Scalebound is an uPComing RPG developed by PlatinumGames and published by Microsoft Studios exclusively for the XBOX One. You may not know much about Scalebound yet as it’s not getting the same attention as other uPComing titles, but it’s definitely not a game you want to overlook if you’re a fan of the action role-playing genre.
You will play as a character named Drew, who travels alongside his dragon named Thuban. Scalebound will have you fighting with a wide variety of enemies, but you will also be able to command your dragon to assist you during battle.
PlatinumGames is known for their action games, but this game puts a bigger emphasis on the role-playing and graphical qualities than it does action. Of course, that’s only judging by what we know about the game so far.
In Scalebound, you will take control of Drew and play in a third-person perspective as you progress through the world of Draconis. Unlike other adventures, this one will give you a dragon companion and Thuban will be by your side throughout the entire game, breathing fire at your enemies.
It’s not like you will be able to face most of your enemies on your own, as you will be fighting against rather large creatures, so Thuban is definitely a necessary friend in the world of Draconis.
Their official website has four main features listed, and one of them mentions how you will be able to join forces with other players to battle massive creatures together. The monsters you fight in Scalebound are described as “epic scale beasts”.
Another main feature to the game is the fact that you will have this rather large world to explore. Obviously, it must be large when you consider the size of your average enemy. An exact size hasn’t been revealed yet.
Fighting with your dragon is also going to be a key part of the gameplay, and the stylish action gameplay will have you landing chain attacks with your dragon to land a bunch of combos on your enemies.
That stuff sounds good and all, but the most interesting feature is how you can evolve your dragon’s abilities and attacks to make him more unique. You will be able to choose your favorite dragon, whether it’s the winged serpent or the four legged tank. There are more dragons to choose from, so pick wisely as the game will make sure you build a solid relationship with the dragon. According to the developer, it’s more than just a pet. The appearance can also be evolved as you play through the game, although exact appearance upgrades have yet to be revealed.
Thuban is a key player in Scalebound, he is controlled by artificial intelligence and commanded by you, and he is a loyal companion indeed. You won’t be able to ride the dragon in the beginning of the game, but eventually you will be able to, and that will likely open up many doors for the player. While I know the game looks much different, but it always reminds me of Ark: Survival Evolved when describing it. Except, instead of a dinosaur companion you have a dragon, and your enemies are much larger.
After defeating enemies you will be able to pick up gems and upgrade Thuban, making him even more powerful.
In the game, you will fight with various melee and ranged weapons, from swords to explosive arrows. Like many role-playing games, the weapons you use will eventually wear out and lose their durability, so you will need to pick up something new. It isn’t clear if you will be able to repair them, and we know the game does not feature a crafting system.
Drew is not a regular boring human with no special abilities, this guy is equipped with a dragon arm that basically gives him the ability to scan enemies for information. It also allows him to heal Thuban, and even unleash pulse energy. The coolest thing about Drew is that he can actually shapeshift into a dragon hybrid, which of course makes his abilities much more powerful.
Defeating enemies and assisting Thuban will give players skill points to level up Drew. If you’re good enough to kill multiple enemies back-to-back then you will get even more skill points from battle.
As far as multiplayer goes, we know that Scalebound will feature four-player cooperative gameplay, as you and other players team up to take on various quests.
Story, Characters and Thuban
Hideki Kamiya has recently spoke on the uPComing game, and his fascination with dragons in video games. Since Kamiya started working on video games for CaPCom in 1994, dragons were a part of his mind, and they’ve appeared in various video games he’s worked on, from the griffin in Devil May Cry to the dragons in Bayonetta and The Wonderful 101.
Kamiya isn’t a fan of the way popular culture depicts dragons, which has always been monstrous beings, or essentially prizes to take down from the sky. “As soon as I was introduced to a lot of these fantasy settings and worlds there was something particularly striking about dragons.”
They are always depicted as destructive, strong beings, but he says “they’re beautiful. Yet they only ever appeared as enemies. So even though I fell in love with them, there were these limitations in terms of my interactions with them. I’ve always wanted to create a game where the dragons were the main subject matter.”
So, it’s no wonder why he decided to make a dragon a companion on Scalebound, and not just a destructive beast that you want to kill. The dragon will fight by your side and actually develop a relationship with Drew. It’s a unique duo in the gaming world and one unlike any other game.
Scalebound Creative Producer Jean Pierre Kellams also spoke on the uPComing game saying since it’s Platinum’s first action RPG they’re “making a game that brings all of our core competencies in action gameplay to the RPG genre and placing it in a very large non-linear world.”
This game will depict Kamiya’s vision of what a dragon could be, which is highly intelligent, and one capable of developing a bond with a human like Drew.
Drew certainly stands out in the fantasy world of Draconis, as he is dressed like a modern day Tokyo “pretty-boy”, with headphones around his neck and all. Kamiya said he didn’t want to make a typical, expected fantasy world, “so to put a twist to that, this human, Drew, comes from our modern world, which would allow us to tell a story that has maybe not been told before, but yet is still believable. In the game, Drew is a normal 2-something year-old dude who considers himself invincible like many of us in this age group do in real life.
Drew is also described as a loner, which is partly why it’s possible for him to bond with Thuban after he unexpectedly lands into the world of Draconis. “Through that sense of isolation they develop this bond.”
In fact, their bond is so real that if one of them dies, they both die. So you definitely have to look out for Thuban, as he will do his best to look out for you.
Scalebound is about a human and a dragon working together, and according to the creator, they intended on making players feel like Thuban is always there for you. So he will always have your back, proving to the world that dragons don’t always have to be the bad guy. Right now it looks amazing, especially graphically, the images we’ve seen so far are incredibly detailed. It’s a unique story with a unique twist on a fantasy world, where most games in the genre are copying each other’s worlds.