We were not expecting Bluehole to announce the secretive Project W until G-Star 2017 begins, but it seems we were totally wrong. Earlier today, the TERA and PUBG developer revealed Ascent: Infinite Realm (also known as A:IR) as its latest PC MMORPG. Crafted using Unreal Engine 3, AIR is set in a steampunk world where technology and magic coexist, where the planet was destroyed and people survive now in floating cities. Players will enter AIR seeking to conquer the skies and whatever is left of the land for survival. A:IR is playable at G-Star 2017, and enters Closed Beta next month. If you missed the previous news, Kakao Games has already signed the game for North America and Europe.
One of the main features of A:IR is the so-called “3 dimensional gameplay”, which basically means ground and aerial combat going on at the same time. Still, the main focus is in the air, hence you see many airships in the screenshots. They are not only used for combat during camp wars (basically guilds vs guilds), but also as transport and for other co-op gameplay features. Other than owning a ship, players can also be part of a crew, equipping jet packs or wing suits and spring surprise attacks during airship battles. There are also ground vehicles as well. To summarize, AIR is trying to provide players with total freedom on maneuvering the skies and experience what a true massive aerial battle really is.
Realm vs Realm (RVR) in A:IR is rather unique, as Bluehole said opposing sides will take turns playing offensive and defensive in 1 match. This will allow players to experience the difference in gameplay and feel like a sporting event. RVR does not just rely on how strong an individual is, since there are various strategic elements for both ground and aerial combat such as jet packs, gliders, cannons, land mines, and various buffs. To ease off from all the combat, there are also over 2 casual mini-games for entertainment. There is also a farm and housing system which allows players to rear monsters as pets and mounts.
Bluehole is attempting to provide players as much freedom as possible to customize their experience in AIR. Other than able to build different types of airships according to size, type, appearance, color, and performance, the looks and abilities of characters can be customized as well. This includes skills, abilities, equipment, motions, create quests, and even adjusting the difficulty of hunting grounds (still in development stage). However, there are still preset classes, including Warlord, Gunner, Mystic, Sorceress, and Assassin.