A demo for Kinect’s upcoming on-rails shooter Crimson Dragon — which was originally announced in 2010 under the working title Project Draco — was accidentally released on the Japanese Xbox Live Marketplace earlier this week. The demo was removed from the service shortly after it went up, but not before a Panzer Dragoon fan site was able to download it and post a playthrough video to Youtube.
The demo takes place in two different areas that were shown at PAX East 2012; a training level set in a glacier-filled Arctic ocean, and a Jungle region were the player is tasked with protecting a recon team from hostile threats.
From the almost nine minutes of gameplay found in the video it is clear that Crimson Dragon is very much an on-rails shooter. The dragon moves through levels with a set path and camera angle, with the player’s control limited to steering to avoid obstacles and incoming enemy attacks. To move the dragon the player is prompted to lean left and right for horizontal control, and forward and backward to adjust altitude.
Attacks are initiated first by players using their right hand to scan areas on the screen and mark enemies. Once targeted players have to pull their right hand back then throw it forward to initiate a homing “Plasma Ray” attack. “Firing subskill attacks”, like the “Blaze Cannon”, are initiated by holding your left hand out toward the Kinect sensor and moving it around to target and shoot at enemies. Finally, there are “Action Skills” that require the player to raise both hands above their head and swing them downward in a sort of overhand throwing motion.
While the player in the demo seems to have very few problems using the Kinect control scheme, it honestly looks like a lot more trouble than it’s worth.
Last June Microsoft announced that Crimson Dragon had been delayed from its original June 13, 2012 Japanese release date. A new release window was not specified in the announcement and that was the last time that the company officially mentioned the game. Assuming this demo release was an accidental early release, it would seem to indicate that the game’s launch might be in the near future.
Check out the full demo playthrough below, and we will let you know as soon as Microsoft announces a new Japanese release date and a confirmation of a Western launch.