Dragon's Dogma is an exciting new franchise which redefines the action genre from the team that produced some of Capcom's greatest action games. Set in a huge open world, Dragon’s Dogma offers an exhilarating and fulfilling action combat game with the freedom to explore and interact in a rich, living and breathing world. Alongside your party of three, also called pawns, you set out to track down and destroy a mysterious dragon. Your pawns fight independently of you, demonstrating prowess and ability they have developed based on traits learned over time from you and your actions. Dragon’s Dogma offers a near endless opportunity to help develop the partner characters to fight alongside you. You can also share your pawns and utilise your friends' pawns via Xbox Live or PlayStation Network.
Highly Stylised Action Combat – The creators of this game were responsible for the action hits – Resident Evil 4 and Devil May Cry 4.
Fight With Ability – The soul of combat comes down to how the game is played, where you strike the enemy, and how you react to their attacks.
Pawn Them All – The pawn system offers flexible combat assistance with a main pawn companion that you can train throughout the game and two support pawns that can vary wildly to fit your combat style and the demands of the quest.
Help Your Friends, Help Yourself – To enhance your battle experience, share your main pawn with friends and others via Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. Your pawn's experience as a member of someone else's game will be passed on to you in loot, knowledge of the open world and strategies for taking down enemies. Or, you can choose one of the hundreds of AI pawns included with the game.
Accessible Depth – Bringing an unprecedented level of depth to the action genre, every decision has an effect on game play in an intuitive way that does not require micromanagement. The weight of your weapon, the material of your armour – even the length of your legs – plays a role in how you fight your battles, but does not interrupt the flow of the action.
Epic Adventure – Dragon’s Dogma is built from the ground up as an action experience for consoles with a continuous, epic storyline that stands alone in style, scope and substance.
Open World – Utilising Capcom's proprietary MT Framework engine and the groundbreaking graphical styles and lighting effects used in Resident Evil 5 and Lost Planet 2, Dragon’s Dogma expands the environment to create a vast, richly detailed world, ripe for exploration.
Night and Day – The open world features a dynamic 24-hour day/night cycle that will offer different enemies and surprises depending on when you venture into the world.
Customise – Dragon’s Dogma features rich character customisation options, and the choices made while customising your character may influence how you approach certain quests or battle situations.
A rich population – In addition to interacting with hundreds of fully voiced NPCs, you’ll be able to fght a large variety of creatures, from goblins to griffins and dragons. Each enemy requires a different strategy and provides a unique experience
This game seems to have been misunderstood and unfortunately underrated by a number of gaming journalists. It's very hard to explain because it's actually a pretty unique game, but you can think of it like Dark Souls meets Skyrim if you want a really lazy way of summing it up. That doesn't do it justice at all, because here we have people that have worked on games such as Resident Evil, Devil May Cry and Breath of Fire all coming together to deliver an incredibly atmospheric and compelling action RPG.
The story follows your character, who shortly after being created by you - with an excellent character customisation system - has his or her village attacked by an enormous dragon. After an ill-fated attempt to fight it, your heart is ripped out and eaten by the colossal dragon. Yet, somehow, you're still alive, albeit with a huge scar on your chest like Sagat. You can also hear the voice of the dragon in your head, urging you to track it down if you want your heart back. Then it's down to you to make your way in the world and find him, though your village is still reeling from the attack and many of the side quests are based around this, rather than some guy just wanting 20 mushrooms because he has in inexplicable craving for fungus all of a sudden.
Shortly after this, you're introduced to one of the game's most interesting systems; the ability to design pawns - AI warriors who you can programme in fundamental ways to be the most useful sidekick for you. The really interesting thing is that other players of the game can rent your pawn off you. You keep your pawn, but a copy appears in the other players game and goes around helping them. Everything it learns, like how to defeat certain enemies and how to solve certain quests, will be remembered and when the player returns your pawn, it will be able to help you out with all its new info. And of course, you can also rent other peoples' pawns off them. Renting them uses Rift Crystals, an item that is commonly given out in game for completing quests, though pawns of people on your Friend List are free.
There's an interesting and varied character skill system, made all the more fun and addictive by the fact that the real-time combat is made by people who worked on Devil May Cry. It's not quite as exuberant as those games, but you can see the understanding and professionalism of those guys at work in this game's combat. Really, if you like games where you explore, go on an adventure, never know what's around the next corner and can expect a firm challenge from any enemies you meet (the larger ones can be climbed up, like in Shadow of the Colossus), and all in an open world with tons of secrets and hidden areas, you will love this game.Read more ›
I have played pretty much every RPG since the old ZX Spectrum Days, and to be honest i was quite excited about this game. It starts off the same as most RPG's with a stereo-typical something has been taken and you must get it back or wreak vengance scenario. In this case it is your heart, unusual but different!
The story line is pretty good, but what sets this above all other games in my opinion are the innovative touches such as:
- When you build your character, your size/height/build has a profound effect on the game. You will be a bigger target, but can carry more and hit in a bigger arc. Being smaller you can regain stamina quicker, but cant carry as much.
- You can equip armour as normal, BUT you can also equip clothing at the same time giving dual benefits and a totally different look.
- You can have 3 companions, one stays with you the entire game and another two you can chop and change as you wish. The companion that stays with you can be hired by other people online, and will come back to you with newly acquired skills or items or both!
- The grab button has several uses, such as picking up your ally and throwing them at an enemy or picking an enemy up and launching them off a cliff. Your allies can also grab enemies and hold them for you to make holes in them. Lastly you can climb onto large enemies and reach a point (such as the back) and happily hack away until your stamina runs out.
