Hands-on with Deep Down, Capcom’s ambitious PS4 dungeon crawler

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Hands-on with Deep Down, Capcom’s ambitious PS4 dungeon crawler

lead image deep down

Tokyo Games Show was arguably a little light on big, never-before-seen new games this year. Sure, Killzone Shadow Fall, DRIVECLUB, Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, Resogun and the like were all present, correct and looking very shiny, but if you were after something truly box fresh, pickings were slim.

There were a handful of exceptions, of course: Yakuza Ishin from Sega (as yet unconfirmed for a Western release), the very sexy looking Soul Sacrifice Delta on PS Vita (look out for more news on this as soon as possible), and Deep DownCapcom’s ambitious PS4 exclusive.

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Along with Yakuza, it was the game that scored the biggest queues, and provided my very first port of call. On the face of it, Deep Down looks rather familiar. You step into the sabatons of an armour-clad knight as he explores a dimly-lit dungeon crawling with hideous beasts, armed only with a lance. So far, so Dark Souls. However, there are three aspects to the Deep Down experience that set it apart as something entirely different.

Firstly, all its dungeons are procedurally generated. As with, say, Diablo III or Spelunky, you’ll never explore the same set of caverns twice. Secondly, while it might appear that this game plays out in some alternative medieval dimension, it’s actually set in New York City in the year 2094. And thirdly, according to an announcement from Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono during this year’s show, it will be free to play on PS4. Interest piqued?

The TGS demo was brief, but offered just enough gameplay to get a glimpse at how a few of Deep Down’s systems will work. Your knight spawns in a claustrophobic corridor lit by flickering torches. Inching slowly forward you must find your way to the exit – a glowing blue portal. Naturally, there are a few obstacles in your way – namely a series of turrets that periodically shoot out streams of fire, and an unknown number of burly ogres hunting for some lunch.

Clicking the Dualshock 4’s touch pad brings up a map but doesn’t offer any hints as to where your foes might be hiding, so you must carefully creep through the dungeon, peering round corners to scope out the path ahead. When you do find yourself in a confrontation – which you inevitably will – the combat mechanics feel pleasingly weighty and straightforward. One shoulder button aims your spear while the other thrusts it forward. You also have a special move attack, and a dodge.

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My first instinct when confronted by one of the creatures was to turn on my heel and retreat. Maybe that would have worked in another playthrough but in this case it led me straight into the jaws of another enemy approaching from an adjoining chamber, resulting in a furious scuffle. Once finally vanquished, the enemies dump loot and power-ups in a traditional fashion, though what exactly it’s all for remains unclear at this stage. A couple of wrong turns and anxious encounters later and I’m at the exit, and the demo’s conclusion.

There are of course plenty of unanswered questions. How does all this fit into the game’s promised future-New York setting? How will the free-to-play set-up work in practice? How much variety will be on offer? For the time being you’ll just have to wait and wonder. However, what is for sure is that Deep Down is one of the most intriguing AAA PS4 prospects on the horizon, promising to venture into some very interesting places indeed.

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And what’s more, it’s an absolute stunner. The reveal trailer way back at the PS4 announcement event in New York this February wasn’t selling you a dummy. It really does look that impressive in action.

One to watch then. Stay tuned to PlayStation Blog for more on Capcom’s adventure over the coming months – we’ll have more news on development as it comes in.

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22 Comments

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  • hearing Deep Down is a MMO, interest declined;
    hearing Deep Down is Pay to Win (F2P), interest gone.

  • @alice_push_lara2

    not all f2p titles are pay to win.

    lets wait for more info before passing judgment

    • This! There are plenty of games which implement F2P mechanics in really smart ways – there’s no reason why this can’t be one of them. I enjoyed my (brief) time with the game, so let’s see where Capcom takes it.

  • This game got my intrest when if was first shown then hearing its a free too play game I was very surprised, really looking forward too this i really hope we get the beta aswell :D

  • really hope we get Yakuza Ishin, theyre are a lot of people who actually want it, so yeah hopefully :)

  • I want YAKUZA so much!^^ I hope they’ll release it over here.

  • This game looked so interesting first… but then I heard it is an online game and I lost interest. I mostly had negative online experiences so far and I had enough of it.

  • Capcom deliberately kept news of Deep Down using the dreadful bull**** “free to play’ business model, until interest from the community was enough to weather the storm.

    Interesting game, but it is Capcom so there’s an 80% chance it’ll be dreadful and with their obsession with money directing the game’s core development that percentage goes up after every article I read.

    I refuse to support this type of release.

  • Pretty much the same feelings here.
    Deep Down was high up on my radar for PS4 ever since that first trailer. Since then we have learned that wasn’t real in game footage and now we find out it’s going the free to play, microtransaction route = ZERO interest.
    Capcom should just release a real boxed full version of the game. They would get the majority of the Dark Souls crowd and possibly a lot of Assassin’s Creed fans due to the setup. As it stands the hardcore like myself will swerve this game like the plague!
    How can it have a boxed retail version if it’s free to play? Or is it pay to win?

    Seriously, cut DLC, free to play, pay to win, in app purchases and microtransactions ALL NEED TO GO AWAY before next gen! They are horrible practices damaging my favorite hobby and gamers need to vote with their wallets and not support these cash grabbing ideas before they make it into more of your favorite franchises and eventually you’ll be paying hundreds of £$€ just to play a ‘normal’ game!

