Over the past 15 years, there has been a popularity for games concentrating on the slaying of monsters, especially wyverns and dragons. Possibly starting with Monster Hunter, which originally came out back in 2002, the genre has since expanded, and other video game developers have created their own spin on the hunting and killing of huge monsters. Namco Bandai had God Eater, Square Enix had Lord of Arcana, and Marvelous had Soul Sacrifice and its upgraded version, Soul Sacrifice Delta. Eventually, gaming consoles would got into the genre with titles such as the Souls Series by FromSoftware and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim by Bethesda.
The monster hunting genre has come a long way ever since Capcom innovated it with various generations of the Monster Hunter Series, and even their open world RPG Dragon’s Dogma (along with its updated version). It is rare for these games to utilize co-op in the story mode. That will change, however, as PlatinumGames has announced that the Xbox One exclusive Scalebound will support co-op multiplayer from start to finish.
Before continuing to the details of the campaign mode of Scalebound supporting co-op from start to finish, it is best to describe what the game is. It is an action role-playing game (RPG) played in the third-person perspective in which players control Drew. He is bound to a dragon named Thuban, and together, they traverse the world of Draconis, slaying monsters while improving their skills and armor. It is like playing a sandbox Monster Hunter on steroids.
Scalebound was originally announced last year at E3 2015, and the trailer introduced the gaming community to the gorgeous new Xbox One exclusive. Now another feature was revealed that would entice many gamers: co-op multiplayer support. According to an exclusive interview with Polygon, game designer Hideki Kamiya and creative producer JP Kellams talked about how the multiplayer component of the game would work. Kamiya made sure to enforce the fact it is available throughout the campaign.
“Co-op works throughout the campaign. You can play by yourself if you’d like to. You can play with your friends whenever you like. It’s not a mode — a lot of people have asked us if it’s just for bosses, but it’s for the entire game’s campaign.”
Unfortunately, the details of the co-op multiplayer were a bit too general. We do not know if said co-op multiplayer is only available via online through internet connection or Xbox Live, or if there’s a split-screen mode. Nevertheless, a new trailer showing what co-op would look like was released at E3 2016. It can also be assumed from the video that the co-op will most likely be online only.
Both Hideki Kamiya and JP Kellams revealed other tidbits about the development of Scalebound during their interview. First, the multiplayer part of the game will not use the lobby matchmaking system. Kellams brings up the fact that lobbies in Japanese multiplayer games are horrendous when it comes to matchups. Second, the campaign will differ between single player and co-op, as the difficulty of the game will be adjusted if a player has others on a team compared to taking on the game by themselves. Finally, Scalebound will be Hideki Kamiya’s first real multiplayer game, as he is trying to figure out how to make it work since he has very little experience with multiplayer games.
At this moment, Scalebound is still in development. It was originally expected to release this year for both the Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Unfortunately, Scalebound had to be pushed back to 2017, possibly because more resources went into developing Bayonetta 2 over this title.
[Image via Screen Capture of Scalebound]