Fans of role-playing games - sort-of rejoice! A new Dragon Quest is on the horizon! As a long-running series famed for it's perpetually smiley enemies, light-hearted characters and simple turn-based battles, Dragon Quest may not have the well-known clout of Final Fantasy, but that doesn't mean it's any less of an awesome game. That said, it's been an awfully long time since we've had a new, home console Dragon Quest - Dragon Quest VIII: The Journey of the Cursed King way back on the Playstation 2 to be precise. Unfortunately, that wait looks set to continue, as Dragon Quest Heroes is more of a spin off then a totally new, traditional Dragon Quest game - but the upcoming Playstation 4 entry is still looking seriously swish.
Abandoning the series staple turn-based battles for more hack-and-slashy affairs against swarms of enemies, the game comes from minds behind Nintendo's similar Legend of Zelda spin-off, Hyrule Warriors. The story here basically exists to set up one big battle, as when the monsters in the city of Arba suddenly turning against the humans they'd previously coexisted peacefully with, it's up to you and your party, as the guards of the kingdom, to slay all the Slimes, Sanguinis and Cruelcumbers threatening mankind.
With a party of four heroes at your disposal, each with their own mix of abilities, spells and special attacks, it's up to you to chop and change between characters depending on the sorts of enemies you're facing - and the kinds of strategies you'll need to employ. From initial shots, it looks like there's four main characters to choose from, from the sword-wielding male and female main characters, Aurora and Luceous, to the traditional bearded old guy Doric, armed with a rather large mace, to a red-headed woman Isla with a rather intriguing weapon - some sort of steampunk syringe that shoots spells. Fallen foes also drop items called 'Monster Medals', which can be used to summon them in battle and have them fight on your side, bringing a bit of a Pokemon-like feeling to the proceedings.
But it seems there's a few more party members you can bring into battle too - ones that existing Dragon Quest fans will surely recognise from earlier games. Folks we spotted in the trailer included purple haired dancer Maya, the Tsarvena Alena and her priestly guard Kiryl from Dragon Quest IV, whip-wielding Jessica and kind-of-angry-Chespin-alike Yangus from Dragon Quest VIII, and, representing Dragon Quest V, are the two potential brides, the blonde, adventurous archer Bianca and the sweet and innocent Nera. There was also a shot of what looks to be Dragon Quest VI's Terry, a cold but charismatic swordsman - but as it wasn't a close up, we can't be 100% sure.
While we're a little disappointed it's not a proper Dragon Quest sequel, we're certainly intrigued by Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below - if only because we're big time Dragon Quest fans, with a love of all things slimey. Speaking of Slimes, if you get in quick, you'll be able to pick up a rather snazzy Slime Collector's Edition, exclusively from the Square Enix Online Store, which includes the following for an eye-watering £84.99:
- Collectible Treasure Chest box
- Slime Plushie, Slime Key Chain and Slime Lanyard
- A collection of over ten in-game items including; equipment for characters such as a Slime Sword, Gooey Gloves, Goomerang, Squishing Rod, Gungenir, Slime-on-a-Stick, Gooreat Sword, Splat O'Nine Tails as well as the additional map, Gold-Digger's map and Happy map.
Folks who don't want to plump for the (rather expensive) collector's edition can still get in on the Slime-tastic goodies though, as anyone pre-ordering the Day One Edition can get themselves some Slime-themed downloadable in-game items - a Slime Sword, Gooey Gloves, Goomerang, Squishing Rod and Gungenir. To top it all off, anyone pre-ordering either the Slime Collector's Edition or the Day One Edition from the Square Enix Online Store will get themselves a downloadable Dragon Quest III hero outfit on top - totally free.
Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below will be hitting the Playstation 4 later this year, on the 16th October. In the meantime, why not check out the trailer below: