DokeV dazzled at Gamescom Opening Night Live, where for four colorful minutes it demonstrated a large open world full of goofy monsters, like a bear with boxing gloves and rideable alpacas. But while it seems these monsters are in some fashion capturable and able to stand by the player’s side in battle, that’s not the sole focus on DokeV.
According to lead producer Sangyoung Kim, DokeV’s monsters, called Dokebi, which are “spirit-like beings” in Korean folklore. Kim told us that actual Dokebi myths are at the heart of many monster designs we’ve already seen.
“We thought of a lot of different ideas with the Dokebi folklore at the center,” he said. “You may have seen the Anteater-like Dokebi in the video, but it’s not actually an anteater. This Dokebi represents an imaginary animal called Bulgasari that takes on the form of a bear (kind of), and it eats iron. Another Dokebi in the video is in the form of a bird wearing a traditional Korean hat; this was drawn from a dark spirit called Eoduksinii in ancient folklore.
“But not all designs take these kinds of things into consideration. There are a lot of other ones that we design freely with whatever comes to mind. Sometimes we cannot apply those to the game. So we put that into the murals in the game. I liked that this sort of inspiration helped create a very rich display of the environment.”
But while the Dokebi are certainly real creatures in the world of DokeV, Kim added that it’s not really like what we’ve come to expect from other monster capture RPGs like Pokemon or Temtem, where fights are at the center of getting the creatures to come along for the ride. In DokeV, not many people don’t know of their existence, or if they do, they don’t believe in them. The main character, he said, is one of only a few people who know of and can see them, and goes on an adventure to search for Dokebi to achieve their dreams.
So while he didn’t give many specific details, there seems to be a lot more to befriending Dokebi than just duking it out until they decide to join the party.
“Dokebi are born from people’s dreams. For example, someone dreams of becoming a boxer but is unable to pursue that dream because of their parents or some other reason. The inability to pursue their desires manifests as a dream, creating the Boxer Dokebi.
“As players progress in the game, they will get several hints about Dokebi, and eventually, befriend them after meeting special conditions using information from these hints and reading through each Dokebi’s unique backstory.
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“When there are battles on the course of the adventure, players can fight with the help of Dokebi, but there are many activities where they can use the skillset of Dokebi. Players can achieve dreams and wishes with Dokebi.”
Some of those activities include exploring DokeV’s large island world, fishing, kite flying, and various other minigames, including some of the goofiness we saw in the trailer — and Pearl Abyss plans to continue to add more content post-launch. Plus, there are plans for multiplayer content, both co-op as well as PvP, even though DokeV is no longer classified as an MMORPG.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.