Almost eight years in the past, Capcom took the stage on the PlayStation Assembly occasion the place Sony debuted the PS4 and revealed what appeared at the moment to be one in every of their most fun and bold tasks ever. From the second it was first proven off, Deep Down appeared like a mouth-watering prospect, from its innovative visuals to its darkish fantasy aesthetic to its unflinching concentrate on dungeon crawling and melee fight.
For a yr afterward, Capcom continued to offer sparse updates on the sport, revealing new tidbits of data right here and there, however quickly afterward, it appeared like that nicely of data had out of the blue all however dried up. Updates on Deep Down light away into the background, earlier than stopping altogether, and it went from being a hotly anticipated upcoming launch, to a recreation that had been in improvement hell for years, to what’s now trying like a cancelled challenge which may by no means see the sunshine of day.
However as we and numerous others have carried out innumerable occasions in the previous few years, we’re placing this on the market as soon as once more, hoping that Capcom will lastly listen- Deep Down must make a comeback, in spirit, no less than, if not in another means. There are a number of causes for why we really feel that means, and right here, we’re going to speak about among the greatest ones.
The primary is one which merely can’t be stated enough- the worth of latest IP can by no means be overstated. New IP is the lifeblood of this trade, it’s what drives creativity, innovation, and new concepts greater than anything. That’s to not say that these issues merely wouldn’t exist with out new IP, however when a developer is establishing a totally new property, creativity and innovation grow to be extra crucial than they’re for sequels in established franchises.
Capcom particularly is at the moment using the wave of a number of profitable IP. The likes of Resident Evil, Monster Hunter, Satan Could Cry, and Avenue Fighter are all going sturdy, and based mostly on current stories, different properties like Onimusha, Mega Man, Phoenix Wright, and Dragon’s Dogma additionally appear to have shiny futures forward of them. And what’s distinctly lacking in that checklist of names? A brand new franchise, that’s what. Sure, Capcom do have Pragmata developing, which is able to hopefully fill that void, however how thrilling would it not be to have each Pragmata and Deep Down main Capcom into the subsequent technology of gaming?
Past that although, there are a number of points of Deep Down’s idea itself that make it look like such an alluring prospect. One ingredient that we really feel can be an ideal match for the trade because it exists proper now’s the sport’s purported free-to-play nature. When Capcom introduced in 2013 that Deep Down can be a free-to-play title, they had been met with loads of skepticism, however the state of the trade in 2021 is markedly completely different. Free-to-play has grow to be a particularly viable mannequin. Video games like Fortnite, Apex Legends, Name of Obligation: Warzone, and numerous others have confirmed that video games utilizing the free-to-play mannequin can present compelling experiences simply in addition to premium titles can. Hell, even Future 2: Past Mild and Rocket League have adopted the free-to-play mannequin.
When Deep Down was nonetheless in lively improvement, Capcom had envisioned it as a stay service title, one which gamers would be capable of soar in without cost, spend cash on microtransactions and post-launch DLC in the event that they needed to, and proceed taking part in for a chronic time period. Its concentrate on procedural technology and co-op gameplay was clearly going to assist bolster the expertise’s longevity, whereas one can solely assume (given the sport’s concentrate on dungeon crawling) that Capcom would hold releasing new content material for gamers to sort out as nicely.
It’s solely attainable that again within the early years of the last decade, Capcom had been scuffling with developing with a viable mannequin for the sport to comply with, however given the abundance of fantastic examples they’ve now that they might comply with, a resurgent Deep Down makes a ton of sense. From raids and post-launch expansions to post-release content material drops that might, say, embrace issues like new playable lessons or, taking a leaf out of their very own Monster Hunter’s e-book, new monsters to combat, there’s no scarcity of concepts for Capcom to experiment with ought to they ever select to convey Deep Down again from the useless.
Then there’s the engine. When the dungeon crawler was first unveiled again in 2013, it was additionally accompanied with the reveal of Capcom’s Panta Rhei Engine, which they had been then positioning as their subsequent main improvement device, and the engine that will change MT Framework as their predominant inner toolset for creating video games. That, after all, didn’t pan out, and Panta Rhei turned out to be greater than a bit of problematic, whereas these points little doubt should have confirmed to be main hurdles throughout Deep Down’s improvement as nicely.
Right here’s the factor though- Capcom now do have the right engine that they might construct the sport on. Over the previous few years, RE Engine has primarily carried out all the things they had been hoping originally of the earlier technology that Panta Rhei would do, and grow to be their main improvement toolset. A number of Resident Evil video games have used it (and can proceed to make use of it), Satan Could Cry 5 was constructed on it, and hell, even Monster Hunter is adopting it with the upcoming Monster Hunter Rise, whereas the aforementioned Pragmata can also be being constructed on it. RE Engine is clearly a powerful toolset, and because the big selection of video games utilizing it proves, it’s additionally a really versatile one. Ought to Capcom ever select to revisit the thought of Deep Down, they wouldn’t should look to far for an engine to construct the sport on.
There may be, after all, additionally the truth that Deep Down’s central premise is one which’s immediately interesting to lots of people. Half futuristic sci-fi, half medieval darkish fantasy? A hub world set in 20194 New York Metropolis, the place you utilize reminiscences to journey to the previous to battle in opposition to monstrous beasts in darkish dungeons? That’s a captivating setting, to say the least, and seeing it go to waste like this can be a actual disgrace. If nothing else, we might no less than prefer to see Capcom revisiting a few of these concepts indirectly, form, or form- even when they should do it in several challenge. Who is aware of, perhaps Pragmata might be choosing up a few of these items, given its futuristic sci-fi setting.
In the end, we’re completely conscious, after all, that the way forward for Deep Down seems murky at finest. Capcom have advised a couple of occasions that the sport isn’t utterly useless, however given the truth that they appear to be specializing in different issues for now (and for the foreseeable future), and the truth that it’s been ages since we heard or noticed something concrete about Deep Down, it doesn’t look like it’s a part of their plans for the approaching years. There’s additionally the truth that Capcom veteran Yoshinori Ono, who was main the Deep Down challenge, lately departed from the corporate after a protracted and illustrious profession, which places the sport’s future into even additional doubt. No, issues don’t look shiny for Deep Down- however hopefully, some day, Capcom will resolve to return again to the thought and let it out into the world in order that it might probably understand its potential.
Word: The views expressed on this article are these of the writer and don’t essentially characterize the views of, and shouldn’t be attributed to, GamingBolt as a company.