Examining Deep Down’s Innovation, Futuristic Elements, and Two New Demos

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Among all of the next-generation titles that are merely weeks away from becoming a reality, a select few stand out as potentially amazing video game experiences. Spread across various genres and featuring a wealth of interesting features, gorgeous graphics, and finely tunes experiences, there is no arguing that the upcoming console generation will be the best yet for passionate gamers.

Of all of the titles that stand out, one PlayStation 4 exclusive truly rises up among the rest. Capcom’s Deep Down has been on the tip of every hardcore video game fan since the game’s interesting, and surprising, E3 debut.

As more information continues to surface regarding Sony’s exclusive, next-gen dungeon crawler, it becomes more and more apparent that Deep Down is shaping up to be an experience the likes of which have never been encountered before.

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Deep Down has stood out in a number of ways since its initial announcement. From that game’s dark, fantasy inspired debut trailer, to the announcement of the game actually taking place in a futuristic New York City, to most importantly – the TGS announcement that Deep Down will be free-to-play, it is evident that Capcom are intent on making Deep Down as unique and intriguing as humanly possible.

While initially, gamers were left scratching their at Deep Down’s Assassin’s Creed meets Dark Souls premise, Capcom’s intent behind this decision, as well as how it will effect gameplay is slowly becoming much clearer.

Deep Down’s two newest trailers, both of a single player campaign, and a multiplayer battle against a towering, albeit amazing looking dragon, are the first definitive answers to many questions that Deep Down’s development news has sparked.

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In these trailers, a number of interesting things happen. First, in the single player demo, Deep Down’s dungeon crawling pedigree takes center stage. The tight-up camera that Deep Down features seems to be positioned in such a way that lends itself to creating an air of claustrophobia. The twisting hallways shown in the demo leave little room for wide traversal, and having the camera so close seems to indicate that caution, in a similar manner to Dark Souls, is the key to survival.

Aiding in this theory, the single player demo shows that Deep Down’s procedurally generated dungeons will be full of traps, meaning that those who are willing to throw caution to the wind will almost surely meet an unfortunate demise. Fire-spewing statues and even a pitfall are a sampling of what is sure to be a large selection of traps in Deep Down.

Of similar interest is the single player demo’s take on combat. Spears have seemed to be the weapon of choice in all of the Deep Down related screenshots and trailers to date, and the new demo is no exception. As the player character traverses the hallways of the dungeon, his spear is ever ready. The narrow hallway and slow movement speed seem to indicate that when the time comes for combat, the spear’s reach will be a player’s best friend.

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That combat is shown in detail during the single player demo, of course. The player encounters numerous, lumbering monsters that bear a resemblance to fantasy’s ever popular trolls. The trolls are menacing, and swing their clubs with noticeable force. Again, the spear comes in handy here, allowing players to quickly jab at the club, stymieing the troll’s attack.

Upon a slow in the troll’s attack, the player targets the troll’s knee, stabbing at it for minor damage, but managing to knock him to the ground, allowing for a perfectly aligned thrust at the trolls head. Combat looks vicious to say the least.

Combat against trolls is the primary feature of the single player demo, but a few interesting pieces of information are gleaned during the ten minute long video. Located behind the player character, there is what seems to be something of a ‘threat meter’. During the beginning of the video, the needle rests in a neutral position, but when combating trolls, the needle makes a noticeable shift towards the right, red side – which seems to indicate ‘danger’. This is the first instance of the 2094 setting showing itself during Deep Down’s dungeon crawling sections, but the entire functionality of the ‘threat meter’ remains to be seen.

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Similar to the threat meter is another interesting example of future technology in Deep Down’s single player demo – the map. Whereas most fantasy titles aren’t afraid to hold to the traditional style of map, Deep Down offers an alternative that makes perfect sense in regards to the information that has been gleaned of the game’s narrative. During the demo, the player character pulls up a map without having to access an menus. The map hovers to the side of the player, reminiscent of the threat meter, and is completely rendered in 3D.

The map shows each room the player has moved through as a single block-shaped area, with the player represented by an arrow. Further ahead on the map, is a glowing room, indicating the goal or desired destination. Deep Down’s seamless inclusion of what seems to be decidedly futuristic technology aspects in what otherwise seems to a well-grounded dark fantasy title deserves praise for its implementation.

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The multiplayer demo is also of note for a number of reasons. Capcom has stated that Deep Down is set to focus primarily on multiplayer, and as showcased in the demo, a lot of effort has already gone into creating an intense cooperative experience.

In the demo, four players are seen teaming up to defeat a monstrous dragon. Shown across four screens simultaneously, the multiplayer aspect feels very reminiscent of old-school local multiplayer games. Teaming up to defeat a huge enemy is something that Deep Down players will have to get used to, as it seems that the game has no shortage of gargantuan challenges.

Combat within the multiplayer demo takes the center stage once again. As the dragon spews a simply remarkable stream of fire from its mouth, the players struggle to position themselves for the attack. One player casts an interesting spell, literally freezing time and everything else in the room – players and dragon included, allowing him more time to plan his assault.

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The assault is absolutely impressive, during the frozen time period, the player takes the opportunity to cast a fireball spell – still frozen – and align his shots toward the dragon. As reality sets back in, the fireballs whip into the side of the beast as combat resumes.

This time-freeze mechanic is about as interesting as anything we have previously seen in regards to Deep Down. While it remains to be seen whether or not the spells in the game have some sort of futuristic influence, it is clear that magic and combat, as well as dedicated teamwork, are the core principles of surviving Deep Down’s world.

With so much going for the game, it can be hard to understand why Deep Down is slated to be a free-to-play experience. The only thing that is certain in terms of Deep Down, is that this is a game that will have to be played to be truly understood.

The dungeons await you, player.


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