Since introducing Scalebound to the world, we’ve focused on showing Drew and Thuban together. At gamescom this year, we wanted to dive deeper into dragons. Specifically, how you’ll be able to customize Thuban and what it means to work together with him in combat. Creative Director Hideki Kamiya (@PG_kamiya) and I have had a great time explaining it to people here in Germany.
Dragon Evolution is the system that covers all of the customization you can do in Scalebound: It is comprised of two different tools – Shape Evolutions and Elemental Evolutions – that alter the physical attributes of your dragon. Add armor for your dragon to the equation, and each player can build a truly unique partner in the world of Draconis.
Let’s explain step-by-step. We’ve already shown off our three core dragon types – the Rex type, Tank type and Wyvern type – but the possibilities are much grander with Shape Evolution. These types are connected in an evolutionary circle and by using gems collected from enemies, players will be able to blend both their physical and visual attributes, whether it’s the strength of the Tank or the swiftness of the Wyvern. You can even make our personal favorite – fat Rex. He’s a blend of a Tank and a Rex that is a bit slower than a normal Rex, but can also take and deal more damage.
Next up is Elemental Evolution. Elemental Evolution creates permanent buffs that alter Thuban’s physical appearance and boost his elemental characteristics, increasing his overall power (you’ll see an example below). Appearing only in his Ancient Form, you can imagine these parts as organic and animalistic extensions of Thuban’s body. These offer power gains for each element involved, including fire, ice and lightning.
Unlike Dragon Evolution, armor is made by human hands. Players will buy armor from shops with currency that they earn by defeating enemies, completing quests or finding it in-game, and mix and match it to boost Thuban’s defenses. Armor can also be destroyed in battle, so it must be maintained throughout the game. One of our favorite armor sets is reflected in the image at the top of this page.
Once you’ve set up Thuban to match your play style, how does this resonate in combat? That’s where Dragon Link comes in. This new system merges Drew and Thuban’s consciousness and proves crucial to combat. Dragon Link is a way to directly control Thuban through Drew’s point of view, making your dragon a playable character. You’ll be able to switch in and out of the mode at the push of a button to exploit enemy weaknesses and create openings for Drew.
This collaboration with Thuban translates into the stylish action that so many fans of PlatinumGames have come to know and love. High-level play really opens up when you take control of Thuban and use him to complement Drew. However, when Drew is using Dragon Link, he is defenseless, so you have to be really smart about where and when you use this critical technique. It also creates a fun metagame in multiplayer where you cover each other as you use your different dragon’s unique abilities in Dragon Link.
It’s best to think of Drew and Thuban as two keys in Scalebound. It’s all about finding the right way to balance both characters’ growth and coordination. Today, we shared details on how Dragon Evolution and Dragon Link make this possible and can’t wait to reveal even more in the future.