Xbox One exclusive Scalebound is a significant departure from the kind of title Platinum Games is used to create. The Japanese studio is known for its prowess with action heavy titles, while Scalebound is more of an open world RPG.
In an interview with Metro GameCentral, Game Director and Co-Founder Hideki Kamiya explained that the inspiration for the game comes more from the old-school roleplaying games, especially since he didn't really play many of those published recently.
I’m going to completely admit that I have not played a lot of recent RPGs. [laughs] It really goes back to the old school RPGs that I can speak of and think about, and really draw on for inspiration. So in that sense, maybe from my point of view, when I say the RPG element of Scalebound you’re gonna maybe see some things that are very basic and very simple – whether that might be customising or equipping items, or upgrading.
But all those things are perhaps different from what you’d expect from an RPG, in that all those things you typically do for your own character. The investment in customisation and equipping and so on in Scalebound is not necessarily for you but it’s for Thuban – the dragon character.
Someone that you’re going to start caring for and about. So it’s very different, for me at least, as it’s not really customising, equipping, and upgrading myself but it’s actually putting that thought into the character that you really care for. So I think that’s one differentiation that you could say for certain.
Truth to be told, there have been many great RPGs in the last year or so, from Divinity: Original Sin to Dragon Age: Inquisition, from Pillars of Eternity to The Witcher 3; hopefully Kamiya-san will be able to play them sooner or later.
Elsewhere in the interview, he also confirmed that it will be possible to ride Thuban into flight, but that's not the main point of the relationship between Drew and the dragon.
[laughs] What is expected of dragons, as you said… I don’t want to betray any of those standard expectations. So that’s what you should expect of the game. I definitely want to answer that, to give you a little bit more, not just context but why the relationship and bond between Drew and Thuban is going to be important and how that is really pushing the narrative of Scalebound.
A lot of times, when you just casually hear, ‘Oh, dragons are in this game’ you think, ‘Oh, it’s a means of transport!’ Or maybe it’s your pet-like-thing. Or maybe it’s just a substitute for a weapon or a tool. But really, at it’s core, there is a bond that is stronger, as the game progresses and you go through the story.
There’s a more emotional and engaging root story that I wouldn’t want Thuban, the character, as a pet or just as a large weapon or a means of transportation. So there’s that which is quite different from what I see as a typical setting for dragons.
Scalebound is shaping up to be one of the most interesting exclusives scheduled for Microsoft's console. Stay tuned to keep apprised of news on its development, with the target release currently nailed to Holiday 2016.