The lights are on
Panzer Dragoon fans have been waiting a long time to get
their hands on another rail shooter. A spiritual successor, Crimson Dragon was
first unveiled at 2011's Tokyo Game Show, sparking excitement, as many of the
people who previously worked on Panzer Dragoon iterations, like director Yukio
Futatsugi, were back in the mix. However, June's expected
Xbox 360 release date was mysteriously delayed. This year at E3, it was confirmed
it's still alive and kicking, but is instead making its debut
exclusively on Xbox One. While at Tokyo Game Show, we saw the game in action
for the Xbox One...be prepared to give your dragons a workout.
The 3D shooter has a liveliness that's hard to ignore. More
effort went into the backdrops than anything I've seen in any other rail
shooter. Levels completely changed scenery around midway through, and the
frenzied pandemonium of controlling a dragon is comparable to the favorite
games of yore. Lots of objects are coming at you to dodge and shooting your way
through is about more than just button mashing - you need to pick
the best skills and attacks at your disposal to earn top scores. Two types of
attacks are at your disposal, a lock-on laser skill to blast chains of enemies
and a direct-fire attack that's powerful, but difficult to aim.
A smart dragon knows what to fire and when, choosing the best
decisions can be make-or-break. While watching a boss fight, it was evident the
developers put in an easy system to give you a heads up if you're making a good
choice or not; red or green will flash before your attack to alert you if you're
choosing the right strategy.
The levels are split into several sub-missions featuring
extra objectives. For instance, a level might be just about beating a boss,
while another may require you to destroy a mechanism. While you're meeting
basic conditions, extra objectives are there to earn extras to strengthen your
dragon. This can be as simple as meeting a certain time limit or as difficult
as not taking any damage during the entire level. This gives players a reason
to keep coming back to levels to prove they're the top dog of dragon lasers.
Most impressive during the demo was the difference in
levels. One was filled with stony structures to evade, while another was a
vibrant sea world. And boss battles are hardly tame; in our last level, a huge
sea-creature with octopus-like arms provided more than a few struggles.
Avoiding his huge arms from knocking away the dragon was an obstacle in itself,
but then we located a weak point and attacked like crazy, which only enraged
him. We swooped back and secured a good distance from the enemy to launch a
ranged skill that was the most appropriate course of action to finally down the
Movement during the boss battles is a little different,
too. Unlike Panzer Dragoons of yore, not
every level in Crimson Dragon is on rails.
Some even shift from being on-rails to open flight when certain
objectives are met, like destroying a portion of a boss. It's a shift from what fans might expect, but
it looks like it will be effective.
So far, Crimson Dragon doesn't look much different from what
we've seen before, except with the improved visuals. This isn't a bad thing, as
players who got an adrenaline rush from all the chaos are sure to find their
Panzer Dragoon love for this spiritual successor. Time will tell if it's enough
to entice more players to head on the rails and take the challenge of
controlling a dragon.
For more information on Crimson Dragon, check out Jeff Cork's interview with director Yukio Futatsugi.
Email the author Kimberley Wallace, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
No "How To Train Your Dragon" jokes in the comments?
For shame, GIO community.
this game should have released on the x1 and the 360, make it more accessible to the fans and make more money..simple logic in business but oh well
not a big fan of this game or the ones before it, but i know this is going to make alot of people happy. i want them to bring shenmue 3 out but we know how that goes lol
I loved Panzer Dragoon so I'm sure I'll love this game too, and it's only $19.99?! Amazing!!
Looks like something I would be willing to pay 5.99 for.
Wait why was this age gated?
I'm a PS3 player and planned to move to PS4 but man is this a tempting reason to own an X1. I LOVED Panzer Dragoon Orta on the OG Xbox and this looks fantastic.
Very interesting new IP. What was the Sony game with dragons? How'd that one do?