Capcom's Deep Down To Feature Procedural Generation
In attendance at Sony's Tokyo Game Show, Capcom revealed more details about its upcoming PS4 RPG, Deep Down. The game - which originally appeared to be standard fantasy fare- will be set in New York in 2094. As far as narrative is concerned, it looks like the main character's gifted with the ability to read memories from items. Effectively, they're a memory archaeologist - by reading these memories, Capcom says, they'll solve a whole host of mysteries, many of them from the distant past.
How this plays into the vast cave network in which the majority of the game takes place - and in which it's heavily implied that the player character is trapped - is as-yet unknown. Presumably, more details will be released by Capcom in the coming months. For the time being, the Assassin's Creed-style framing certainly serves to add a rather promising angle to the game, one which I hope Capcom makes a concerted effort to expand upon.
Gameplay-wise - and this is the rather exciting part - Deep Down will feature procedural generation of maps, monsters, and items. Basically, this means that every play-through will be randomly generated (save for major plot points and quests, presumably), and the game will be slightly unique each time you run through it. Couple that with the fact that, judging from the gameplay demos we've seen the play-style looks very much inspired by Dark Souls, and...well, I'm pretty much sold on the experience.
See, I was a huge Dark Souls fanatic. I think I've probably played through the game at least three or four times now, on several different characters. The problem with that, of course, is that every playthrough is effectively the same. You start to learn where enemies will spawn, learn how they'll attack; learn exactly what needs to be done to react. With the way Capcom's designing Deep Down, players won't have that safety net. They'll have to rely on wit and caution rather than rote memorization.
That, my friends, is positively fantastic.
Procedural generation has, as a general rule, not been receiving a whole lot of love in AAA gaming of late. Though there are plenty of high-profile examples (Borderlands, Diablo III, and Left 4 Dead all come to mind), the vast majority of released games that have made use of the technique are independent titles such as Minecraft, Dwarf Fortress, and Rogue Legacy. It's nice to see larger developers starting to look once more into using it seriously.
I wasn't completely sold on Deep Down the first time I saw it. To me, it basically looked like a clone of Dark Souls. After seeing a few details about the title, though?
I can't wait to play it.