Square Enix has officially announced the next main line entry in the long running Dragon Quest franchise. Entitled Dragon Quest XII: The Flames of Fate, the newest entry looks to shake up the formula without alienating long time fans.
The first major change comes in the form of the games combat system. This entry will no long be turned based with Dragon Quest game designer Yuji Horii stated “it won’t completely disappear, but it’ll be different. Those who played Dragon Quest until now will still feel at home”. What these changes might be has yet to be seen, however he did not say the franchise would turn to a more action format.
The second change is the shift to a darker and more mature story. This game is specifically being made with an adult audience in mind. While the franchise is no stranger to dark themes the fact that they chose to specify this is interesting.
During a Live Stream presentation honoring the franchises 35th anniversary a teaser trailer was showcased. A camera sweeps along a desolate land before flames appear in the shape of XII. Over this scene a Narrator simply asks “What are we living for?” Watch the teaser here:
The game is being developed for next gen consoles using Unreal Engine 5, which recently entered early access. Currently Square Enix is in the process of hiring staff for the development of the project. According to Horii, “While the story is complete and only needs to be implemented, this is a big game, so there is still some time to go before completion.”
While the idea of it not being turn based might scare people there is something that should excite longtime fans. Yuji Horii, Akira Toriyama, and Koichi Sugiyama are all confirmed to be attached to the project which puts it in safe hands.
Dragon Quest first premiered in Japan in 1986. It has long been considered the godfather of the JRPG genre.