No, I wasn't expecting to catch a trailer for a Dragon Ball-branded twist on terrifying slash 'em up Dead By Daylight today either. But that sure does seem to be the pitch for Bandai Namco's newly announced Dragon Ball: The Breakers (opens in new tab).
Pitting 7 civilians against a powerful extraterrestrial Raider, The Breakers tasks survivors with finding and powering up a time machine to escape the doomed temporal rift they find themselves in. Like Dead By Daylight, that means plenty of skulking around and hoping the big bad doesn't see you.
But this is a Dragon Ball game, and skulking doesn't lend itself to brilliantly daft anime spectacle. Character-specific abilities (such as Oolong's shapeshifting), items scattered around the map and "Dragon Change" moves that temporarily imbue you with Goku-like powers give you windows to fight back. Of course, the Raider can also level up by fulfilling "certain conditions" (ie, gobbling up civilians), and Namco warns that they'll be effectively unstoppable should they reach their final form.
It's a bizarre, curious twist on the format, but one I'm excited to see pan out. Dead By Daylight has been quietly thriving, crossing over with horror icons across games and film (and, unfortunately, the very real horror of crypto (opens in new tab)), and I'll be interested to see if the same kind of asymmetrical tension holds up in a game's that's a little less gory and a little more explosively flamboyant.
Dragon Ball: The Breakers is due to hit Steam sometime next year, with Bandai saying there'll be a global beta ahead of the full release.