Final week, developer Degree-5 additional hinted at their upcoming new JRPG game. They opened up a developer recruitment web page and shared a brand new piece of idea artwork. It’s doubtless the identical new recreation that they teased late last year. Degree-5 will typically confer with unannounced tasks, getting followers speculating as to what their new recreation shall be. For followers of Degree-5 going again to the PS2-era, there’s maybe no different sequence that comes up extra every time Degree-5 is introduced up than a hypothetical Darkish Cloud 3.
Darkish Cloud launched method again in 2000 for the PS2 along side Sony and it immediately put Degree-5 on the map as a respectable JRPG developer. Their debut recreation was a inventive mixture of Zelda-like motion RPG fight, with deep weapon customization that noticed you stage up and “evolve” your weapons into new ones utilizing supplies, and a singular world-building mechanic that tasked gamers with rebuilding cities and attending to the wants of its denizens.
The sport was extremely in style and it was adopted up with a second recreation, Darkish Chronicle (Darkish Cloud 2 in North America), which was additionally well-received.
Relatively than proceed within the Darkish Cloud sequence after two profitable video games, Degree-5 moved on and by no means seemed again. Degree-5 has launched dozens of video games in Japan and worldwide since Darkish Cloud 2 in 2002 however all had been new video games not inside the beloved motion RPG sequence.
Each time a brand new recreation is teased, there are hordes of followers like myself hoping and praying that this would be the time that Darkish Cloud 3 will get its likelihood. Every time, although, all of these individuals are left disillusioned.
Degree-5 isn’t deaf to the cries of Darkish Cloud 3. In an interview with Polygon back in 2017, Degree-5 CEO Akihiro Hino talked about that there was curiosity inside the firm in reviving the sequence through the years, however Degree-5 can not go at it alone.
The sequence is managed by Sony, and producing a brand new recreation within the sequence underneath the tutelage of Degree-5 is one thing that each firms would wish to barter and agree on. Based on the Polygon interview, the whole lot past the Professor Layton sequence is one thing that Degree-5 retains full management over, however something earlier than that, together with Darkish Cloud and one other beloved motion RPG of the PS2 period, Rogue Galaxy, shouldn’t be.
That has presumably been the working cause for Degree-5 not returning to the sequence for many years now. Whereas the Polygon interview ends on a downtrodden be aware, suggesting gamers un-cross their fingers, I don’t concur with that sentiment.
In recent times, Darkish Cloud followers have been given a number of causes to stay hopeful. For starters, Dark Cloud 1 and Dark Cloud 2 were ported to the PS4, so on the very least, Sony remembers that Darkish Cloud exists and is keen to place some effort into holding it round.
As well as, there’s the entire Demon’s Souls revival to think about. For years, Sony and From Software program faced a very similar situation with Demon’s Souls; Sony and From Software program needed to each conform to work collectively with the intention to produce a brand new recreation in that sequence.
The unique resolution for From Software program was to desert the Demon’s Souls IP and begin anew with Darkish Souls, and for years, it appeared that there was no hope for Demon’s Souls to obtain any type of revival.
Nevertheless, Sony and From Software program had been capable of ultimately type issues out, and a remake of Demon’s Souls was launched on the PS5 as a launch title. Each firms clearly actually wished to make it work, and whereas it took a while, they did ultimately get it accomplished. It serves for instance of Sony’s willingness to work with different Japanese builders to make tasks occur.
Degree-5 may go the route that From Software program initially went in the event that they actually wished to. They will alter the identify, change a number of issues up, and launch a brand new recreation that’s closely impressed by Darkish Cloud. Nevertheless, the truth that this hasn’t occurred but leads me to consider that this wouldn’t be the route that Degree-5 would need to take.
The Darkish Cloud identify is powerful with anybody that’s sufficiently old to have performed it on the PS2, and separate from that, motion RPGs and video games that problem gamers to be inventive and construct one thing have by no means been extra in style. What everybody desires, together with Degree-5 in all probability, is a real Darkish Cloud 3.
So, on the cusp of one more new Degree-5 recreation tease (that positively isn’t Darkish Cloud 3), I’m as soon as once more asking Degree-5 and Sony: please come collectively and make Darkish Cloud 3 occur. Us Millennials that grew up with the unique two video games don’t have rather a lot going for us, just a little bit of sunshine within the type of Darkish Cloud 3 can be a lot appreciated.
Featured picture via Gematsu.