Capcom has announced the delay of Pragmata, a very unusual-looking space game first shown in 2020 and at the time scheduled for a 2022 release. That date later changed to 2023 but a new trailer, which gives us our first glimpses of gameplay, has announced yet another postponement: and this time there's no new date, just a question mark.
At least it was announced in considerable style. The trailer shows the character we'll call space dad fighting off robotic attackers as the little girl Daisy scribbles on a piece of paper, seemingly oblivious to the danger. After space dad has dispatched the bots, he grabs Daisy and hoists her onto his back. "Aren't we there yet" she asks, to which space dad says "Sorry kiddo. We still got a ways to go".
The note Daisy had been scribbling falls to the ground. The edges are filled with childish doodles, and 2022 is crossed out with an arrow pointing to 2023, which has been scribbled-out even more roughly, before an arrow pointing to a question mark. Underneath this is written "VERY sorry :(" next to a drawing of a crying face.
I mean… if you're gonna announce a delay, why not make hearts melt while doing it. I hereby announce that should any robot attempt to come within a mile of Daisy I will rip out their worthless mechanical innards, and woe betide the boss monster who has designs on my girl. Space dad will not stand for it.
Yes, the vibes here are very much in-line with what I guess you could call the dad genre. The likes of The Last of Us and God of War, these games that cast you as the protector and travelling companion of a young child, then effortlessly tug at your emotions by putting them in danger repeatedly.
The trailer ended with a more prosaic note from the Pragmata development team:
"To all our expectant fans, it is with a heavy heart that we must further postpone the release of Pragmata. Our team is currently hard at work making the best game that we possibly can, but we need more time.
"We will continue to do our best to ensure that the final product is one that is worthy of your patience. Thank you for your continued support."
The brief snippets of gameplay footage show space dad carrying Diana around on his back while simultaneously battling robots, diving and dodging around, along with a clip of some kind of good mech buddy (perhaps an alternate form for Diana), and ending on the reveal that Diana has some sort of space magic thing going on and clearly is much more powerful than just being a normal little girl. I mean, it looks absolutely badass.
When Pragmata does release, it's coming to PC. As for when that will be… as promising as it looks, the fact Capcom's not even willing to say 2024 does make one worry. Hopefully the delay is indeterminate, rather than indefinite.