There was plenty to see at the Xbox E3 2017 briefing, but one of the highlights was the worldwide debut of Dragon Ball FighterZ. Some are referring to the title as Dragon Ball Fighters or Dragon Ball Z Fighters, but the official title is Dragon Ball FighterZ. Over the last few months we've gained a great deal of information about Dragon Ball FighterZ, such as the release date being January 26, 2018 in the US and February 1, 218 in Japan. We don't yet have the full roster of characters, but we’ll share what roster details and confirmed characters we know of right now and continue to update with new details as they arise, including information on the Dragon Ball FighterZ open beta coming to PS4 and Xbox One in January. This article covers Dragon Ball FighterZ characters and details as they emerge.
The story in Dragon Ball FighterZ takes place during Dragon Ball Super, around the Future Trunks story arc. While the story is unique to the game and not canon, it does reference previous points in the anime and manga. Goku and the Z Warriors wake up suddenly to find a new enemy, Android 21 has weakened their powers and forced them to team up with once dead villains, Cell, Frieza and more. You can check out the story trailer to see some of this future timeline from Dragon Ball Super.
While the story will be completely new and non-canon, the game covers characters from all of Dragon Ball Z, as well as bits of Dragon Ball Super. You can see in the character list below that there are characters that come from all different timelines and sagas within the DBZ universe, but we won't offer any additional spoilers for those planning to run through the story mode once they get the game.
We've taken a much closer look at the gameplay in Dragon Ball FighterZ, and broken down the basics of the game for those who need a headstart on the open beta in January, but as a basic overview the new title is a 2D fighting game with 3D character models that looks very similar to the Guilty Gear series in terms of visual style. That shouldn’t be surprising given the developer of the title, Arc System Works. However, while the game certainly has an anime-style look to it, and even a few gameplay elements that resemble Guilty Gear, it’s a 3-on-3 fighting game. Taking a closer look at the trailer, the game plays somewhat similar to the Marvel vs. Capcom series.
The game is 3 vs. 3, but it uses an assist system like many of the Marvel vs. Capcom titles. The matches are essential 1-on-1 with the ability to call the other two characters as assists. We don't yet know how the characters will tag in and out, or if you can choose different assists for the characters that aren't actively playing in the match, but the trailer clearly shows multiple characters fighting on-screen at the same time. As soon as more details are available we’ll update this section, but for now if you want to start training for this game, it’s probably best to play Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 or the latest version of Guilty Gear.
We now have the full list of launch characters in Dragon Ball FighterZ, but more will be added over time in the way of eight DLC characters. There were only 11 confirmed characters that were available in the two betas back in September and earlier this month, but with a total of 24 characters in the starting roster, there's a little something for everyone. Previously, Bandai Namco announced Super Saiyan Blue Goku and Vegeta, Yamcha, Tenshinhan and a brand new female character, Android 21 (only confirmed for story mode at the moment), with the addition of Nappa and Captain Ginyu. Tenshinhan will have Chaozu as an assist for some of his attacks, while Captain Ginyu will have the Ginyu Force assisting him, and Nappa will use Saibamen. In the most recent round of character announcements, Beerus, Hit and Goku Black (with Zamasu as an assist) were revealed to be joining the roster.
Frieza is the only character who can transform mid-battle, but Gohan is able to unleash his latent power in the middle of a battle as well. There are a few characters who offer temporary transformations, such as Goku going Super Saiyan 3 for one of his super moves. While not all transformations are permanent, Super Saiyan Blue Goku and Vegeta have been confirmed for the game, but will be unlockable characters alongside Android 21 (instantly unlocked via pre-order). Keep an eye on this article as we continue to add more characters as Namco Bandai confirms the post-release DLC.
Confirmed Characters (as of Launch Week)
- Android 16
- Android 18 with Android 17 Assists
- Android 21 (Evil Majin Form)
- Buu (Kid Buu)
- Buu (Majin Buu)
- Frieza (100% with Golden transformation)
- Ginyu with Ginyu Force Assists
- Gohan (Cell Games - SSJ2)
- Gohan (Buu Saga - Ultimate)
- Goku (Normal, SSJ, SSJ3)
- Goku (Super Saiyan Blue)
- Goku Black (Super Saiyan Rose) with Zamasu Assists
- Gotenks (SSJ3)
- Perfect Cell
- Tenshinhan with Chaozu Assists
- Trunks (SSJ Future)
- Vegeta (Normal, SSJ)
- Vegeta (Super Saiyan Blue)
Dragon Ball FighterZ is being developed for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC by Arc System Works using Unreal Engine 4. Fighting game enthusiasts should have a pretty good idea of who these people are, but for anyone who isn’t a hardcore fighting game fan, Arc System Works is the developer behind the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue fighting game franchises. They also have experience with other Dragon Ball games, having worked on Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butōden for the Nintendo 3DS a few years ago.
Stay tuned to Prima Games as we’ll have more in our Dragon Ball FighterZ game hub over the coming weeks and months leading up to the January 26, 2018 release date, including a breakdown of the gameplay.