Lots of Equipment
From the Abyss was the final game for us to view on the Run to the Sun 2008 trip. All three of us were able to fire the game up for a first look at the English version of the game. It was described to us as an action RPG with a style much like Secret of Mana. What we saw was a solid action RPG with a good deal of character skill customization.
I began the game by creating a new character. I had four character styles to pick from, two guys and two girls, and then four color options. I picked the deadly looking female character and styled her with blood red armor. Before the creation process could finish, I had to answer a series of questions to help determine my starting statistics. I wanted a mean character, so I selected the harshest options available to me; even choosing to steal from a dying man.
After my character was ready, I was given the option of visiting an inn, a shop, or diving into the abyss gate. Not really caring about the other options, I headed into the abyss gate to kill things. I soon encountered my first enemy: a simple slime. I made quick work of it and its companions before moving on to bigger, meaner things. The plant creature I battled next proved to be a step above the slime, but after a minute of combat, I was the victor. It was then that I learned that I could perform the Soul Capture ability to gain skills from enemies. I tried it on the slime and then later on the plant to net my character two brand new skills.
Run Indy, Run!
Combat is simple and straightforward, one button is set for basic attacks and three are reserved for skills. These skills can be equipped on the fly by dragging them from a menu to an equip box. These skills are numerous, adding up to around sixty total skills that can be captured from enemies throughout the game. Along with stealing skills from enemies, you can also earn items from them when they are defeated. These items can then be sold at the main area's item shop in order to purchase new equipment.
Sadly, while armor offers a variety of stat bonuses, these visualizations are not viewable on your character. In terms of weapons, players can select between swords, staves, axes, bows, and spears for combat. There are over 150 different pieces of equipment available throughout the game, each allowing players to create a character that fits their style of gameplay. Want to focus on a powerful mage? Not a problem, just grab the right skills, a staff, and armor to boost intelligence. Would you rather have a heavy tank character? Just grab a sword or spear and some attack enhancing equipment and you are good to go.
One of the coolest aspects of From the Abyss is the two-player mode that can be accessed upon entering the abyss gate. This is a local-area option where one character can host the match while another joins in. Both players then take their character into a world where they can team up on monsters to hunt down items and monster souls. It adds a bit more depth to the game's twenty plus hours offered by its main storyline. From the Abyss should be available in the 4th quarter of 2008, so look for further impressions as the game gets closer.