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.

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