Drakengard 3 trying to avoid 'formulaic' JRPG tropes with its dark setting

Drakengard 3 comes from many of the same people responsible for cult-favorite Nier. It follows the story of Zero, a girl on a quest to kill her five sisters. It's an intentionally dark game, one that producer Takamasa Shiba hopes will push the envelope of JRPG storytelling.

It's been over seven years since Drakengard 2 released on PS2. It was poorly received, largely due to self-censorship Shiba argued. Talking to Shacknews, Shiba said that Square Enix management felt like the first game was a bit too dark. "For the second one, they said please make it more conservative," Shiba recalled. "And so we followed that suggestion, and the game wasn't well-received. Because of that, we figured out what our audience wants. That's how we came about what the tone of Drakengard 3 would be."

Not only is the story of Drakengard 3 centered around a young girl attempting to murder her siblings, but Shiba promises there are other surprises in store. The dragon that follows Zero is a child, and many of Zero's comrades have a sinister edge to them too. "We're intentionally trying to push the envelope, even though we know we're taking a risk," Shiba said. "One of the bad things about JRPGs is that it's very formulaic. You know what to expect. There are no surprises. You get tired of it."

One of the crazier ideas throw about by the team was to name the game Drakengard 4 instead of 3. "Obviously, fans would be like 'where is 3?' And the premise of the story was to go look for Drakengard 3," Shiba explained. "We want to create something unexpected and nontraditional."

Drakengard 3 will be available on PS3 via PlayStation Network next year.