Hands on with Deep Down – Capcom’s PS4 dungeon crawler mixes Dragon’s Dogma’s combat with impressive visual effects
We recently played Capcom’s PS4 dungeon-crawler Deep Down for the first time and were left suitably impressed with an experience that couples gorgeous visuals with combat that’s partly indebted to Dragon’s Dogma. Of course, last year’s lizard-slayer didn’t feel the need to stuff in a MacGuffin revolving around magical artefacts in 2094 New York.
Hands on with Deep Down – Capcom’s PS4 dungeon crawler
Now, dungeon-crawlers are usually pretty dark, because, well, you’re in a dungeon. But in Deep Down, the advanced lighting effects are the real star. You see the wonderful particle effects as you enter each procedurally generated level by standing on a stone circle that crackles with magical blue-white sparks. Enchanted items you pick up along the way boast this bluish hue, too. Floors will also occasionally give way, sending you tumbling through soupy air full of dust specks.
The actual monster-scrapping is equally pretty. Large ogre-like beasts roam the dungeons, often in packs. Once you get the hang of lancing them with your pike, using L2 to aim and R2 to lunge, making defensive jabs with R1, they go down easy enough. Of course, slaughtering pig-faced beasties is one thing – offing a 60-foot fire serpent is an altogether sterner test. Thankfully, you can unleash spells, plus a Spin Dash move to prevent your armoured hero from immediately getting barbecued.
Appropriately for a game revolving around Spyro’s aggressive cousins, fire plays a big part. Ogres can hurl the burny stuff about, while sentry statues spit flames. When a lifelike explosion engulfs the screen, it feels like you’re witnessing a spectacle that simply couldn’t have been achieved on PS3.
When an explosion engulfs the screen, it feels like you’re witnessing a spectacle that simply couldn’t have been achieved on PS3
Although the segment we play is little more than a tech demo for the Panta Rhei engine, it’s encouraging all the same. The only slight concern is the announcement Deep Down will be free-to-play, conjuring worries of cynical microtransactions. Here’s hoping this dungeon-dweller can fulfil its red-hot potential.