Roblade Preview

Kylinworks, a studio based in Shanghai and best known for Little Lost Chick, appear to be trading in the cutesy drawings for grungy 3D arenas. Their next project is Roblade, which lets the player compose bizarre robotic creations from assembly line parts and test out their fighting ability in a tournament setting. The idea is to keep upgrading your battle robots with your winnings and amass a variety of fighters that let you tackle the range of enemies the game throws at you.

Roblade does two interesting things. First is the way it combines virtual controls and gesture input: a joystick and buttons control movement and special attacks respectively, while swipes control melee attacks. Your battle mech supports three specials – a gun, a super melee attack and an energy shield – and four attacks corresponding to the four cardinal swipe directions, but only if you’ve outfitted it with appropriate limbs and weapons.

And that brings me to the game’s second notable characteristic — the extreme lengths to which the devs have taken the “build whatever you want” concept. The beta we received starts you off with a balanced mech, where “balanced” means having a gun attached to one shoulder and a giant cleaver to the other. Our second robot ended up being this beautifully horrific contraption with two hammers for arms and no legs, dragging itself to the player’s target like something out of a horror flick. Just to test the system, I slapped a gun where the mech’s head should go and removed all appendages. Still battle-ready? Yep — and the results are just as outlandish as you could imagine! The game even goes so far as to let the player re-define the mech’s attack and walking animations through a keyframe system in the assembly lab.

We’ll have more on this wild action title as it approaches release. Check out Kylinworks’ website and Twitter feed in the meantime.