Some E3 coverage:
Rusty Hearts was actually the first game demoed, but it was the one I enjoyed the most. It is another Korean online game, though this time with a very heavy anime flavor. It may be online-driven, but it shares more in common with brawlers such as God of War or Castle Crashers. The style is a very slick, punk Gothic like later Castlevania titles.
For this demo, only two characters were playable -- a witch with a penchant for big, sharp things and a dude who lets his fists do the talking. However, there are a lot of customization options to distinguish players from one another, such as hair color swaps and wild costumes. How wild? My alt costume was a giant cockroach, someone else's was similar to Kratos' Cod of War, and yet another's was... I swear... friggin' Pedobear.
The game can be played with the keyboard and mouse, but it's optimized for and feels so much better with the controller. You've got an attack button, a jump button, a guard, a magic, and various combinations thereof. You string together combos smoothly, and everything moves at a rapid pace.
The levels themselves can be a bit labyrinthine, with multiple paths and doors that open up after you clear a room. Just from the level I played, there's not much beyond hacking and slashing from room to room, but you know what? I like that. I just want to get a group of folks together and smack the ever-loving piss out of fools.
Perfect World is pushing the free-to-play online for all three titles, so there's very little risk to give them a run once they drop. The closed beta for Rusty Hearts begins next month, while Blacklight Retribution and RaiderZ should be on their way very soon.
Hot babe playing Rusty Hearts. Let's make a guild with her:
Some lucky people in LA got to test it.
Rusty Hearts Is Basically Castlevania - PC Preview at IGN
Rusty Hearts is interesting to me, and it took me a little while to figure out why. I mean, at its core it is a session-based action MMO in the style of Dungeon Fighter Online, where you enter a dungeon that is divided into a series of rooms and fight your way from room to room, ultimately encountering some sort of boss. Like DFO, there's a rating system that takes into account how many abilities you use during a dungeon run as well as how well you perform combos. There are four playable characters, though I only saw two -- a scythe-wielding teenager and a brawler called Tude.
What stuck out about Rusty Hearts was the aesthetic. Although the art style looked like basic anime to an anime layman like myself, while playing the game, it felt distinctly similar to Castlevania. The enemies I was fighting were of supernatural origin -- skeletons and vampires and other Castlevania standards -- and the fast pace and heavily exaggerated actions only helped reinforce the impression that I was playing something akin to a Castlevania MMO.
The interaction between weapons and skills were very Castlevania-like as well. Depending on the weapon your character has equipped, their special abilities will have different effects. As the female character with a scythe, one of my moves would draw a line of fire along the ground. With a sword in hand, the same move would just hit enemies explosively. It reminded me of the way the card system worked in Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, with each new card combo performing a different effect.
I can't say for sure whether the story follows the same pattern, as I saw little in the way of the story arc. Perfect World, the western publisher of Rusty Hearts, wants to keep most of the story under wraps for now. I hope that Rusty Hearts introduces enough to differentiate itself from the famous vampire-slaying series, though even if it doesn't, it'll be sure to attract a very specific audience. With the closed beta coming this July, will you be one of them? Let us know in the comments below.