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Drakengard 3

Drakengard 3 Is A Mature Title 'Made Specifically For The Japanese Market'

Square Enix invited us over as part of the New York Comic Con festivities yesterday, surprising us with a developer driven demo of the just-announced Drakengard 3. The title is on track for a Japanese release this year, with intentions for a North American arrival in 2014.

We spoke with producer Takamasa Shiba, who explained why Square Enix was revisiting Drakengard after an eight year hiatus.

Shiba tells us that the decision to make Drakengard 3 was to provide an experience for console gamers in a market that is becoming more casual. "Drakengard 3 is made specifically for the Japanese market," he says. "There are JRPG fans worldwide though, so it's a game for any JRPG fan."

Shiba also indicated that Square Enix in Japan has largely been restricted to Final Fantasy RPGs on home console. "Instead of creating more JRPG games, we were making games just for casual gamers," he says. "We were only helping the market to shrink."

Shiba walked us through the twisted world of Drakengard 3, explaining its mature setting. Players assume the role of Zero, who formerly controlled the world with the power of her singing. Throughout the game, she will pursue her sisters (One, Two, Three, Four, and Five) in order to kill them.

"Typically in JRPGs, you'd expect a hero that's fighting for justice," Shiba says. "In Drakengard 3, we have an anti-hero. It's a dark fantasy and a mature game."

"Zero is not out there for revenge," Shiba says. "She doesn't want to destroy them. She just wants to kill them." Shiba is careful not to reveal much of the plot, but emphasizes this point.

Zero is an Intoner, and uses the blood collected from her fallen foes to trigger an ability that slows down time for those around her. She often has a companion with her, and they are as twisted as the rest of the story.

The first companion players encounter is Dito, who often makes veiled (and not-so-veiled) sexual innuendos. There is also an extreme masochist, a sex addict, and a more traditional Final Fantasy type hero that just gets everything wrong.

The combat is very fast-paced, and the visuals are gorgeous and bloody. The Intoner blood gauge at the top left is handy, but Zero's clothing also serves to show how much she's collected.

Of course, Drakengard 3 features a dragon ally. Mikhail is an immature dragon, but nonetheless enormous and powerful. He can be called in to the fight to assist, and the moments riding the beast look exciting.

In a new move for the series, players will be able to stay on the ground with their dragon mount. This allows for more options, including stomping and rushing. 

Our first look at Drakengard 3 revealed a lot of promise. The combat looks slick. The story pushes the genre into the most mature of settings thanks to the overt sexual context and graphic violence. Square Enix is giving the PlayStation 3 one more big hurrah, and it's coming to North America in 2014.

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  • It's made specifically for the Japanese audience? I had no idea!!! Especially with all of the anime looking characters! :D

    Plus, this whole "anti-hero" thing isn't really a new concept- it's been done for a LONG time, and it's pretty much everywhere now. These guys aren't making something brand new, even IF they are incorporating it into a JRPG.
  • Drakengard has always had a dark and twisted story too it..just look up that last cutscene from Drakengard 2 and tell me it didn't make all the hairs on your body stand.
  • Wasn't this titled Drag on Dragoon 3 before? Why the title change?
  • Sounds like a brilliant title and will look into it in 2014.

  • Hmm that means I can expect an over-saturation of emotion and random feels from all the characters. One of the more annoying things Japan is in love with but the gameplay almost always overcomes that.

  • If by Japanese Market he means it will either have an convoluted story or something like Dragon's Dogmas' story, I don't know how I feel about that. P.S. I love DD, but c'mon, the end (and final end) are the only redeeming points of the entire plot because the story telling was weak.
  • Drakengard has always been a very "Japanese" series. It would have been very disappointing if the game was dumbed down due to current market standards.

    As someone who has actually played the first two games, I am very much looking forward to this installment. (Maybe it's status as a prequel might set-up an HD release of the first two Drakengards? A fan could only hope.)

  • I'm curious what they are expecting this to sell, 20 million, 30 million. Either way I'm sure they will say financialy it is a failure no matter how well it does.
  • Jeez, what's with all the hate on Japanese games in the comments?
  • so if it is made for japan crowd, why are they bringing it here? it might be too weird and fail. knowing the story of this serie of games, they all fail miserably to sell. it will be without me, japanese cant make good rpgs, they are stuck in the past while the world has moved on.
  • So many dragons for 2014!  The list grows.  Deep Down, Dragon Age, Dark Souls 2, and I know I'm forgetting at least 1.  Add this guy into the mix.  I love fighting me a good dragon.  I personally feel that the Hellkite was/is the most impressive dragon I've seen in a game to date.  Still I have yet to best Kalameet in the Artorias dlc.

  • This has the same trailer that Jeff Cork showed us two days ago.

  • I'm moving to Japan for this.

  • It's 2013, and developers still think "mature" means boobs, bondage gear, and brutality. Yay.
  • So I did hear right. They've already had some really perverted and disturbed characters, from what I've heard. It's kind of like if Dragon Age literally had in inhibitions.

  • Made specifically for the Japanese audience can only mean one thing..... Women with big busts, in skimpy outfits, blood shooting out like gysers!
  • From the comments it seems almost no one played Drakengard before, just so you know this had anti-heroes before this gen existed also it ties into a game called NIER some of you might know it. I loved the first game sadly never was able to play the second game.
  • Oh God, not another one. Usually, when games are bad, they're slam-on-the-brakes-everyone-screaming bad. This is one of the few series out there that, between the horrible voice acting, pointless and clumsy grimdark-ness, and surprisingly solid gameplay, actually manages to be entertainingly bad in terms of writing while still being enough fun to keep you playing. Honestly, the PS3 exclusivity is the only thing keeping me from buying this. I just can't keep spending money on that damn thing if it's going to keep breaking down...
  • I loved the first one and Am so excited there is another.....

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