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Arknights: Endfield
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What's HYPERGRYPH been hiding? A complete breakdown of the Arknights Endfield gameplay video

What's HYPERGRYPH been hiding? A complete breakdown of the Arknights Endfield gameplay video

1K View2023-11-10
After 19 months of silence, HYPERGRYPH's 3D real-time strategy RPG Arknights Endfield released new information. Following a long silence, they come back with a big surprise. Not only have they released a brand new promotional video, but
they've also shared in-game recorded footage. Furthermore, they've announced
the first test to be held on November 10th and have started recruitment for the
testing phase on their official website.
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So, before the testing phase arrives, why don't we look at the details hidden in this newly released PV and in-game footage?

What is Talos-II?

The game's setting is not the world of Terra, but rather the planet "Talos-II", plagued by natural disasters.
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The new PV provides more information: Originium has become an incredibly important core of civilization on Talos-II, serving as a raw material for the heating furnace.
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Talos-II is also experiencing contamination, but it doesn't originate from Originium. According to the PV, Talos-II is facing a native celestial disaster called "Blight",
which is externally manifested as "Aggeloi" with halos.
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Many of the monsters have halo-like objects on their heads. These might be native creatures of Talos-II, which, when affected by the Blight, transform into "Aggeloi" and become the player's enemies.
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The human-shaped corpses shown in the footage are likely humans who have transformed due to Blight.
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In addition, the second half of the PV features familiar story flashbacks, including the Babel Tower struck by Rhodes Island's main ship and the Wendigo.
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All of this indicates that the game's story takes place after Arknights but is not a direct sequel to the "Terra" storyline. We can imagine it as two worlds separated by considerable time and space. As for the specific connections, they will likely need to be uncovered within the game.
Furthermore, in our analysis 19 months ago, we mentioned that Talos-II has organizations like "Endfield Industry" and "Landbreaker." The player's affiliation, "Endfield
Industry" aims to develop an integrated industrial system.
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The importance of this system is much higher than we might have imagined, as the PV describes it as follows: "With it, we will ultimately turn the tide." Therefore, the construction of the integrated industrial system will undoubtedly be a crucial gameplay element in the game.

Who is the player?

In this game, the player is referred to as the "Administrator." The narrator describes the Endministrator as "Many fear you" and "Some respect you."
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There's also a classic scene with a hand reaching out to the Endministrator for help, undoubtedly, like the Doctor from Arknights, the Endministrator belongs to the think tank or leadership role in the Endfield.
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In addition, the Endministrator in the PV is constantly wearing a metal mask. The upper line reads "AVC C01," and the lower line is "Endfield".
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The number mentioned above may be some sort of codename, and being number 1 suggests that the Endministrator is a special member of Endfield Industrial, possibly one of the founding members. However, the specific details about the Endministrator remain a mystery.
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At the beginning of the PV, the player is awakened by a girl who bears a striking resemblance to Kal'tsit but has a gentler expression, along with the icon girl Pelican. The player signs an "Endfield Labor Agreement."
When the Endministrator inquired about the identity of the contracting party in the agreement, the surprising response received was "yourself."
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Additionally, the Endministrator delivers the line, "That thing... I planted it..."
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This implies that the Endministrator may have arranged to enter a dormant state multiple times, awakened under certain conditions, but seems to have forgotten past experiences this time.
So, for how long has the Endministrator been asleep?
Official social media provided this information: "As Endfield's most important secret, the Endministrator is kept in long-term hibernation within a cryostasis pod."
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Revisiting the scenes in the history recap, such as the Rhodes Island's main ship colliding with Babel Tower, raises the question: Are these scenes from the Endministrator's memories, or are they simply a description of Talos-II's history? If it's the former, it suggests that the Endministrator's lifespan is significantly longer than we
might have imagined.
Furthermore, the enigmatic male voice at the end of the PV asks the player, "Endministrator? Oracle? " Or "… the Doctor?" makes it quite clear that the Endministrator and the Doctor share a profound connection.
So why the Endministrator entered a state of slumber, whether due to physiological reasons or to prolong their existence across the vast river of time, remains another enigma within the game.
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The character

Although only the female Endministrator is shown in the video, the official release also included the appearance of a male Endministrator on social media.
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Apart from the girl who resembles Kal'tsit and appears gentler, as well as the previously seen "Chen Qianyu," the PV also features a close-up shot of a figure that bears a striking resemblance to Angelina.
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Considering that Angelina's abilities are related to gravity and the long-standing rumors about "Boundary Traveler" Sarkaz operatives, this character might even be Angelina herself, who knows?

