Introducing the Incorrupti
It's midnight in the nation of Athwan, and a guard peers over the ramparts of Castle Xarmgand. Yet where there should only be black emptiness stretching out before him, he sees a pair of glowing eyes, many metres above the ground. In White Knight Chronicles: Origins on PSP, these eyes are the chilling warning lights of the struggle ahead.
Smashing through Xarmgand's defences is the owner of those fearsome eyes, a colossal Yshrenian knight known as an Incorruptus. The stronghold it attacks is made to look like a sandcastle caught under the tide, its walls washing away in a furious assault – and it's just a hint of the scale of the task in front of you.
Welcome to the Dogma Wars, the never-ending conflict set some 10,000 years before White Knight Chronicles on PlayStation 3, which takes a dark turn with the introduction of the mechanical Incorrupti. On one side stands Athwan, small, courageous and defiant in the face of the larger, more aggressive and technologically advanced Yshrenia.
Your story begins in the furnace of the attack on Xarmgand when you make a last, desperate stand against the Yshrenian forces razing your home to the ground. Such a baptism of fire means things surely can't get any more testing. Or can they?
Rail against the machines
White Knight Chronicles: Origins signs you up to the Mobile Corps, a mercenary organisation that operates in the no-man's-land between Athwan and Yshrenia, whisking you into a thrilling world of shuddering battles between hulking warriors.
Rattling across the vast plains that separate two sworn foes is the special steam train that acts as your central hub. Through this hub you access missions as they become available, and spend earned Grace Points on new equipment. You can even add carriages to it to make room for new characters; plus, if you own White Knight Chronicles II on PlayStation 3, you can transfer data between the two games and receive special bonuses aboard the train.
Operating between two warring states makes for a unique atmosphere, where icy wastelands and scorched savannahs form the eye-catching backdrops to your journey. Creatures and bandits driven there by the fierce fighting of the Dogma Wars now call these harsh environments home, creating fertile hunting ground for you and your comrades.
Pacy drama unfolds via pin-sharp cutscenes and the tales told by the travellers who join you. As you roam further, you discover more about the mysterious machines advancing on Athwan and move closer to the confrontation that will decide the fate of your homeland.
Spurred on by a blazing hunger to avenge the destruction of your home town, you must criss-cross the land in search of new recruits and challenges to sharpen your fighting edge. The long road winding through White Knight Chronicles: Origins is one of adventure and possibilities, and it leads to the chance to set things right.
Explore the mysterious region between the kingdoms of Athwan and Yshrenia under the leadership of Cassius, the man you turn to for quests. Then, when the trusty Mobile Corps train rolls into a new, exotic location, you select a team of three skilled mercenaries to accompany you and stride out into the unknown.
Threats lurk around every corner, though if they knew the power you and your squad command, they'd think twice before revealing themselves. You possess the ability to transform into a mighty Optimus, a powerful warrior with heightened defences and a range of thunderous attacks. Along with teammates who can do the same, you form an impressive war machine capable of shredding even the fiercest beasts.
Sweep through enemy armies and gigantic menaces to unlock new skills and items which enhance your group. Master these abilities, build your legend and prepare for the final reckoning: the chance to defeat Yshrenia's terrifying Incorrupti and secure Athwan's freedom.
Rolling through strange lands with the Mobile Corps, you'll meet new warriors eager to join your cause – including some familiar faces. Thanks to the local Ad Hoc Mode in White Knight Chronicles: Origins, you can recruit up to three friends to take part in daring co-op missions. Alternatively, Infrastructure Mode lets you join in quests with up to three other players wirelessly via PlayStation Network.
Whichever way you choose to play, White Knight Chronicles: Origins lets you take your trusted strategies, as well as your fully customised avatar, and put them to the ultimate test against formidable enemies. If you get your tactics wrong, your own friends will suffer.
Head down to the Comms Car of your mobile base, which gives you access to the two multiplayer modes – if you think you're ready to join forces with some of the most intrepid explorers on PlayStation Network. If you prove your worth, you'll get special items which you can use in your offline quest.
Meanwhile, the Outer Rift is where to go to upload your best characters for other players to use. You'll be handsomely rewarded with Grace Points for every avatar you introduce, and you can download friends' creations and add them to your ranks in the Mobile Corps.