After an eight year absence Drakengard 3 looks to continue the series that some deeply loved, but most forgot. Returning to the series, producer Takamasa Shiba attempts to revive Drakengard for the hard-core fans that have patiently waited for a fitting sequel.
Drakengard 3 is basically the revival of a series that was forgotten eight years ago. The first game in the series Drakengard showed crowds that the dark fantasy genre was still alive and full of potential. The game featured five different endings as well as an extensive weapon system totaling in 60 weapons (all of which are required for the final ending). Some shied away from the hack-and-slash gameplay, but others found solace in the foreboding themes and breathtaking aerial battles via dragonback.
Three years later, Drakengard 2 released as a direct sequel. It was not as well received as the previous title and left most dissatisfied. Five years after that producers Takamasa Shiba and Taro Yoko came together in the prospect of continuing the series. The project drifted until it became a loose spin-off known as Nier (based off the final ending of Drakengard). Shiba and Yoko would come together for the actual continuation of the series which they decided to gear towards the more hard-core RPG fan base.
Recently returning producer Takamasa Shiba sat down for an interview to discuss Drakengard 3 and what makes it appealing. Shiba addresses the speed of combat in the series as “too slow” as the main reason for why the action looks so different now from the past. Shiba also discusses many other topics about the game such as why it was made now, bitter memories, and even a novella about the characters in the game.
For those interested in reading the novella chapters will be released periodically on the game’s website (link below). As discussed in the interview the novella sheds extra light onto characters in the that play a role in the game. The extra back story for such characters comes packaged for the dedicated fans that wish to explore as much of the game’s world and character’s lives as possible.
The release of Drakengard 3 comes packaged with extras for those that pre-order. Although, it really is not that simple due to the multiple bonuses depending on when it was preordered. Those that pre-order now will still get the last two bonuses that include a Nier costume and hats for your dragon. The already missed preorder bonus is a downloadable chapter where the player takes control of one of the sisters of the protagonist. It has been announced that each sister will get one. Here is a look at the sisters and their downloadable episodes (that will likely become available as downloadable content in time).
The Drakengard 3 soundtrack was comprised by Keiichi Obake, who also did the soundtrack for Nier. For Drakengard 3 he wanted to emulate work of the earlier composers, which comes as no surprise due to how much the original Drakengard score was appreciated. Nobuyoshi Sano and Takuayuki Aihara created the original Drakengard score with the help of samples taken from famous classical composers. Obake wanted to emulate this without actually imitating it, he says the result turned out to be very different from traditional Square Enix games.
So far, Drakengard 3 has been fairly well received in Japan and was given a 34 out of 40 by Famitsu. Drakengard 3 is exclusive to the PlayStation 3 will be coming to North America May 20 and May 21 for Europe (although Europe is currently only said to be getting digital release). Unfortunately, sales have not been satisfactory so far and Yoko has tweeted about the loss of his job. “Next year, I’ll be going back to unemployment, so I don’t have anything as far as a next title goes,” truly it is a tragedy to see someone begin a comeback with the content they wanted with the aim of making hard-core fans happy. despite his departure Yoko still wishes for the best, “I hope everyone has a great and fun 2014. That is all.”