E3 2006: Namco's MageKnight Apocalypse
05.11.06 - 3:09 PM

Namco showed off another Action-RPG on top of Hellgate: London, MageKnight: Apocalypse. Based on the miniatures game, MageKnight Apocalypse is a PC Action-RPG with five playable characters. Kitana, the Vampiric Necromancer, Sarus, a Draconum, Tal Windstrider, the High Elf Guardian, Huntress Chela, an Amazon Priestess, and Janus Freebond, everyone's favorite dwarf.

The team, who developed the Xbox title Iron Phoenix is taking quite a bit of time for customization of your character, with a system very similar to MMORPGs. On top of faces, size, etc, armor will change the appearance of the character.

Skills for characters will be in skill trees, and the use of skills will allow players to rank them up. Players will be able to work on their characters with friends with cooperative multiplayer. Chararacters will be held client-side, as there is no sort of ladder. Namco said that while security is extremely important in games like Hellgate: London, which are very item-oriented, they figure that if you want to cheat with your friends in MageKnight: Apocalypse, feel free to do so.

The game itself will feature a dynamic camera system. If you don't want to play in the historic isometric view of Diablo you can bring the camera up behind your character like you were playing Grand Theft Auto. There are three types of control schemes in MageKnight, a WASD-style control for those whom are familiar with MMOs, a click-to-move system for Diablo players with ADHD, and a click-and-hold system.

Areas will be loaded completely from the get-go and will have very small loading times. All of the armor and weapons in the game are slotted for MageStones, which provide different effects based on the combination. There's a limited crafting/recipe system in the game. All in all, it's a twink's dream, and people will be able to min/max to their heart's content.

In combat itself, there is a MMO-style hate system, so monsters simply won't go directly after whomever they see first. There will be six major regions in the game, one of which features a waterslide which the Orcs absolutely LOVE.

Namco is planning to have a lower ceiling for the computers that will run the game. Players will expect to be able to run the game with any 128mb card and possibly some 64mb cards. The minimum is expected to be in the range of the GeForce 3 and Radeon 6800 series. MageKnight: Apocalypse is due out later this year.


John McCarroll

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