PlatinumGames’ hack-and-slash dragon adventure Scalebound was announced at 2014’s Xbox E3 conference, but almost no information has been released since. That changed today at Gamescom, where director Hideki Kamiya took to the stage to show off Scalebound‘s gameplay for the first time.
“Scalebound is the biggest game we’ve ever made at PlatinumGames,” Kamiya says. “An action-RPG where you can freely explore a vast, mysterious world on foot or on the back of a majestic dragon.”
The narrative centers around an earthling named Drew and his dragon, Thuban, who are searching for “a powerful artifact” on the world of Draconis. Drew appears to be part-dragon himself, with one of his arms covered in scales (scalebound, so to speak). Unlike other PlatinumGames titles, Scalebound appears slower and more strategic, but the goofiness of Kamiya’s past work is back in full force: before Drew charges to fight a group of enemy soldiers, he puts on his dubstep-blaring headphones.
Not unlike the Dragon Age series, Scalebound’s combat is filled with on-screen numbers indicating damage and a few quick-select items on the Xbox One d-pad. The twist, however, is that Drew is far from the most formidable foe standing in the soldiers’ way. With a voice command (Drew, not Kinect), Thuban destroys a building and lets loose a giant breath of fire, killing several enemies at once.
But humanoids aren’t the only thing you’ll be facing. A giant “Mantis” creature appears as a direct challenge to Thuban, but this gives Drew the opportunity to take shots from afar using his bow and start a chain reaction attack with an electrified mine. For more damage, Drew transforms to become even more draconic himself, effortlessly cutting through the Mantis with his sword.
Scalebound arrives to Xbox One “holiday 2016,” which should give you plenty of time to round up a few friends: the game will also feature four-player cooperative play.