What we found was a pretty traditional, if simple, dungeon crawler. At least a prototype of a dungeon crawler -- Ruin's most interesting features, like the social elements that will let you both build and equip a dungeon of your own, as well as attack the dungeons of your rivals, are still all theoretical so far.
But the mechanics are there; as an Infernal Warrior (the only race/class combination on display, though Humans and Elves will also be playable as an Assassin or one of two other classes), I got to take down a small dungeon of enemies and collect the tasty (placeholder) loot that issued forth.
The Sony representatives at the event made a big deal of stepping away from a saved game on your Vita and pulling it up on the PS3, but due to what I was told were wi-fi issues at the show, that didn't actually happen. Still, Ruin is indeed just as playable on the PS3 as it is on the handheld, and I was also told that players would be able to run co-op across both devices as well.
All four face buttons on the Vita run different controls -- X is your standard attack, while Square offers up a combo attack that can be combined in various ways with the slash. Triangle was an area-of-effect stomp that did knockback on enemies (knocking them off, or into some of the destructible environment), and on the warrior, Square did a dashing shield attack.
We'll have to wait a little longer to see the good stuff in action.
The version on display didn't have any HUD at all, but I was told, of course, that loot would be upgradeable and shown on the characters as you leveled up. Idol Minds also promised that the game would make full use of the Vita's extra control options (including the front and rear touchscreens), but the current build just used the analog sticks, buttons, and the D-pad.
Ruin does show potential, and the story that's being told of a social, cross-platform experience governed by addictive dungeon-crawler gameplay definitely sounds great. But we'll have to wait a little longer to see the good stuff in action. Ruin is schedule for a "launch window" release on the PS Vita, so hopefully we'll see more of it later this year.