The small Kalypso Media booth at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles, last week was easy to miss. A German publisher, Kalypso is probably best known here in the United States for the Tropico RTS games and a few othe PC games. Luckily, by appointment I was able to check out a couple of action RPG set to come out next year. The first of which is Demonicon, a fantasy RPG based on the German RPG system, The Dark Eye. The second title I got a look at is a slick, cyberpunk vampire tale named Dark.
Demonicon is set in The Dark Eye universe, an RPG system similar to but more robust than Dungeons and Dragons. The Dark Eye is hugely popular in Europe with fantasy gamers and enthusiasts and the game actually fits into The Dark Eye universe’s history. Demonicon tells the story of a brother and sister who become pawns of sinister forces. In this bleak, magical world, their affection is both a blessing and curse. Both brother and sister are in constant danger and susceptible to demonic temptation that must be navigated through moral decisions.
The third person adventure features melee attack combos and magic spells and requires timing and sound tactics. The game is fraught with difficult decisions in which all choices may seem bad and will have unforseen consequences. A choice in the playthrough I saw resulted in consequences either way. In better context, that choice might be easier but, maybe not. The game also features a unique magic system that results in some devastating powers but may have unforseen consequences. From what I saw the art style captures the fantasy setting well and the game uses the Vision game engine. Demonicon is scheduled to be released on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 next year.
Dark is a stealth-based action-adventure RPG in which you take on the role of the ultimate hunter, a vampire. Images from the game will draw comparisons to Deus Ex: Human Revolution but, that’s not a bad thing Visually, the aethetics are actually somewhere between Deus Ex and Darkness 2, as a sort of cyberpunk graphic novel. The game however is all action players will ambush enemies from the shadows, roam the darkness and use powerful vampiric skills to kill enemies and of course to feed.
The story of Dark is rich and vividly conveys the possibility of the hunter becoming the prey. You will need to strike down other vampires to gain their powers, like the ability to instantly disappear from view and take your enemies by surprise. It’s not all bloodsucking though the game allows you to pick your dialogue choices and affect the story. The impressive 3D cel-shaded graphics makes everything in the game look breathtaking. You will make your way through lavishly appointed and widely varying environments like the city museum to the hidden fortress of a vampire lord hidden within a towering skyscraper. Unfortunately, this game too won’t be out for consoles until early next year.
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