Because it’s a teaser trailer, it’s tantalizingly short on detail – but won’t stop us pulling it apart to see what new morsels of information we can find.
We’ll get to that later. First, let’s remind ourselves why this is shaping up to be the mobile RPG of the year.
Dragon Trail: Hunter World is an open-world RPG that sees you playing as a tribal youth whose father has mysteriously vanished.
Being an intrepid character, the boy heads into the woods in search of his missing dad. Instead, he finds a cute little Fire Wyvern (a winged, two-legged dragon) and a mythical volume called the Book of Loyat.
This holy book promises to help him find the answers he’s looking for, as long as he can reveal its mysteries. .
That’s the basic setup. The gameplay sees you romping around on a vast landmass called Star Island. This open-world environment is made up of numerous different terrains and habitats, and you’ll need to explore them all in search of creatures to recruit, train, and evolve.
The fauna of Star Island is incredibly diverse. You’ll encounter cats, owls, parrots, and other commonplace animals like that. But you’ll also find Woolly Mammoths, Icy Bears, and of course Fire Wyverns.
However they appear when you find them, these creatures can also be evolved into formidable weapons of war.
Then there are the human characters. Dragon Trail: Hunter World features four different classes, including Warrior, Priest, Shadowhunter, and Ranger.
These classes will all be familiar to RPG aficionados. The Warrior is an all-rounder, dealing plenty of damage at close range and absorbing plenty too. The Ranger does exactly what it sounds like – launches attacks at range, picking off enemies from as far away as possible.
Shadowhunter, meanwhile, is an assassin-like character who sneaks up on enemies before sticking the knife in. The Priest is a milder influence, healing and buffing comrades rather than dishing out pain.
Those are the basics. What else have we learned following the release of the latest trailer?
For one thing, we’re now even more certain that Dragon Trail: Hunter World is one of the best-looking games of the year.
Like Genshin Impact before it, Dragon Trail: Hunter World uses cel-shading to fabulous effect.
If you’re not sure what cel-shading is, cast your mind back to games like Breath of the Wild, Borderlands, Okami, and Untitled Goose Game.
Those clean lines and distinctive planes of color help you make out what’s happening on the screen without sacrificing anything in the way of technical flair. It’s an ingenious visual trick, and Dragon Trail: Hunter World is a brilliant example.
We’ve also learned that Star Island is a truly epic piece of world design.
At the start of the trailer we get to see the supernaturally vast, temple-topped tree that sits at the center of the world, just like the glowing Erdtree that looms over the world of Elden Ring.
We also get a closer look at the sheer level of detail in the animations. Star Island is a living, breathing place, with grass that ruffles in the breeze, light that plays realistically on surfaces, and even some distinctive tribal architecture.
The game’s characters, meanwhile, emerge as kickass warriors of the highest order. The tribal youth at the center of it all wields a sword as big as himself, and the creatures that you evolve turn into rock-hard, armored mounts.
Even the cute like Fire Wyvern arrives with a bang, breathing fire as soon as its shell falls away.
We can’t wait to see what else Dragon Trail: Hunter World has in store.
Pre-register now on Google Play to put yourself in the running to join the early access, and to get the tip-off when the game goes live later this year.