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Dragon Ball Z Kakarot is an upcoming Dragon Ball video game developed by CyberConnect2, published by Bandai Namco.
(Article updated with more information!)

The game is being made in Unreal Engine 4, for the PC (Steam), PS4 and Xbox One platforms, releasing in 2020.

If you are interested in their development history, CyberConnect2 has previously worked on the Ultimate Ninja Storm series, and more notable the .hack games and Asura’s Wrath.

So, what is Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot?

DBZ Kakarot is a singleplayer action-rpg game, aiming to provide a deep story driven experience in the Dragon Ball universe.

This is not an open world game in the sense we’ve come to understand it, but it is a very immersive Dragon Ball Z experience. We had a huge focus and we’re trying to stay very faithful to the story

Hara Ryosuke (Producer)

The game has had obvious comparisons drawn to the Legacy of Goku/Buu’s Fury series, with some people even calling Kakarot a spiritual 3D successor/remake.

Story

CyberConnect2 aims to have Kakarot take you through a dramatic retelling of the complete Z storyline, from Frieza through to the end of the Buu Saga.

Gooku and Gohan, Source; Bandai Namco

Sean Schemmel confirmed that the game went through to the Buu Saga and San Diego Comic-Con whilst promoting the game.

It includes backstories that haven’t been told in the manga, and I’m sure fans will truly be able to take a deep dive into the world.

Akira toriyama

The game will also feature all-new canon stories and backstories we haven’t seen before.

Just in the promotional gameplay we’ve seen so far, we’ve already seen them bringing back character like Eighter and Nam to show what they got up to during Dragon Ball Z.

Eighter, Source; Bandai Namco

The developers have also mentioned that we’ll see new character interactions between characters.

Just in some gameplay footage alone, we’ve seen character interactions between Piccolo, Gohan, Chiaotzu and Tien during the Saiyan Saga, which we’ve never seen before in the manga.

From what we’ve seen, we’ll be able to see some of these new story elements and interactions through sidequests and substories.

They have also confirmed that there will be some filler content from the anime, like the driving school episode for Piccolo and Goku.

There was a Bandai Namco Shonen Jump leak that also had information about new original story for Android 16 and Gohan.

As well as a new character called Bonyu, she is an ex-member of the Ginyu Force, who comes from the same planet as Jeice.

World Map & Exploration

The game isn’t technically a true open world, as you can see from the world map. The game’s world is actually split into zones.

As you play through the story, more zones/areas will unlock. You can also see plenty of iconic locations on the World Map.

World Map Menu in Dragon Ball Z Kakarot, Source; Bandai Namco

From what we’ve seen in gameplay videos so far, the zones are anything but small, and may as well be open world with the size that it is.

A really awesome aspect is that sensing ki in DBZ: Kakarot is used in more than just fights. You use it to sense different energy levels to uncover different point sof interest around the map.

RPG Elements?

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot has the usual RPG elements, like stats, party members as well as levelling.

I touch upon it later, but other elements of the game like cooking/meals can influence and boost stats too.

You’ll also learn new moves like the characters do in the anime/manga. Like Goku learning moves from Master Roshi and training with King Kai.

There have been talk of systems like skill trees, but I can’t find anything concrete on it.

Can we play more than Goku?

Despite the game being called Kakarot, yes you can play other characters. Other playable characters confirmed so far are Piccolo, Gohan and Vegeta.

Gameplay of Piccolo, Source; Bandai Namco

Whilst we don’t know when Gohan and Piccolo unlock in the story, presumably earlier on, Vegeta is playable sometime when you get to Namek.

It has since been confirmed that Teen Gohan and Future Trunks will also be playable during the Android/Cell Saga.

Combat

It’s hard to say without personally playing the game myself, but from what I’ve seen from gameplay demos the combat looks similar to the Xenoverse games.

Just that Kakarot seems to have a much higher level of polish and fluidity with the combat. There are also damage numbers like a typical RPG, unlike XV.

Goku battling Great Ape Vegeta, Source; Bandai Namco

The combat draws a lot from 3D arena fighters, which is a given considering CyberConnect2’s development history.

Just like Xenoverse, cameras are locked on to your enemy, choice from one of four special moves, different buttons attacking, ki attacks, charging and doddges.

Piccolo and Goku Fighting a Dinosaur, Source; Bandai Namco

CyberConnect2 have said they want to be faithful to the anime/manga series with fights, having them unbalanced and ‘unfair’ to recreate the tense moments of despair.

What side content is there?

DBZ: Kakarot offers more than just playing through the usual story, we’ll also be seeing the ‘mundane’ side of the Dragon Ball universe.

Players will be able to go fishing, which for when you play Goku atleast, means you pull out your old monkey tail to lure in fish to catch.

Fishing as Goku, Source; Bandai Namco

You can also hunt different animals that you find around the map like deers for meat.

Cooking with Chi Chi! Source; Bandai Namco

Collecting materials and cooking food in Kakarot is part of the core gameplay, and actually plays an important role in the growth of the playable characters.

Z Orbs will show up throughout the map/areas to collect as a sort of mini-game. Though, we don’t know what they’re used for just yet.

Collecting Z-Orbs, Source; Bandai Namco

There will also be different materials to collect, like mining ore. Though I’m not too sure what that is for yet, maybe a form of crafting?

Finally, as mentioned earlier there are different side quests and points of interest which will show up on the map, from your ki sense.

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot will be releasing in 2020, if you’re interested you can check out the official website.