/easier even than Square Enix's collection, such as the Final Fantasy saga (even though they are fine examples of RPG's, they can be a bit difficult) Hopefully Level 5 can bring WKC to the same high standards as the rest of it's previous titles. Like a lot of folk have said on here, I think we all need a good RPG for the PS3 ASAP ^_^