Quick Look: The Dark Eye: Demonicon
I was invited to a press event showing off Kalypso’s newest offering in the action RPG genre, The Dark Eye: Demonicon. I was able to watch the dev team play the game and have them show off some important parts of the game and it’s gameplay.
For those not familiar with the The Dark Eye the best way to describe it is this. Know how Dungeons & Dragons is the top role playing game worldwide? Well in Germany The Dark Eye is the top role playing game and that is what The Dark Eye: Demonicon is based on.
The devs start the game and we’re playing a character named Cairon.
Our first stop is Warunk, a refugee camp. The first thing I was shown in the game was an interaction with what seemed to be a love interest and the making of a love triangle. We approached a woman and started a conversation by opening a dialogue tree that offered things like flirt or pick a beef with. We talked about her husband to be and then gained a quest.
Our next stop was a demonstration of the trading system. We met up with our trader in town and just like in our previous encounter we opened the dialogue tree and selected trade. The trade inventory screens are very straightforward. On the left you have the materials and possessions you own and on the right you have what’s available to be bought. When you highlight an item, the explanation of that item and what bonus it provides shows up on the screen. Your money is shown at the top of the screen and items that cost too much have prices in red to show that you can’t purchase them.
We get our first look at the attribute system as we enter the menu screen and add points to our haggle talent. We then go back to our trader and the first thing we see is that the trade selection on the dialogue wheel is green. When we have the trade inventory screens up we see that all the prices are now lower.
Our next stop is Azaril’s Monastery later on in the game. The first thing I notice was that our character is now wearing new armor and weapons. This is the first chance I have to see the combat and magic in action. The combat looks fluid and there’s certainly some weight behind all the attacks. You have a choice between melee combat and ranged combat and it’s easy to swap between the two during the heat of battle.
The magic system also looks good with many different talents to upgrade allowing you to customize your character however you want. Spells can be chained together allowing you to take on hoards of monsters and dispatch them by being smart with your magic attacks. Spells range from offensive to defensive and even allow you perks like regaining health and vitality.
While Cairon is busy fighting all the monsters I’m keeping a close eye on how he moves. The movement in the game looks great with the ability to dodge and duck and roll out of the way of attacks. There’s a nice speed to the combat where everything moves at a quick pace allowing some great looking combos to be pulled off during battle. All the combat skills are upgradable with unlockable tiers that allow you even more options to craft your character.
The next area that’s loaded is Clawmoor. The first thing we do is upgrade our legend lore talent along with our fast talk talent. This allows us to get by a character with zero conflict by being able to talk about the history of the area we are in. I learn that there are other advantages of those talents, you learn the lore of the area and everything that lives there along with recipes for your alchemy skills.
Next I’m shown how you can upgrade weapons. By increasing your alchemy talents you can learn new recipes that will allow you to make everything from potions to poisons. We create a poison and then add it to our weapon to make a weapon that has a chance to poison everyone it hits.
We make our way to an area that has a giant boss and then just like every good cliffhanger it’s the end of the show.
Since I was shown the game at various points through the story I asked if the game was open world or linear and was told that in order to tell the story they want it mostly linear but there will be places you can revisit along the way. With 5 possible endings there are going to be a lot of different ways players can get from point A to point B.
I also learned that the game itself will be in the 35 hour range and there will be optional side quests that will add another 6 to 8 hours on top of that.
The Dark Eye: Demonicon looks great. We were promised a game that involves a mature storyline, tough moral choices and extensive character creation and it looks like they came through on all counts.
We’ll have the final verdict when we get our hands on the game.
The Dark Eye: Demonicon will be released on PC October 25th, 2013 and on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 in 2014.
Lastly, I want to thank the people at Kalypso for inviting me to this preview.