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‘Scalebound’ cooperative gameplay features an enormous sea creature battle

Scalebound‘s cooperative mode was teased at last year’s Xbox E3 event, but both Microsoft and PlatinumGames have remained remarkably tight-lipped on the project since. During today’s Xbox E3 conference, we finally got to see Drew and his dragon buddy fight with some friends, and the game looks noticeably better after another year of work.

Featuring what creative director Hideki Kamiya calls “the biggest boss fight PlatinumGames has ever made,” the gameplay demonstration for Scalebound has Drew and three of his closest friends, all with dragons at their sides, as a massive sea creature emerges from the deep and slams down its crab-like claws. The four humans quickly split up to avoid becoming an easy joint target.

But this isn’t just another giant enemy crab. Its armor is too strong and its movements are too quick for Drew to deal with on his own, so he jumps on the back of his dragon Thuban and makes his way to the middle of the water. At this point, Scalebound turns into something of a flight combat game, with Thuban spitting fireballs as he circles around the sea monster’s weak point. When the monster finally slumps into the water, all four characters transform into their dragon-like forms and leap on his head to deliver the killing blow.

Previous footage of Scalebound showed a pretty rocky framerate, which seemed completely at odds with the fast-paced, silky smooth combat for which PlatinumGames is known. The game looks much better this time around, with no hitches and cleaner combat. It’s still quite a departure from the studio’s other games, but the action doesn’t look like it will hold it back anymore.

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Scalebound launches in 2017 for both Xbox One and Windows 10. It will be part of the just-revealed “Xbox Play Anywhere” program.