Gameplay

In addition to the more story-driven PV, "Endfield" also released a gameplay demo video that provides additional details about the game's mechanics. The game features a semi-realistic post-apocalyptic setting, while the characters have a distinct Arknights style.
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In the formation interface, we can see the specific composition of the team. From this interface, it's clear that the team consists of 4 characters.
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The characters shown in the demo include original "Endfield" characters that haven't appeared in
Arknights, and they also feature characters with subtle connections in terms of appearance and names to Arknights.For example, the name and appearance of "Chen Qianyu" share similarities with Arknights character Chen.
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In addition, the UI used for character professions is the same as in Arknights, and the characters are still referred to as "Operators," but the title for the player has changed from "Doctor" to "Endministrator."
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Upon entering the character details interface, you can observe that the characters have a set of skills which are categorized into Pursuit, Main Skill, and Ultimate Skill. While some characters possess more than one active skill, they can only equip one at a time. Pursuit skills appear to be passive abilities, while the Ultimate Skill is essentially the character's powerful special move.
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When switching between different sections of the character details interface, the characters strike different poses, complemented by the distinctly "Arknights-style" UI design, creating an overall cool and stylish feel.
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After the formation is complete, the first battle quickly commences. Arknights Endfield features real-time combat where all four characters in the squad appear on the screen simultaneously. The characters you don't control will automatically perform basic attacks, but they won't use skills automatically.
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The four icons at the bottom of the screen correspond to the skills of the four characters. Each character has a "main skill." The outer white circle represents the ultimate skill's energy. Once it's fully charged, the "main skill" icon is replaced by the ultimate skill icon, and you can click to activate it.
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Beneath the enemy's health bar, there is a white "Resilience Bar." Resilience is reduced only when you use skills, and when the enemy's resilience bar is emptied, it enters the
"BREAK" state, receiving higher damage.
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In contrast to relatively fast-paced action games, in the demo, we can see that when selecting a skill target, it enters "bullet time," slowing down the game speed to facilitate player control.
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In the character information interface, there are four default attributes displayed. In addition to the basic attributes of health, attack, and defense, there is another attribute called "Armor Penetration."
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Combined with the design of the enemy's"Resilience Bar" in combat, as well as the high damage dealt after clearing the Resilience Bar, we speculate that the "Armor
Penetration" attribute corresponds to the character's ability to reduce the enemy's Resilience.
The actual gameplay demo was very short, and there are still many details to be
confirmed after the game's testing phase. However, from the information released so far and the official description of
Arknights: Endfield is a "real-time 3D RPG with strategic elements," it seems that the game's combat system revolves around reducing the enemy's Resilience Bar through team composition and skill usage, emphasizing a more strategic real-time combat gameplay.

The basement

In addition to combat, the live demonstration focuses more on the game's building and exploration mechanics.
In fact, in the early promotional materials of the game, there was already a statement like, "A key objective of Endfield Industries is to establish self-sufficient power and technology production lines in the barrens."
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In this live demonstration, we finally get to see what this "construction gameplay" is all about. If you've played "factory building games" or "automation and conveyor belt
simulation games," you'll quickly understand what the building mechanics in Endfield are like. The core objective of the construction gameplay is to gather resources and produce finished products through the construction of large-scale production lines.
Our factory is located in the Hub Area Base, where you need to personally build a production line. By efficiently allocating power and optimizing the production process, you can maximize output efficiency.
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As the demonstration video provides limited details regarding production, we can draw a comparison with similar games to understand the mechanics. In games of this kind, you typically start by finding an iron ore deposit, construct mining machines to extract iron ore, use refining machines to process the ore into iron ingots, employ casting machines to turn iron ingots into iron plates and pipes and utilize assembly machines
to create engines and other products from these components.
Since each production step requires different quantities of materials and operates at varying speeds, the key in such games is to design an efficient production process to ensure that every machine in a large-scale factory operates at 100% efficiency.
In the Endfield live demonstration, to gather ore, you must build mining machines.
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The gathered ore needs to be transported to other production equipment rather than going directly into the player's inventory. If the ore deposit is nearby, you can use conveyor belts for transportation. However, for distant ore deposits, the game features a
"Wireless Transport Mode," which is likely a function for using drones to transport resources over long distances.
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From the mining machine's control interface, you can see that it consumes 2 watts of power. To make the mining machine work, you need to establish a power network connected to it. In the gameplay demo, we see the construction of power poles and the connection of power lines.
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In the flashy "main menu" previously revealed, in addition to the usual menu options, there's a prominent "Watt" load display, which appears to be the concept of electrical
grid power generation in factory building games. Managing the allocation of Watts's resources is likely to be a crucial aspect of the game.
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Some resources may require crossing treacherous terrain to obtain, but you don't have to navigate difficult terrain every time. In the game, you can build long-distance zipline systems. If you construct these devices on both sides of a canyon, you can use them to quickly traverse the gap.
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Each character, in addition to their combat skills and talents, also possesses distinct "industrial abilities." While the specific effects are not visible in the current footage, these abilities likely relate to tasks such as resource exploration or expediting
production.
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Within the entire construction gameplay demo, one of the most noteworthy aspects is the "Assembler."
The Assembler appears to function like a crafting bench and allows you to synthesize desired items from the raw materials produced on the assembly line. The "Stationed Character" function in the upper right corner likely enables you to assign characters to enhance production efficiency, and the synthesized items are categorized into "Enhancement Materials" and "Equipment," among others.
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It's evident that, in addition to enhancing materials, there's a dedicated equipment manufacturing function. Furthermore, the familiar Rhodes Island emblem can be seen, indicating that Arknights Endfield features a player-driven crafting system for equipment.
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The reason why the "Assembler" is so noteworthy is that it might be the key differentiator in Arknights Endfield compared to other similar single-player games.
Typically, in single-player factory building games, there's a superficial end goal, such as "building a space elevator," but in practice, players build production lines to create more
advanced industrial goods unlock tech trees, and then... build even more advanced production lines.
Gathering resources from oil fields of nuclear power plants, supporting a multi-story factory, and watching it all run smoothly provides a sense of pride. While some games include combat systems and the advancement of technology leading to new weapons and equipment, most players enjoy the process of building these production lines without expecting significant "rewards." After unlocking the highest-level production
lines, the game is essentially completed.
In contrast, the production line construction gameplay in Arknights: Endfield, as far as current information suggests, ultimately serves the character development. This results in more tangible and perceptible "meaningful" rewards with a clear positive feedback loop for the players.
In more straightforward terms, most enjoyable single-player game mechanics are not very compatible with long-term character development, the kind you see in mobile games that span years. However, for factory-building gameplay, integrating character development can be a good thing. When you connect factory construction and character development, it gives building production lines a "real purpose."
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Single-player factory building games:"Finish this production line, and you can launch a rocket!"
Player: "Hmm... I'm a bit tired, I'll take a break."
Arknights Endfield: "Finish this production line, and your gacha-wife will have new equipment!"
Player: "Sleep? That doesn't exist; I can do it all day long!"
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The explore

