Code Age Brawls First Look

Square Enix's Code Age goes mobile at E3, and we follow along.

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In the effort to unearth the next Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, Square Enix has started building entirely new, multimedia franchises from the ground up. The first "new concept," as the Japanese company has named this practice, will be Code Age, a series of sci-fi adventures set on a futuristic planet. GameSpot reported on Code Age Commanders, the console-based chapter of the story, several months ago. At its pre-E3 press conference, Square Enix introduced two other pieces of the Code Age puzzle: Code Age Archives, a manga comic strip that was launched in March, and Code Age Brawls, which will be playable on some Japanese mobile phones later this year.

Square Enix showed a brief teaser video on Code Age series to shed some light on the series' setting. All the Code Age products take place on a futuristic planet, where all living beings are governed by a Central Code. This omnipotent entity appears as a sort of naked singularity in the sky. From what we could tell, it controls the evolutionary destiny of the planet's species from its lofty perch and periodically "resets" all life on the planet by busting everyone back down to nematode level. Code Age recounts the tense, violent time preceding one of these episodes, where various factions and races go to war over control of the Central Code so they can use it for their own ends.

We didn't see much of Code Age Brawls during the presentation. Most of the game's footage was devoted to showing off its graphics engine, which looked incredible. The camera swooped over a textured landscape, following a sword-clad hero into a gully. The textures appeared to be fantastically smooth, although it wasn't clear if the trailer was using in-game footage. The gameplay seems to be predominately action-role-playing-game style, like Code Age Commanders. We saw the character converse with an non-player character, as well as enter into 3D combat.

Code Age Brawls is due for release later this year in Japan. Square Enix hasn't indicated if the game will be released on US mobile phones. Hopefully, we'll be able to bring you some more details on the game in the next few months.

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