Blood Knights Preview

1UP is offering a new preview for the co-op console-oriented hack'n'slash Blood Knights, which, as you might have guessed by the name, deals with gruesome and ever-popular vampires. Here's a sampling:
Like Guardian of Light, Blood Knight provides two players with differing skills: Jeremy serves as the melee character while Alysa uses projectile attacks. As you could probably guess from the title, the paper-thin story focuses heavily on vampires, which gives our protagonists an excuse to use blood-sucking as a vital combat skill. Since none of your opponents drop health items, the only way to recover involves slowly draining them dry, an act that leaves your character susceptible to enemy attacks. And if you ever need a quick fix, a co-op partner can always share some of their own blood for a quick fix.

Based on what Deck 13 showed me, Blood Knights features significantly more RPG elements than Guardian of Light -- in fact, the developers named PS2 classic Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance as one of their other major influences. Jeremy and Alysa each have their own skill trees, with 15 abilities apiece, and the two can level up one of three attributes (strength, health, and luck) after finding five "blood coins." And for all of you Diablo fans, Blood Knights places a focus on loot, but adds a few shortcuts to eliminate the tedium of sifting through endless inventory menus; you can automatically sell unwanted gear directly from the item screen, and the game gives you a clear indication as to whether or not equipping an item would be beneficial. The systems don't seem very deep, but anything more demanding might slow the pace of its Gauntlet-style game play.