The beautiful chaos of anime phenomenon Dragon Ball Z returns with a fresh new take on its already gripping story. Fans probably weren’t expecting another Dragon Ball game for a long time since there’s already Fighter Z, Xenoverse and Heroes out which are all still receiving DLC updates.
It's safe to say there’s no stopping this franchise.
Fans around the world and even cursory onlookers would’ve heard of the main protagonist Goku and his epic struggles to protect earth from powerful villains across the galaxy and that’s exactly what you do in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot.
Rather than following its ‘beat em up’ roots, Kakarot tries to do things a little differently by switching things up and focusing on the "action role-playing" elements of the games .
From the outset Dragon Ball Z:Kakarot will have you feeling like you’re playing an actual episode of the series with beautiful cel-shaded graphics running on the Unreal Engine 4.
The opening cinematic even includes the eternal theme song CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA!
Some fans may be sceptical, thinking they're going to be playing through the same story again, however there are lots of new story elements from the get-go that will keep series veterans gripped.
As the name Kakarot would suggest players would instantly play as the main character Goku (also known by his Saiyan name Kakarot).
But there are a surprising amount of playable characters in the story, each with their own skill tree and move set. You’ll be able to have a party of Z-Warriors follow you around in and out of the battlefield, being able to switch between them.
During battle, Kakarot feels familiar to past Dragon ball games, players will be able to charge up ki, shoot ki blasts, and execute signature super attacks mixing up with defensive moves such as dodging and timed counters.
Fans of the older fighting games such as Tenkaichi and Raging blast will feel at home with ducking and dodging attacks leading into a combo followed by a big special attack. Players will be able to unlock Z-combo moves that allow members of your party to perform tag team attacks.
Battles wouldn’t be complete without transformations such as turning Super Sayian or unleashing Kaioken.
These transformations can be crucial to your battle strategy, helping you characters dish out more damage or reduce how much the take. Using these transformations can quickly become the deciding factor in fights when used properly.
I’m personally hoping for Goku, Gohan and Goten’s three man Kamehameha.
Kakarot may not have a fully open world but there are many open areas, which are separated by timeline events and different planets. There will be chances to expand these areas by levelling up or learning the right attacks.
In these open areas, you will have the chance take part in other fun activities.
Fishing with an attached Sayian tail is fun and earns you ingredients to cook stat-boosting meals and even full-course meals.
Players will be able to collect Z orbs of different colours, which can be used to upgrade stats.
As new characters are encountered, their community emblems can be collected.
These emblems can be placed on one of seven community boards.
Each board requires the player to have met the community leader before being able to be used.
There are many activities to discover. I love the dinosaur fights that become quite intense when playing as young Gohan, you can’t fly or use any powerful moves.
Dragon ball Z: Kakarot is a game that has been crafted with a lot of care by Bandai Namco and CyberConnect2. It's the gift that keeps giving, after playing 10-12 hours of the game and still hadn't made it to Namek I was happy with the depth this game has to offer.
And it's not just the gameplay, there's a ton of fan service, from the captivating cut scenes to the new and returning characters. Some of the loading times may be longer than they need to but in all Dragon ball Z: Kakarot has a lot to offer pre and post game.
All we can hope for is Some Dragon ball super DLC to make the game complete.
Dragonball Z: Kakarot is coming out on January 17 2020 on PS4, Xbox One and PC