When Itsuno and his Devil May Cry 4 team revealed that their next game would be some medieval thing where you fought mythical beasts, I thought, “This is why we won’t see a real DMC for a while?” Pics didn’t impress me, and the videos weren’t mind blowing. This game has a demo on Live and PSM right now and I didn’t even play it for a while after downloading it. I figure I’ll get to it when I have absolutely nothing better to do.
Well I’ll be damned.
The demo offers the full(?) character creation tool, which is surprisingly cool for something from Capcom. The menu and interface has shades of the DMC franchise which I found amusing, by the way, just wanted to share. Anyway I created a fairly accurate version of myself, and gave myself a chick as a Pawn. Pawns being your sidekick that can appear in your buddies adventures (a pointless use of connectivity compared to what could have been, but we’ll get to that in a few).
Two scenarios are available, a prologue and a mission against a very angry Gryphon. Playing the game, it took a second to understand the controls. Well… maybe not the controls, but how it’s meant to be played. Some typical hack-n-fair is here, with shift-key mechanics that extend the use of your two equipped weapons. It was confusing putting all of that together, but when you do it becomes natural. Can’t say much about the inventory screen because it’s really sloppy. Imagine some horrible mix of classic Resident Evil and Zelda. I was never sure when I actually equipped something. Took 2mins to pull out my torch for light. Maybe I’m just slow, but that was not attractive.
But back to the gameplay, which I admit is pretty smooth and fun. I didn’t experiment enough to see if an actual combo system was in place (considering the dev team), but it was responsive enough that you could go from one attack to another without pulling your hair out. A sort of ‘manual chain’ of attacks if you plan it out well enough. And I needed that for Mr. Gryphon, who I must remind you is very very angry at me and my band for some reason. And yeah, you have a band of warriors you can command. Ghost Recon this is not; those clowns looks as terrified as people would be fighting a beast. The AI is whatever, let’s get to my reall issue with this fun game:
How did nobody suggest this be multiplayer in the planning phases?
Just moving around and fighting the angry monster, I imagined this would be a blast with 3 (or more!) of my friends on XBL. I’m talking all-nighter stuff here. I’m talking an action-RPG thing on par with PSO. The more fun I had experimenting with this demo the more I got frustrated at the utterly missed opportunity for something fun and engaging. None of that number crunching stuff, an action multiplayer game with cool moves and vast landscapes and big angry monsters. And what do we have? A singleplayer with a strange option to loan out your sidekick. What?
Okay, fine. This game will drop soon. It’s fun. try the demo right now, you’ll enjoy yourself. But as for me: Call me when Dragon’s Dogma 2 launches with a rightful multiplayer mode in two years or so. So close, Capcom, so close.