For a game most people only saw in the form of a trailer, Capcom’s dungeon-crawler Deep Down seems to have inspired a lot of anticipation. Deep Down’s first cinematic trailer showed up alongside the debut of the PlayStation 4 in 2013, making it look like it could be one of Capcom’s flagship titles for the new console. Two more trailers featured what seemed to be much more developed gameplay and revealed the fantasy game actually takes place inside a time-jumping device like the Animus from Assassin’s Creed. Since then, Capcom has gone nearly silent about the game, but it’s still not definitively cancelled and has a habit of popping up now and then.
Deep Down’s initial trailer showed a party of adventurers exploring a dark cavern and teaming up to fight a fire-breathing dragon. Despite what looks like some light UI elements, the action appeared pre-rendered, but set the tone for some perilous dungeon exploration interspersed with fast-paced combat. It also effectively sold the idea of teamwork being essential in Deep Down, both because of how the adventurers in the trailer work together and because it ended with one player messaging another for help. A second trailer, along with a demo, at Tokyo Game Show expanded on the initial reveal, showing a team of players exploring a much different looking dungeon. Flashy magic effects and snappy combat abound as a party of four takes on a variety of smaller foes and squares off against dragons and giants in what looks like an arena. Cut with these sequences are first-person shots of a person walking through a futuristic apartment in what onscreen text says is the year 2094.
After that, the biggest news was another trailer which revealed some vague story details, hinting players are using the simulated fantasy environment to rescue someone in the “real” world, along with more gameplay. Capcom did speak out about Deep Down from time to time, though, revealing it was meant to be a free-to-play title. In an interview with Capcom, producer Teruki Miyashita said both online co-op and realism were key to the game.
“We're focusing on things like how to recreate real life gases and liquids, such as flames and running water. In addition, we can now portray minute details, such as the degree of rust in weapons and dirt on a piece of cloth.”
Still, there has been no sign Deep Down is any closer to release. In an interview translated by Siliconera, producer Yoshinori Ono said the game was still in the works, but it “looks completely different from what [was] previously shown.” More recently, Ono revealed in an interview with Eurogamer Capcom has kept the Deep Down trademark, meaning it hasn’t abandoned the project altogether but the team isn’t actively working on it.
While far from heartening news for anyone hoping to finally play Deep Down, Capcom still has the chance to revive the game. In its most recent financial report, the company revealed it’s interested in bringing back abandoned IP after a financially successful year. Deep Down may not be the most likely first choice, but with the PlayStation 5 on the horizon, interest from fans and some of the game’s original Capcom developers could make this worth returning to.