  • deep down 1st trailer = wow i need to have the game
    = like dragon´s dogma+ soul sacrefice + open world

    online only = no
    no sp = very sad
    f2p = 00000 intrest
    capcom mising the basic of games on console like squire enix .

    no corect monsterhunter to ps3/ vita
    do not need monsterhunter Frontier G = u can keep ( not paying abo )
    al other games u created are broken
    only new dragon´s dogma = great game on first try , buth litel foults .

  • Some F2P games work yes, but we are talking bout Capcom here. The company famous for their disc-locked content which they sold as DLC, so i dont have much hope. Was looking forward to this game though when it was revealed but ill skip it now and wait to see where they take it.

  • Yup, can’t trust Capcom to not try and squeeze every bit of cash out of their players…

  • Fred, when did the blog’s sole purpose be that of fluff editorials and advertising? Is it a deliberate decision to leave all conviction and sincerity at the office front door everyday? Or did it just become that way without noticing it happen?

    These aren’t your true opinions, they’re SCEE and Capcom’s marketing brief. It wouldn’t be the first article I’ve read here praising a game which turns out to be truly awful.

    God forbid you actually give an honest critique sometime instead of bloated acclaim for a title you have limited knowledge of other than that gained from the publishers info pack and a free business flight to Tokyo.

  • Such a shame about this gane. Until recently it was a game that us PS fans could be proud to have as an exclusive. I’m not a huge dungeon crawler fan but it did look intresting and totally gorgeous graphically so I was really looking forward to seeing more.

    Now only to find out that its always been my most HATED of game types – free to play/pay to win and an MMO all rolled into a nice big ball of anticlimactic FAIL.

  • again everyone is jumping the gun.

    i have finished tekken revolution to 100% trophies and never spent a penny and thats ftp.

    treasures of montezuma blitz is ftp and i have played that for more hrs than i have pay for games and im 2 trophies away from 100% and again i have never spent a penny.

    the new plants vs zombies game is ftp and as reported by kotaku you can experience the full game without limits without spending a penny.

    guys i know people may or may not have there reservations due to the fact this is by capcom and they have a reputation for dlc on disc and what not but this is not the same thing.
    this is capcoms first free to play console game and im sure it will be viewed as a disaster to them if it fails so lets just see what model they adopt.

    whats to say they wont just adopt the pay for items if you cant wait to unlock them model, you would be surprised at how many impatient players will just buy the items where as the rest of us can grind to unlock them for free.

  • @14

    People paying for items others grind for cheapens the experience.

    Are people really going to find grinding for 5 hours was worth a certain item when someone just bought it instantly instead?

  • When was Capcom planning to mention Deep Down was F2P before or after we spend £50 something on a retail version ? F2P is alright on mobile phone platforms but not on consoles. I’m cancelling my pre-order got no interest in supporting these stupid business practices.

  • @15
    Alot could and alot couldn’t. Also, why is there hate for this, C’MON its Deep Down, its EXCLUSIVE, don’t dislike it. Capcom and Sony have partnered up to bring us a stunningly and amazing Fee-to-play Dungeon crawler, like Fred said. ;)
    So c’mon stop hating and enjoy this, Capcom and Sony have always been the greatest of best friends, this
    and possibly [Dead Rising 3] are stunningly and amazing titles coming to PS4

  • Scuffy_P said:

    ”Fred, when did the blog’s sole purpose be that of fluff editorials and advertising? Is it a deliberate decision to leave all conviction and sincerity at the office front door everyday? Or did it just become that way without noticing it happen?

    These aren’t your true opinions, they’re SCEE and Capcom’s marketing brief. It wouldn’t be the first article I’ve read here praising a game which turns out to be truly awful.

    God forbid you actually give an honest critique sometime instead of bloated acclaim for a title you have limited knowledge of other than that gained from the publishers info pack and a free business flight to Tokyo.”

    …and he said it all

  • That would be a spear in his hands , not a lance.

  • Dont have a problem with F2P. I’m banking on it at launch with Warthunder, Warframe and DC U if it launces on time.

    However this Capcom and I just dont trust them to do the right thing. Hopefully they’ll prove me wrong and be upfront and honest about microtransactions. But the emphasis is on them to prove it, because they aint getting a benefit of doubt, or a wait see off me. Why should I, I owe them nothing.

    @ kid_Jump94

    “Yakuza Ishin”

    Please SEGA. Go digital only,30 quid with 5 quid plus discount,1h:30m free trial, Ask Sony to cover translation costs. Get people interested, take advantage of early gen people looking for games.At least try and sell it and not let it die.

  • Capcpom is dead to me.

    First we get a bull-shot trailer that looks too good to be true… and it turns out that it was indeed too good to be true when we finally got to see the mediocre looking gameplay.

    This went from looking like an awesome successor to Dragon’s Dogma to looking like the worst kind of F2P drudgery.

    Capcpom + F2P… nope!

  • I personally really like the look of this. Especially the story you are hearing on the videos. I don’t see a problem with F2P, at least everyone can try it and if you don’t like it then you haven’t lost anything :-)

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