E3 10: Tower defense with a twist: Atlus' Rock of Ages

5:40 PM on 06.18.2010

Tim Sheehy

Contributor

When I first sat down with Atlus USA, I half-expected to be presented with the a preview of the next installment of Shin Megami Tensei, be it Persona or Devil Summoner. Instead, Atlus decided to throw us a curve-ball by announcing several new titles that didn't quite fit their usual modus operandi.

One of these new titles, Rock of Ages, by Chilean developer Ace Team -- the guys who brought us the unconventional first-person brawler, Zeno Clash -- takes tower defense and adds a bit of a twist, instead focusing on PvP combat. So how is this accomplished? Well, in the form of a giant boulder which you use to demolish your enemy's castle.

Sounds awesome so far, right? Find out more after the break.

Like any other tower defense game, there's a fair amount of strategy involved. For example, you're going to try to roll the boulder down a narrow winding path to eventually make it to the enemy castle. Meanwhile, he's setting defenses to knock the ball off the track. As a result you'll encounter everything from armies, to elephants and windmills in additional to an already complex path.

Probably the best part of the entire game would have to be the Monty Python-inspired visuals. The armies, peasants and even the boulder itself look like they were ripped straight from The Holy Grail. Even though I'm not very fond of British humor -- with the exception of Jim, of course -- it had me sold right away.

Additionally, the worlds were beautifully crafted by Ace Team using Unreal Engine 3. Each level of play is inspired by different classical genres like Goya, Rococo, Gothic, Medieval, Renaissance and more -- I kind of wish they included more of that in the trailer for you but trust me when I say they all look fantastic.

Much like Trine 2, you can expect to see this game hit PSN, Xbox Live! Arcade and PC in Spring of next year. It's kind of a shame that I didn't get a chance to actually play it, but from what I've seen so far, it definitely looks promising.

[Update: This preview originally said that Rock of Ages was created using the Source engine. That is false; the game was created with the Unreal 3 Engine, and the article has been updated to reflect that. --Tim]

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