Battle vs. Chess gambit set for September 28

TopWare Interactive inserts life bars, combo systems into ancient strategy game for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC later this month.

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Chess has existed for centuries unchanged, but that doesn't stop game designers from wanting to breathe new life into it. The next attempt to update the time-tested board game will arrive later this month, as SouthPeak Games today announced a September 28 release date for Battle vs. Chess on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.

This loathsome king is using his queen as a human shield.
This loathsome king is using his queen as a human shield.

Developed by Topware Interactive and Gaijin Entertainment, Battle vs. Chess includes traditional interpretations of the game, as well as dramatically overhauled takes featuring video game staples like life bars and combo attacks. Purists will be able to pit themselves against the Fritz 11 chess AI, get tips and move-by-move advice from the game's tutorial, and make their way up a ranking system.

Those who want an overhauled take on the game will be able to work through the game's Battle mode, in which the pieces come alive as fantasy archetypes and skirmishes are decided by a brief beat-'em-up fight sequence. The pieces in this mode will be competitively balanced similar to the real game (so a queen will have a significant advantage when facing pawns), but health bars that carry over from one fight to another will allow for players to work attrition into their strategies. Other variations include "madness placement," where the pieces are randomly strewn about the board to start, and a puzzle mode.

The console versions of Battle vs. Chess will sell for $40 at launch, while the PC edition will be available for $20. For more on the game, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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