Korean pop, anthropomorphized animals, powerful visual effects coming out of a big comedic hammer — the DokeV the trailer has it all. Developer Pearl Abyss showed off a new trailer for their upcoming open-world game at Gamescom today, and I was intrigued by the juxtaposition between the realistic art style of American animation and the effects style. Dramatic visuals commonly seen in anime. The characters with realistic faces performed attacks with colorful flourishes. As an Asian American writer, the game makes me feel like two worlds have collided in one wonderful mashup.
What we know so far is that DokeV is an open world game that focuses on collecting creatures. Much like Pokémon, except the human character is also able to fight. Since the South Korean developer advertised the game as “user-friendly” in their 2019 trailer, I have to wonder if their target audience affected their decision to go for the Pixar look. For those unfamiliar with the previous work of Pearl Abyss, their high fantasy MMO Black Desert Online was considerably less suitable for children. DokeV looks great, and it shows that Pearl Abyss has a lot of range when it comes to gender and age range.
One thing today’s trailer makes clear is that DokeV has become considerably more vibrant and colorful in the years since the first trailer launched. The characters are also spending a lot more time on skateboards now. Although I can’t say whether the city we see is based on South Korea or not, I am happy to explore its well-designed streets. And its seas. And even its sky, as the trailer showed the player swinging through the air. (Please don’t ask me how it works.) I’m also a little worried about why kids drive cars in this game, but I’m sure it’s okay.
DokeV seems like a playground where kids aren’t subject to trivial limitations like gravity, mass retention, or basic safety laws. It’s a world I wish I had lived in when I was eight. It’s pretty exciting that such a detailed open world game is something that might be appropriate for me to play with younger family members. AAA games are generally designed for adult gamers, and DokeV break that mold. It’s also a great start for any grown-up who wants to play a big budget video game that doesn’t involve highly graphic murder.
(Clarification 8/26/2021, 9:11 a.m. EDT: A previous version of this article cited the genre based on the game’s official website, which turned out to be outdated.)