HOWEVER, there are some really annoying points which can just bring a bad vibe to the game.
- The NPC characters continuously talk saying the same things OVER AND OVER which can only be remedied by muting the TV. There is no option to turn their endless gibbering. Trust me this truly brings the game down.
- The never ending back tracking to places you have been can be tedious. There is a fast travel system in place later on in the game, but it costs a lot of your hard earned coins.
- The game can be quite difficult, not anywhere near as difficult as Dark/Demon souls, but it has a dark souls feel to it, combined with touches from Divinity 2, monster hunter.
You wont be blown away by the graphics, there is room for a lot of improvement, but you should be surprised by the gameplay and sound, in particular the opening music! This is not anywhere near as good as Skyrim or Fallout as far open roaming games are concerned, but it is a must have RPG.Read more ›
Wow - Dragon's Dogma can be really breathtaking at times, and those times are all, without question, during its large enemy fight scenes. The enemies are incredibly well designed - they look amazingly realistic (insofar as is possible with Chimera, Griffins and the like), and you are able to climb all over them and attack their weak areas or specific body parts. You feel a huge sense of victory when you have felled one.
This is a third person game, so I'm not going to go Skyrim comparing, but I will say that both games have been well worthy of my time. The smaller enemies are just as well designed as the large ones, with more than ample polygon rate for HD, and put some of the enemies in other RPGs to shame. The landscapes are realistic and interesting, and the sense of exploration is immense - especially as you are not given a world map from the start and have to uncover the shape of the land you're questing in as you go. There are also areas that appear covered in fog on your map, which mean you have no choice but to try and make your way through dark labyrinthine woods by landscape alone.
You control a party of one main character, one support character (your "main pawn") - both of which you design yourself - and two other "pawns" who you can hire or dismiss at any time. There are 6 pawn specialities - two variants each on fighter, ranger and mage - and 9 player specialities (including 3 cross-class vocations). You can change these specialities at any time at certain inns, and build up experience to spend on special moves. There is an online option here that allows you to hire duplicates of the main pawns of other players, as they wander around in the game world or are "summoned" via a rift. The idea is that you employ pawns that people have lovingly created and any quest, enemy or location knowledge they have discovered in other "worlds" will be imparted to you upon your travels. The pawns are a chatty lot and always have some helpful advice to give. In practice though, this system doesn't seem to go far enough. When you rest at inns any duplicates of your main pawn hired by players within their own game worlds return to you with a small bit of rift currency that can be spent on hiring higher level pawns yourself. You can give other people's pawns a gift when you dismiss them, but not any weapons or armour. I try to be generous with the one gift I am allowed to send them on their way with, but a useable item such as a potion, rank fish, or blank scroll is nowhere near as good an option as a special cloak or longbow. There is also not near enough of a means to make your pawn's personality stand out - their voices and sayings are all much of a muchness.
I don't know if it's just my experience, but about 90% of the online pawns I encounter in my realm are women with a very small gene pool of looks and haircuts, out of the many different options that are available - seems every player wants a thin attractive woman at their side, and why not? But at times it gets to seem that in reality your choice of third and fourth to your party is limited. A large factor in this is the sparse nature of armour and clothing - it's never found as an enemy drop and you have to play a fair few hours of the game before you get to see anything that actually makes you or your main pawn stand out from the crowd. I've a feeling that the nicer armour I see on some pawns might actually come from paid downloadable content.
The main quests are mostly well thought out and interesting to play, whilst the side quests include a lot of the standard kill-or-collect-a-certain-number-of-this-or-that quests. But there are a good number of escort quests that actually have a fair amount of risk to them, as they often necessitate travelling long distances and planning a suitable path away from the main dangers - for example, see a Chimera padding around in the distance and you want to make a swift move away from it before it spots you. The AI is faultless here, because even if you don't wander onto its turf, if it sees you from a distance there's a good chance it will close the distance and attack you - but if it's not facing you, or there are enough trees or hills between, whatever prompts it to chase you won't kick in. I've done a few of these quests now and am impressed by how consistently this actually works. This game has one save slot only, and some may hate that but it does help pile on the tension during escort quests as once your charge is dead there's no trying the quest a second time, so the gold and experience points are lost.
There are some features of this game that will be seen as good points by some and bad points by others. There is no readily accessible way of jumping from one location on the map to another, with the exception of rare stones that are consumed upon use and teleport you back to the capital - so every journey you make is just that - a proper journey. Potions, herbs, etc are readily accessed through enemy drops, chests and plants, as are materials you can take to a blacksmith to improve the level of your armour by one, two or three ranks, but the menu screen that controls them is a horrible nightmare. Health dangerously low? Then pause the game, call up a menu and try and find an item that restores some health - which isn't easy as you have a far from generous weight limit - and if you can't find one, try combining a few other ingredients. You then return to the action after a pause of anywhere between ten seconds and a minute. The stamina bar is just as miserly, and you often have to pause the game whilst you scrabble through the menu hoping you've picked up enough items to combine into something that will restore enough stamina to allow you to perform a special attack without your character - I'm not kidding you - bending over and wheezing for a few crucial seconds, immobile whilst enemy attacks continue. What's worse, the more items you hold that allow you to restore health and stamina, the slower your character walks about whilst not in combat.
So these are gameplay choices that the developers have made which actually slow down the player in several crucial aspects, and that's frustrating because if you can live with them as a player, you are going to really enjoy and get to love this game. Personally, I think that instead of putting out extra quests each week that you have to pay Microsoft Points for, they should concentrate on developing a patch that addresses these issues. It's a great game, but I wish they had gone just that little bit further in making it truly great.Read more ›