E3 2011: Ruin Preview

Hacking, slashing, and saving to the cloud are the key elements of this action RPG for the Sony Vita.

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At its E3 2011 press conference, Sony confirmed the new name for its handheld (Vita) and proceeded to demo a host of games for the system. One of the system's features is connectivity to the PlayStation Network and the ability to save game data to cloud servers for later access on either the Vita or the PlayStation 3. Ruin is one of the games to take advantage of this feature, letting you experience its hack-and-slash action on either system. Sharing a cloud save isn't the only way that Ruin is taking advantage of the Vita's technological prowess, however.

Ruin is an action RPG that plays out from an isometric view in the spirit of Diablo. The level we saw in action looked like a familiar dungeon temple, with patterned tile floors, pillars, and ample torches casting a warm glow in the gloom. The character class (apparently one of many) we saw was the infernal warrior, though it was hard to discern his unique abilities in the short demo. We did see him dispatch a hearty number of enemies using a macelike weapon and a shield, and his attacks also caused elements in the environment to break apart. The demoer referred to this as "dynamic battlefields" and promised that "deep advancement" and "tons of loot" awaited players of Ruin.

Bigger rewards await those who take advantage of the PSN connectivity. As you progress and make choices throughout Ruin, you construct a lair of your own, and the dungeon that protects it grows in strength along with you. Details on that process were scant, but you will have the opportunity to attack other players' lairs. In turn, you will be able to defend your own lair against real-time attacks from other players, earning valuable loot and experience points the quicker you respond. Carrying your Vita with you will help you be quick on the draw, though you can also play Ruin on your PS3 by downloading "a PS3 SKU that will work seamlessly with PlayStation Vita version." Saving your game to the PSN's data cloud lets you preserve your progress across platforms.

There will also be some community functionality that will let you help or hinder your friends through Facebook, Twitter, and Ruin's community site. How exactly all that will work remains a mystery for now, but it's a good bet that more will be revealed as E3 progresses.

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