The Dark Eye - Demonicon (Impressions)

by: Travis -
At a recent preview event held by Kalypso Media, their upcoming action role-playing game The Dark Eye - Demonicon was described as being the publisher’s longest title in development and having the largest production value. It was quite evident that Demonicon was aiming to be something above the competition with its focus on compelling storytelling and fascinating characters. The game was even jokingly described as making Mordor from The Lord of the Rings look like a playground.
 
Continue reading after the break for complete impressions of The Dark Eye - Demonicon.

Demonicon is set in the German roleplaying game universe of The Dark Eye. The game does not only share its name, but it will feature the pen and paper game’s ruleset and lore. From the starting cinematic to the various dialogue between characters, the game is aiming at what the publishers referred to as an epic world feel.
 
The portion of the game demoed at the event was simply an early build from development. The actual release is around a year away still. Kalypso confirmed that Demonicon is built upon an modified version of the Vision engine, which was used in games such as Arcania: A Gothic Tale and Stronghold 3. The game is being developed by Noumena Studios, which is based in Germany and part of Kalypso Media.
 
Gameplay in Demonicon is from a third-person perspective, similar to the experience in The Witcher franchise, in which players can use basic slash or charge attacks with optional throwing knives. The other aspect to battle is the addition of magic or known as “demonic powers” in the game that allow for great bursts of power for eliminating enemy threats. Gameplay progression in Demonicon is a linear path with optional side quests available in city hubs. The developers state the game's main story along with side quests will roughly take 25 to 30 hours for completion.
 
The primary aspect that Demonic seems to be heavily focusing on is the development of its narrative. The word epic was tossed around frequently and with the basis of the The Dark Eye lore, the developers should have plenty to pull from for inspiration. The main story revolves around a brother and sister that gain demonic powers once their blood is mixed. From birth, both were warned to never mix their blood no matter the circumstance. The story will also feature difficult moral decisions through the now common role-playing wheel of dialogue options. The publishers described these moral decisions in the world of Demonicon as presenting the player with a choice between evil and less evil.
 
The game was quite rough in its current state, but given further development time it just might become one of the must have role-playing games of next year. With the ever-growing number of current and upcoming role-playing games on the market, Demonicon will have to polish its gameplay experience and deliver on the promise of having a dark and epic narrative to stand amongst the tough competition.
 
The Dark Eye: Demonicon is scheduled for release in late 2012 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
 
Kalypso Media provided airfare and hotel accommodations for the press event.
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