Square Enix Readies Drakengard for Release
And we ready our spellchecker for yet another dictionary entry.
Published: January 14, 2004
As videogame names go, Drakengard isn't exactly one that's especially catchy, but then Drag-on Dragoon is probably a whole lot worse. Names aside, the first proper title to come from the latter half of the Square Enix merger certainly looks promising.
Using a combination of dragonback air-to-air dogfights, air-to-ground strafing runs and on-foot solo missions, Drakengard mixes heavy action with Enix' penchant for sweeping storylines. Crafted with the same attention to detail and production values that some of Square's more high-profile efforts have garnered in the past, the game certainly looks like it'll be a nice showcase for the PS2 hardware.
"Drakengard is not your ordinary action game," opined Jun Iwasaki, president and CEO of Square Enix U.S.A. "The unique blend of RPG-style character growth, action, and a solid story that binds it all together makes this title a perfect hybrid of genres. This style of gameplay found in Drakengard is very addicting and appeals to gamers looking for a deeper action game."
The crux of Drakengard's story centers around Caim, a young man serving as a Union soldier. When he finds his sister has been captures by the nebulously-monikered Empire, he chooses to bond his soul with a dragon. Together, the two will slowly unravel a storyline rife with hidden ties to not only Caim's sister and the Empire that abducted her, but the mythical Seeds of Resurrection and, as SquEnix' press release touts, "the gods themselves." Heady stuff.
With the action split between the three different fighting styles (that'd be Panzer Dragoon-style dogfights, fire breath-powered strafing runs, and on-foot combat and exploration for those that missed 'em above), both Caim and his dragon slowly gain new abilities, weapons and magic with RPG-style advancements. Square Enix promises over 60 different weapons, and a storyline spanning in-game sequences and the usual mouth-watering CG sequences (see the picture at the bottom of the story for a glimpse into the latter). Multiple environments, plot points, characters and even endings are all based on actions made throughout the game, adding plenty of variety to the adventure.
Drakengard was already a big hit at last year's E3, and continues to pull down rave previews. We'll be sure to offer our own opinions once we've spent a little time with the U.S. version ourselves. Until then, enjoy a shot of the game's tasty CG below.