I had a chance to play the Capcom Sony exclusive “Deep Down” today at the 2013 Tokyo Game show. Originally shown as a tech demo at the original PlayStation 4 announcement earlier this year, it has since been polished up and given a name.
The first thing that comes to mind when seeing Deep Down, is Dark Souls. In fact during the original tech demo many people thought it was a Souls game. So while playing the 10 minute demo today, being a huge Souls fan myself, my quest was to find out if in fact this was a Dark Souls clone or was it something new, possibly even dare say, better.
After waiting for about 30 minutes in line I was led to a nice comfortable chair to sit back in, as if I was in my own living room, to try out Deep Down. And exactly like in my living room there was a gorgeous Japanese woman in a white and blue PlayStation mini-dress to help me play the game. She informed me that I could play for 10 minutes and helped explain the controls and got me off the ground.
As I started walking down the first corridor she pointed out to me that there was a fire spewing statue by exclaiming “oh no! Fire!” I could tell she was a little worried I might get burned, but I was confident and strategically stepped to the side and out of the way of the aforementioned fire, walked up alongside the statue and hit it with my spear destroying it. With an enthusiastic clapping of the hands I knew this Sony booth assistant was thoroughly impressed with my game playing skills. But little did she know, there was plenty more where that came from!
The first thing that anyone will notice while playing Deep Down is that it is absolutely beautiful! The animations are full and fluid, lights and shadows make for an extra creepy dungeon crawl. When comparing Deep Down to Dark Souls the attack combat is similar. With different shoulder trigger moves you change up the way in which you attack. One trigger is a broad swing. The other trigger will aim your spear while pushing the attack trigger as before and you will execute a pinpoint stab. There is also a jump–back-and-stab command, but oddly enough, no sideways dodge or roll (at least none that I knew of). I only played with one weapon, the spear, and I wonder how other weapons will be handled in the real game.
In the Demo the enemies were all the same and to be honest not very difficult (something my trusty companion in the PlayStation mini-dress, I’m sure was impressed by, but just sort of kept to herself). Actually nothing was really difficult. It was a very graphically impressive walk in the park. I fought off my enemies, found the secret treasure (marked by a glowing blue orb that my mini-dress companion pointed out). Then I got to the end and that was it. Not too challenging, and a touch generic.
Having said that, I think there is some real potential here. As I said, it was a tech demo earlier this year and it seems to have come a little further but still has no release date. I got the feeling that Capcom knows there still a lot of work to be done, and they just wanted to wet people’s appetites and have something to show here at the TGS. I feel like they didn’t want to make it too indepth because they possibly don't know exactly where they're going to go with it yet. Also possibly they didn'tg want to make it too complicated for people, so it would be easy to get into and demo for 10 minutes. I wasn’t impressed that much today, but I will definitely keep Deep Down on my radar for the future.
Dark Souls it is not. But hopefully Deep Down finds its identity and brings something new to the Dungeon crawler RPG table that is its own.
As a side note, as I affectionately tease the booth assistant in this article a little, I was thinking today what a great job all the ladies were doing at the Sony booth (and at all the booths). They have to dress up in these skimpy outfits, actually know how to play the game and help a new nerd every 10 minutes. I was impressed how genuinely friendly and happy the girl who helped me seemed to be. So I tease, but well done mam, you made it fun!