This Isn't Your Father's Panzer Dragoon

Illustration for article titled This Isn't Your Father's Panzer Dragoon

Project Draco is the latest title from the designer behind Panzer Dragoon.

The game is a sci-fi yarn in which humans colonized an unnamed planet inhabited by dragons. The humans are able to befriend the dragons and control them. Enter Project Draco.


The game is a Kinect rail shooter, but promises 180 degrees of freedom. You can control an array of dragons. Lean forward to go forward, and tilt your body left and right to go left and right.

The screen is filled with enemy monsters that players shoot down with their dragon.

Your right hand controls your main weapon, which varies from dragon to dragon. The game's developer, Yukio Futatsugi of Panzer Dragoon fame, wouldn't give an exact number of in-game dragons, but did offer that it would be more than five.

Your left hand fires your secondary weapon. Using both hands fires an "action skill" move that will, for example, be a shoot'em up style bomb. The controls are straight from Child of Eden, something the developers said that they did on purpose. What's the point of changing good Kinect controls that work?

There are over 150 secondary and action skills.

The game does have an arcade game meets role-playing-game feel, with players trying to score as many points as possible. Scoring more points gives players more rare items that they can feed their dragons and level them up. The dragons can be customized, too.


The game's multiplayer supports up to three players.

I didn't get to play Project Draco—this was strictly eyes-on. The controls seemed to work, and it didn't seem to offer a stressful Kinect experience, and the developers were smart enough to use Child of Eden controls.


One of the most telling things that provided insight in to what players can expect with Project Draco was that the game's under right corner has a meter that shows players how close they are to the end of the stage.

"Because playing Kinect can make you tired," said Futatsugi.

This isn't Panzer Dragoon, but Project Draco, and it looks great. Project Draco is due out next year.


(Top photo: Brian Ashcraft | Kotaku)

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So, is your perspective sitting on the dragon — like, you see it's head in front of you like you were really sitting on a flying dragon — or do you see the entire dragon/rider combo on screen?

If it's the latter, then no thanks. If i'm gonna be waving my arms around and pretending, the illusion might as well be a little more complete.