Along with detailed information about the PS4's features and controller at the PlayStation 4 unveiling conference, Sony introduced several games, both from itself and from several outside publishers, to be released on the next generation console either this year or next. One of these publishers, Capcom, known for high profile series such as Mega Man, Street Fighter and Resident Evil, revealed not only a new engine for the PS4 but an interesting look at a game only unveiled by its working title Deep Down.
Thanks to a revolutionary new engine Capcom has designed specifically for the PlayStation 4, the company is fully ready to commit to next generation gaming: the engine known as Panta Rhei. Capcom describes the Panta Rhei engine as the “next evolutionary step from the MT Framework engine,” which Capcom fans will recognize as the engine powering such hit titles as Resident Evil 6 and Street Fighter 4.
Panta Rhei has been designed from the ground up to be fully compatible with the PlayStation 4, allowing Capcom developers to make games much easier than the PlayStation 3, which held a reputation for being unwieldy and hard to develop for.
Other than showing off some screenshots of the engine at work, Capcom kept tight-lipped about what exactly the engine could do and the power behind the engine. Rather than rattle off a number of statistics and programming language, most of which would have likely flown over the head of the journalists in attendance, Capcom felt the best course of action was to showcase their engine in action. To do this, the company unveiled Deep Down with a video showcasing the graphics in action.
The video (linked above for your viewing pleasure), totals two minutes and gives us a look at what this IP might focus on.
The video starts with a knight hiding behind a stone wall as flames envelop either side of the column. The knight is wearing medieval style armor, letting us know this is a fantasy-based game involving swords, if not sorcery: territory that Capcom may not have a lot of games in but have proven to be experts at with such games like Monster Hunter and Dragon's Dogma.
The video reverses in time to before this attack by an unknown assailant, showing our hero interacting with other members: we can assume this is his party, of sorts, similar to any role-playing game. As the group navigates through the caves, they come upon a large opening where we get a glimpse of our assailant from before: a large, fire-breathing dragon.
What transpires next is the group attempting to foil the dragon using not only their weapons, but the environment as well. Unfortunately for our heroes, the dragon is simply too much of a fight as we're left with the tagline “Conquer your fear or die a coward” as the flames from the dragon bear down on our poor knight. The video ends with the player using the PlayStation 4 social system to ask another player for help, offering to split the loot with him if he helps.
Capcom has just recently confirmed that the game is an online multiplayer role-playing game, with more information coming in September courtesy of the Tokyo Game Show.
Ahead of the Tokyo Game Show reveal, Capcom has finally let some details of the game slip out!
The game will feature randomly generated maps, complete with randomly generated enemies and loot. This will provide extensive replayability.
It was also revealed that the game is set in 2094 and, in an Assassin's Creed like twist, the player will travel back in time somehow by touching specific objects. The medieval combat that is so prevalent in all the trailers is likely the result of going back in time.
Outside of Tokyo Game Show, Capcom has revealed that any additional news, such as a release date, won't be revealed until the PS4 launches on February 2014 in Japan.
Free To Play
During the Tokyo Game Show, Capcom announced that Deep Down would be a free to play title, shocking audiences everywhere.
It's unclear how this particular game will translate to a free to play title, as the game mechanics clearly show a single player / small multiplayer focus. Capcom is keeping quiet as well, only stating the the beta will begin in Feburary 2014, the launch of the PS4 in Japan.
We know the game will have some sort of purchasable content, as all free to play titles do, but as of right now we don't know what that will be.
Dragon's Dogma Ties?
At this point, there isn't a lot of information to go on if you only go by what Capcom has shown us. However, read between the lines, and you can figure out that Deep Down is a working title for a new Dragon's Dogma. Other than the fact both games use the same alliteration, there are key moments in the video which key us to the fact that this is a new Dragon's Dogma game.
In the video itself, the video seems to randomly show us the player interacting with a group of individuals that he is grouping with. Dragon's Dogma experts know that the pawn system, where you can group with three computer controlled allies, played a large part in the game.
Not only was Dragon's Dogma about conquering large enemies, many of them 10 and 20 times the size of the player, but dragons themselves played a large part in the story, with the game both starting and ending with a fight with a dragon. The fact that this video is showcasing a fight with a dragon may just be coincidence, but it is a rather large one.
If you compare Deep Down with any Dragon's Dogma, you can see the resemblance in the gritty, dark atmosphere of both Dragon's Dogma and Deep Down. In all aspects, Deep Down looks like a graphically upgraded version of Dragon's Dogma and even the trailer feels like it was made by the same team.
Finally, outside of the video shown, Dragon's Dogma has proven to be a very successful new franchise for Capcom worldwide, rivaling even the sales of Monster Hunter in Japan. Capcom has mentioned previously that Dragon's Dogma will become a focus for them moving forward and they will capitalize on the success of the game. Having a sequel to the game ready near the PlayStation 4 launch would be a great way to capitalize on the success.
Unfortunately, as much as we'd love for this game to be connected to Dragon's Dogma, Deep Down producer Yoshinori Ono has put these rumors to rest by stating to MCV that despite its similarities, Deep Down is its own game:
"We wanted to be free to utilize the PS4′s hardware capabilities and unique services without the constraints of working within an existing IP. Of course, the development experience we gain will put us in an even better position to bring our existing series to the console in a way that takes full advantage of its hardware and services."
Missing At E3 2013
Surprisingly, Deep Down was missing at E3 2013, though Yoshinori Ono, producer for Deep Down, has teased on Twitter that the game will be playable in some form at E3 2014:
Blanka visiting to SCEA booth. deep down couldn't set public playable on E3 in this time. It will be next time... http://t.co/hx822p0LSj
— Yoshinori Ono (@Yoshi_OnoChin) June 12, 2013
Permanently Exclusive To PS4?
At Gamescom 2013, a Capcom representative has told OXM UK that Deep Down is permanently exclusive to the PlayStation 4. Whether this will remain to be true in the future will be seen, as Capcom is well known for their ports and for not keeping exclusivity promises.
Capcom has reassured it's Japanese PS4 fans that the Deep Down beta, originally scheduled to begin this summer, is still happening. Producer Kazunori Sugiura apologized for the delay on the company's Facebook, claiming that they will release details about the beta "soon" and that it's hopefully coming this month.
Seven Minutes of New Footage
Capcom has unveiled seven minutes of gorgeous Deep Down footage, finally showing off what we can expect from the game when it launches:
Where is Deep Down?
The question on everyone's mind is "Where is Deep Down?" Announced at the PS4 launch, many gamers are starting to feel like the game has been cancelled. Speaking to website 4gamer.net, in a translation by SiliconEra, developer Yoshinori Ono is hinting that the game has undergone a complete transformation:
"It also looks like some people are starting to ask 'did the development come to a halt?' but it's nothing like that. We're thinking about showing something that looks completely different from what previously shown."
Ono continues to hint at the changes the game has gone through:
"The ideas we have for the game is much larger now compared to when we first announced it...the ideas we had before might not have been good enough."
What could Deep Down be like now? Hopefully we'll find out soon!
Deep Down was schedule to release during the Japanese launch of the PlayStation 4 on February 22nd, 2014 but has now been delayed. Why? Because Capcom was worried about fan criticism.
Producer Kazunori Sugiura stated that the reason for the delay was that "..we don't want to risk to be told ‘This could have been done on PS3!' we want to finish a game that fully uses the PS4 hardware specs."
What is the new release date? Capcom is looking until after the Summer at the earliest, so fans are going to have to wait for some time. Hopefully the delays will be worth it.
Game Category: Role Playing