Previews

Hands-on with Dark Kingdom THD for Tegra 3-powered Android devices

Do the Diablo

Hands-on with Dark Kingdom THD for Tegra 3-powered Android devices
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| Dark Kingdom THD

Nvidia is, as you might expect, rather pleased with the Tegra 3's performance.

So much so, in fact, that the company used last week's Mobile World Congress to announce a number of games from partners that have been working with the new mobile graphics chip over the last few months, and to demo some of these titles at parties and on the company stand itself.

Naturally, all of these Tegra 3-optimised Android games are jaw-droppingly gorgeous, with Dark Kingdom THD's stunning visuals managing to make even the main character from Infinity Blade's armour look fairly primitive.

Keep slashing

Unlike Chair's iOS slash-fest, though, Dark Kingdom is a fully controllable isometric action-RPG - with a heavy emphasis on the action.

There are levels and equipment to purchase, as well as huge hulking boss monsters (such as a grotesque man riding an even more grotesque giant scorpion), but you'll be hammering attack rather than worrying about dice.

The short section of the game I played took place in a desert-like environment, with the crumbling ruins of an ancient civilisation forming the corridors and rooms of the level.

The demonic monsters that dash and slash at your handsome (fully upgraded, in my case) hero are subdued in a variety of ways: the primary one being the large virtual 'fire' button in the bottom corner.

But, this being an action-RPG, your man also has a few extra tricks available to help even up the odds. The shortcuts I saw varied from a buffing shield move to a devastating (and presumably expensive) meteorite strike that lit up the screen with lovely burning fire.

Keep running

The game ran extremely smoothly no matter how many beasts were on screen at once, suggesting that while the graphics were of sufficiently high enough quality to output to an HD television, there's still a fair amount of juice to be had from Nvidia's 4-PLUS-1 core chip.

Control-wise, the game's virtual joystick worked like a charm when it came to keeping tabs on the action, although there were a few times when one of the longer animations for a special move missed and I ended up hacking at thin air.

The only strange aspect for me in Dark Kingdom THD was that there wasn't any way to dodge enemy attacks. A forceful 'charge' move helped at times, but mostly I spent the demo level standing toe-to-toe with two to four enemies at a time, slicing them up with lots of polygons and special effects.

We'll see if Dark Kingdom THD will have a special effect on hack 'n' slash fans when the game launches on the Tegra Zone later this year.

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