Developer PlatinumGames Publisher Microsoft Studios Format PC, Xbox One Release 2017
Sony, not Microsoft, normally cops the most flak for filling its E3 press conferences with games that are years from release. Announced on Microsoft’s stage two years ago, Scalebound is still without a firm release date. Platinum says it will be out in 2017, and on this evidence that’s just as well.
If its E3 demo is any guide, this will be a game of either standing still and loosing weedy arrows, walking slowly and casting tiny spells, gobbing fireballs from a hovering dragon, or standing in front of an enemy’s weak point mashing the melee button. Halfway through the fight our hero puts on his headphones and shouts, “OK! We’re through messing around!” before standing still and firing more arrows, this time to a nu-metal soundtrack.
Director Hideki Kamiya says he’s not bothered about whether lots of people like the game, which must have his paymasters at Microsoft doing cartwheels. He’s been candid, too, about the difficulty of showcasing this sprawling, dragonriding, loot-dropping, co-operative multiplayer RPG in an E3-friendly manner, but if that was the case he might as well not have shown it at all. It means Scalebound earns three adjectives that just shouldn’t be associated with a Platinum game: slow, simplistic and, worst of all, boring.