Balandor awaits you...
Peace reigns in the Kingdom of Balandor when you start White Knight Chronicles. A beautiful settlement of majesty, the empire is celebrating a coming-of-age banquet for Princess Cisna, a monarch-in-waiting who hasn't spoken a word since the devastating murder of her mother many years ago. However, this is not a day of happiness, as the castle is attacked by evil invaders who savagely assault the royal family, leaving Balandor with a slain king and a stolen princess.
Leonard, a young wine merchant, is the only one who can make a difference to this broken kingdom, after discovering a mysterious suit of armour that transforms him into the giant and powerful White Knight. Armed with its array of abilities, there is only one thing a noble soul such as Leonard wants - to set things right.
This is where you come in. Taking Leonard and a band of adventurers - including your own customised avatar - you must embark on a journey to find Cisna and defeat the evil which has thrown Balandor into tragedy. Unsheathe your sword, noble knight... are you ready for an epic voyage?
A kingdom of beauty
White Knight Chronicles offers a world of visual splendour to explore and take in across the wide range of exotic lands, from dank and murky caves to sprawling green pastures. Complementing it is a variety of characters and monsters who help bring these locations to life thanks to some detailed storybook style art.
Keeping you engaged in the story are a number of impressive cutscenes that bookend the gameplay and give you some breathing space while you watch the massive tale unfold.
If this is your first role-playing game there's no need to feel intimidated by its size. The game offers plenty of well illustrated tutorials to stop you from feeling overwhelmed. From the battle system to its inventive Georama system which lets you take a breather from quests and build your own HomeTown to populate and visit, everything is signposted to make your introduction to White Knight Chronicles as pleasant as possible.
Playing White Knight Chronicles throws you into a world of magic and monsters, where you explore and fight to complete your quest for justice. Taking up the role of the heroic Leonard and several others, you can freely roam around settlements buying weapons, armour and items that aid you on your mission, before venturing out into areas where deadly beasts aim to put an end to your adventure.
Combat is handled by moving around the battlefield and selecting your enemy before choosing how to attack, using one of your many upgradable weapons and skills acquired on your travels. Other members of your party are computer controlled, and are intelligent enough to attack targets without prompting and cast spells when needed, making them useful comrades.
You can also create custom combination attacks which are necessary to defeat some truly spectacular and massive enemies. Some characters even have the ability to transform into giant knights (the White Knight, in Leonard's case), who possess immense power - perfect for tackling some of the equally formidable and screen-filling bosses you'll encounter.
Suit up, gallant knights
Role-playing games are typically a single player pursuit, yet White Knight Chronicles lets you take-up arms with online friends in a novel way. Before you start the main quest, you're encouraged to create your own avatar, a unique version of yourself that exists in the game. The level of detail here is staggering - from selecting clothing style and voice, to even the smallest details such as foot size and the shape of your eyebrows.
While this personalised version of yourself is a silent character in the main storyline, your creation really comes to life thanks to GeoNet, an online social meeting point to share profiles and meet others. With the PlayStation Network enabled GeoNet you can go on adventures with up to three friends on various quests separate from the story mode. You can write entries in your Adventure Log to share and more missions can be unlocked as your character's experience increases.
You also have the chance to create your own HomeTown filled with buildings and residents (such as farmers, who can harvest crops), and form a bustling community, which you can upload and show off to other players. You can even visit it with your fellow adventurers, trade and buy weapons and items, and venture out into quests from there. And as both raw materials and residents are gathered from your progress in the story mode, all of these features dovetail together nicely.
While you're enjoying these features on PlayStation Network, don't forget to keep an eye out for hundreds of White Knight Chronicles downloads from PlayStation Store to make sure there's always something new to quest for...