At this year’s E3, we had a chance to sit down with Gamevil and take a look at an early build of their upcoming 2.5D action title, Hybrid: Eternal Whisper. Now, we have our hands on a near-final build of the game.
Although it was developed by the same team as Zenonia, the gameplay is on the other side of the RPG spectrum. Hybrid is primarily an action game that incorporates RPG elements, such as stats, a deep storyline, and leveling up your character. This unusual mix of genres is partially how the game got its name. While you fight intense battles, your gear and skills all play a part in the outcome.
Another reason the game is a ‘hybrid’ is that battle stages are rendered in 2.5D, meaning you can move in all directions. This depth (literally) brings new strategies when dealing with enemies and allowed Gamevil to innovate with new mechanics. For example, you can sidestep out of the way of an oncoming enemy, then dash back up to toss it into the air.
Your character is controlled by a D-Pad and attack button, much like Zenonia. In fact, the entire interface, from quick boxes for potions to health bars, is nearly identical. New twists include a button to change stances (used for different scenarios and for combos), the Mana bar, and a button to summon a guardian named Fairy to either defend you against enemies or rain down lightning on them.
However, Hybrid feels much less like a port than Gamevil’s other titles, mainly due to the fact that menus and some attacks have been tailored to the touch screen. For example, a simpler menu allows players to naturally navigate menus without using the D-Pad. Spells, such as fire attacks, can be activated through swiping on the screen.
Hybrid may have a heavy focus on combo attacks and fight sequences, but there is also a solid storyline to back it up. You play as Grey, a ‘hybrid’ with a forgotten past who is on a mission to kill the evil Chaons, who killed his brother and are corrupting his homeland. However, his youth means he needs guidance on his quest, which is where his fairy guardian, who is simply referred to as Fairy, comes into play. She helps guide him, protect him, and find out the names of enemies, which is necessary in order to do them damage. We won’t get into specifics as the story is still getting fine-tuned, but there is noticeably more dialogue than in Zenonia.
When talking with Eusoon Han of Gamevil, he informed us that ‘[Gamevil's] goal for Hybrid: Eternal Whisper is to bring a new breed of action to our users. We want to give everyone a refreshing, pleasurable action experience.’
Han also told us that they hope to submit the game no later than mid-September, so there is a good chance the game will be on the App Store quite soon. The price is still undetermined, but expect it to be in the premium range. Once it launches, look for our review.