The gameplay in the live demo also showcased some exploration mechanics. The most basic one is unlocking "Field Portable Camps." These camps appear to function like teleportation points. At these portable camps, you can quickly transfer items from your backpack to the storage, unlike typical single-player factory building games where you'd have to transport items manually back to the base.
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The "Rest" function is another interesting feature, and its arrangement is quite similar to bonfires in Souls-like games. This suggests that Arknights Endfield likely features a mechanism similar to resting at a bonfire in Souls-like games, which can potentially serve to refresh enemies or provide other in-game benefits.
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You've observed a "Lumina" in the demo, which is normally transparent and can only be seen with a slight distortion of light. When scanned, it becomes visible. The prompt
"5/25" likely indicates that there are 25 Lumina in the area, and you've collected 5 of them. These appear to be one-time rewards for exploring the map.
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In the video, after using the scan, you not only discovered Lumina but also footprints. Although the video didn't showcase more specific interactions, it's quite likely that this is part of the map exploration gameplay, similar to a tracking or searching mechanic.
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The official information provided for Arknights Endfield doesn't explicitly state that it's an open-world game. From the map design and available information, it appears to be more of a sandbox exploration type of game. The game features five large areas, and based
on the map alone, it might be challenging to estimate their exact size.
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Based on the information and the maps provided, it seems that each major area in Arknights Endfield is quite extensive with many sub-regions within it. This suggests that there is a significant amount of content to explore in each area, making it a substantial sandbox-style game.
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Regarding the aspect of map exploration, the recent gameplay video didn't showcase much. However, considering that Arknights Endfield and Arknights share the same overarching universe, one can easily imagine that on the planet Talos-II, there might be some items related to Terra and the world of Arknights. If such a design is indeed present in the game, hunting for Arknights related Easter eggs in Arknights Endfield could become a major source of enjoyment for veteran players.

Summary

As an Arknights player who has been eagerly anticipating a new game, the PV and gameplay demo released for Arknights Endfield provide players with an initial glimpse. The game features Arknights' signature art style and quality, exceptional 3D visuals, and unique gameplay in the mobile gaming sphere. For players who have been waiting for a major new release like this for years, it should be considered a satisfying offering.
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Arknights Endfield seems to meet expectations in terms of its art quality. After all, the art style of Arknights is highly trustworthy, and achieving top-notch 3D visuals should be expected given the scale of HYPERGRYPH. However, the gameplay aspects have provided some pleasant surprises. In the world of mobile gaming, where many titles prioritize art over gameplay, "Endfield" stands out for attempting new gameplay systems.
Trying new gameplay systems always carries both opportunities and risks, and in this regard, "Endfield" is something to look forward to.
Of course, these are just speculative thoughts based on a hands-off analysis of the gameplay video. The real test lies in the actual gaming experience, and we'll have to wait until November 10th, when the testing phase begins, to find out if it lives up to our
expectations.
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Comments
alfred_keynes
alfred_keynes
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This gives me serious Arknights vibes but in an obviously brand new setting. Looking forward to exploring Talos-II and understanding more about the backstory of the Endministrator. Can't wait for the game!

2023-11-13

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