Eastward Legend: The Empyrean is a 3D MMOARPG set at the height of the Tang Dynasty (around 741 BCE): an age of strong leaders and skilled swordsmen. However, all is not well. Chaos spreads throughout the land, bringing an end to an age of peace and prosperity, and causing the nation’s and peoples’ fate to hang in the balance. Heroes put everything at risk to save the country and its people from peril and misery. Such troubled times give birth to legendary figures performing heroic feats.
A title of immense popularity—only set to grow and spread
A mobile descendent of the legendary Chinese swordsman game Jian Wang 3—an established title with a player base of more than one hundred million—The Empyrean brings a modern take on Jian Wang 3’s original aesthetic and approach. What results is a truly enticing game for mobile gamers, providing an opportunity to experience the excitement of Chinese swordsman tradition and the beauty of Chinese art. Already a popular sensation prior to its launch, The Empyrean had more than 15 million enthusiasts pre-registered as of late May—a number which is set to grow enormously.
Exquisite style meets immersive gameplay
What will strike players of Eastward Legend: The Empyrean immediately is its art style. The hand-render-meets-classical-painting aesthetic—redolent of China’s fabled Tang Dynasty—is presented by beautiful 2.5D graphics and draws players into the world with great immersion. In this beautifully presented world, changing environmental conditions, equally well-presented, are crucial to every interaction the player has with the world and characters, heightening the immersive playing experience.
In Eastward Legend: The Empyrean, players control characters from factions in the Tang Dynasty—similar to the factions in World of Warcraft—and grow their character, skills and weapons to take on challenging dungeons, battle the world and its own characters and features, but also other players—the true community-based aspect of the game comes to the fore here. The hack-and-slash style combat is fluid, elegant and fast, similar to that of Action role-playing games, featuring physical and special skills that can be used to create explosive combinations. There is both PVE gameplay in The Empyrean but also a substantial amount of PVP, where players pit themselves and their skills against others; hopefully embracing the community as a result.
While the Eastward Legend series first launched 12 years and is a classic Chinese videogame franchise, Eastward Legend: The Empyrean has been four years in the making. The experienced team behind it devoting masses of time and effort to ensure that every detail of the game and its majestic visual style are just right. The result is a dazzling world populated by fearless swordsmen and notorious villains, infused with countless elements of Chinese culture, that provides a perfect stage for epic battles and acts of heroism. “We designed the graphics with Chinese traditional art style to create the most impactful three-dimensional visual experience,” states Executive Producer Kris Kwok.
Innovative 'Mind Mode' expands possibilities
As an example of the mechanics within the game and the skills on offer to players, Mind Mode is Eastward Legend: The Empyrean’s most innovative and exciting new features. When using Mind Mode, familiar scenes take on a dreamy, Zen-like look, as players travel back and forth through time. This allows players to take refuge from present-day conflicts and discover hidden treasures and stories of the past, and beyond time and space, at the same time, in order to advance their progress.
An unparalleled gaming community
The wider Jian Wang 3 community is a close-knit one that enables players to soar across space and time to form alliances, join guilds, become apprentices of grand masters, and, most importantly, make friends. Oftentimes, these close connections translate into real life, where countless enthusiasts have formed friendships, social groups and long-standing, clubs. This has always been important to the series, so The Empyrean is packed with enhanced, social features to resonate and encourage connections between players. This will only serve to continue this community aspect with The Empyrean upon its release this month.
Some of the most avid players are often rewarded for their support: they receive calls to attend special competitions; invitations to Chinese New Year’s parties with the development team; propositions to attend, and even host, major game exhibitions; and invites to the prestigious Master’s Competition. These events enhance the franchise’s pull and breathe life into it beyond the virtual realm of videogame play. The latest Master’s Competition was a sensation, attracting more than 11 million viewers from all over China.
In anticipation of the mobile launch, it is those more than 15 million fans who have already pre-registered to download the beta version upon its release that will continue to carry the franchise’s momentum into mobile gaming.