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What was the best game at Gamescom and why was it DokeV?

The video games endgame

Out of all the games announced at this year's Geoffscom, action adventure game DokeV was easily my highlight of the show. Unlike everything else, which made some sort of sense, this game took a bold choice and made none. It made no sense at all. All we got was a barrage on the senses, and I respect that rogue attitude. Instead of opting for a PowerPoint presentation like its peers, it just blared K-pop at everyone for three minutes and then moseyed off like it was nothing.

Even at a base level, DokeV is chaotic. Is it a kind of Pokémon clone? Monster Hunter? But also you cast spells? What... what do you actually do in DokeV? It's being made by a studio called Pearl Abyss, the folks responsible for MMORPG Black Desert. The name Pearl Abyss conjures images of swirling black and oblivion, which I believe contrasts beautifully with DokeV's festival of confetti and magical space hoppers and anthropomorphic fighting animals.

But let me tell you, Imogen's right, DokeV's kid protagonists are proper creepy. Clearly a bit of the pearl abyss has seeped into their eyes, because I firmly believe that if you look one dead in the face you will be cursed. These kids remind me a lot of either garden gnomes, or those troll dolls from the 90s, but freed from their plastic prisons and given life.

A kid transforms into a k-pop teen in DokeV.
Just to add to the confusion, there's this bit in the DokeV trailer where a literal child casts this spell and suddenly they're a sexy K-pop star in knee-high boots. It makes me distinctly uncomfortable, but hopefully it's not actually weird or dubious once properly explained.

Thankfully the "Dokebi" creatures you'll collect in DokeV's world aren't quite as frightening, including things like a pangolin weilding a pineapple on a stick, and against all odds the Dokebi aspect makes the most sense out of everything shown off. While DokeV does seem a lot like Pokémon on the surface, the whole dodge-rolling away from monsters, then crunching them with a hammer couldn't be more Monster Hunter-meets-CBeebies.

The devs did put together a video explainer for DokeV's trailer, which offered some new details on the structure of the game and how you go about capturing these monsters, but thankfully it doesn't dispel the magic of it all. This game still remains bonkers, even with a bunch of grown men explaining how things work.

It's interesting then, that DokeV did the ol' switcheroo from an MMO to an open world action-adventure. Originally, it may have been even grander in scale, and this scrapping might explain why there's just so much of, well... everything. Particularly things that look like they'd serve an MMO first and foremost, with ways of expressing your individuality amidst what would've been many others players like you. There are, for instance, numerous mounts to get you from A to DokeB in style. And let's not forget what looks like a fishing mini-game and canoeing as well. There's even this bit in the trailer where a character sends a drone into the sky, alongside a paper lantern. All of these activities wouldn't go amiss in something like Final Fantasy XIV, where interacting with the community is king. Now that it's MMO roots have twisted in another direction, I do wonder how much of their 'massively multiplayer' scope they've retained.

A kid rides a llama in DokeV.
Hopefully now that it's not an MMO, I won't have to complete a raid and reach level 80 before I can myself a cute llama mount.

Much like Craftopia before it, DokeV smacks of an 'everything game', and for that reason, I'm 'massively' into it. I will never need to play another video game ever again because it already contains everything that ever was and will be. And while I like singularly focused games, I'm particularly fond of Craftopia because it bolts together loads of genres that somehow chug along nicely. There's no need to flit between other games to enjoy an open world, or crafting, or an RPG, because you're already playing them, silly.

DokeV is part of the Swiss Army Knife genre of video games and no matter what sort of mood I'm in, it will satisfy my needs. Going by a small three minute trailer, here's what I can only assume is another 0.001% slice of everything you can do:

  • Frog Splash a panda in boxing gloves like pro-wrestler Eddie Guerrero.
  • Wield an orange cannon on my wrist like Mega Man and fire love hearts at something???
  • Smash a huge lizard-with-iceberg-lettuce-for-ears with an enormous blow-up hammer.
  • Grappling hook thin-air and narrowly avoid a large bird.
  • Float on an umbrella, ride a jet-ski, skate, skate on a longboard, and cycle.
  • Pull off a sick pose with a Dokebi that's a clock on legs.
  • Carry a hoover on my back at all times.

Just a reminder that I've gleaned this info from a four minute trailer. I look forward to the next DokeV trailer which announces that it's also a management sim and RTS, with The Sims-like elements. And I especially look forward to writing "Have You Played... DokeV?" each day, every day, possibly for the rest of time.

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About the Author
Ed Thorn avatar

Ed Thorn

Reviews Editor

When Ed's not cracking thugs with bicycles in Yakuza, he's likely swinging a badminton racket in real life. Any genre goes, but he's very into shooters and likes a weighty gun, particularly if they have a chainsaw attached to them. Adores orange and mango squash, unsure about olives.