Players: 1 Player Game | Genre: Role Playing Game
Release Date: 09/02/08
With the release of Square Enix's Xbox 360 exclusive RPG, Infinite Undiscovery, just days away, it is a great time to take a look at what players can expect from the game. First of all, it is important to note that the game is not your typical turn-based Square Enix game that you may be expecting; that's due in large part to the fact that SE is only the publisher for Infinite Undiscovery. The fine folks at Tri-Ace are behind the actual development and they've decided to take some liberties with the gameplay in order to make it a more action-packed experience than most may be expecting.
The most radical departure from classic JRPG gameplay is the real time combat. During play, the game will transition seamlessly into battles and not even bringing up your menu screen to hunt for items will pause the action. Instead you'll have your hands full pulling off combos with your melee fighters while relying on AI-controlled teammates to assist you with magical attacks and healing; thankfully, from what we've seen, it looks like they do a pretty good job. You can also use special skills, called Connect Skills, with other members in your party. A good deal of these skills are done automatically, but some will require you to take manual control over a character to perform the move. One thing we noticed about the combat is that it can get pretty hectic in a hurry. When it does, the framerate of the game tends to drop quite a bit and this problem most likely will still be prominent in the retail game as well.
Infinite Undiscovery employs what the developers are calling “situational battles.” What this means is that some encounters will allow you to use certain aspects of your surroundings to your advantage in combat. Also, you may be able to use the environment to sneak past some encounters such as using the sound of crashing waves to cover your footsteps as you pass enemies that may have heard you otherwise. Certain areas of the game will require you to split your group up into several teams of up to four characters. Each team can be given a different task and as you play, you will be able to see the other teams and possibly assist them as you run through the game world.
At the heart of any good RPG is a great story. An RPG with forgettable characters and an uninteresting plot is about as useful as a Bugatti Veyron caught in a traffic jam. Infinite Undiscovery is looking promising so far with a cast of nearly twenty characters and a unique story which revolves around an evil organization known as the Order of Chains which is headed by the ominous-sounding Dreadknight. The Order has tethered large chains to the moon of the world to keep it soundly in their grasp. The moon is a source of life for the planet and when individuals are born they receive a special marking, called a lunaglyph, that grants the branded with a specific power. The power an individual receives is determined by the phase of the moon when they are born.
Naturally, chaining the moon to the planet results in worldly devastation. Monsters begin to appear and ravage the innocent, destroying the land and the peace it once knew. The hero of the story is Capell, a struggling musician who happens to be a victim of mistaken identity. Capell is captured by the Order of Chains because he bears a striking resemblence to their enemy, Sigmund the Liberator. Sigmund has been a pebble in the Order's shoe as he is capable of cutting the chains they have attached to the moon. His actions have made him a hero to the people, but the Order is none too pleased. The adventure that ensues is one that we are eager to take.
With a solid story, a unique combat system and snazzy special effects, Infinite Undiscovery is looking pretty promising with the release nearly upon us. If you're a traditional, turn-based gamer, you may want to hold off on this one until you see some reviews, but if you're open to the real time combat and AI-controlled party system, then we think you'll be in for a treat. Check back here for a full review soon!