Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dragon's Dogma Overview

Many people claim Dragon's Dogma to be a major competitor for Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and they aren't necessarily wrong. Both games are open world RPGs with giants, dragons and huge enemies, but that's actually about all they have in common. Dragon's Dogma is third person and it is party based, to the point where you actively have to rely on your party members to get through the game. It also has a little bit of Dark Souls mixed in when it comes to darkness. This is a game that gets really dark, disturbingly dark, and like Dark Souls not knowing what is waiting in the darkness will and can kill you, but Dragon's Dogma doesn't have anyt harsh death repercussions like Dark Souls. It is a game that could turn out to be buggy with unpleasant gameplay, but it also has the possibility to be one of the best open world RPG's in years. It doesn't come out till May 22 on Xbox 360 and PS3, but there are a couple of fantastic videos of the game and a good deal of information. Read on to see what makes Dragon's Dogma such a promising game.

When I first played Dragon's Dogma at E3, last year, I didn't know what I was playing. I had never heard of it and it controlled a bit like Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry, but combat and movement was certainly quite a bit slower paced. Once I saw that it was made by Capcom I understood the action orientated combat system, but I still was surprised to see them taking on this massive undertaking that is unlike any game they had made before. I know you might say what about Monster Hunter, well the only thing it has in common with Monster Hunter are RPG elements and large enemies like this one...

You roam the open world taking on quests, building your party, conquering dungeons, normal RPG stuff, but there are also many bosses in the game. Large enemies, including non-bosses, let you do special moves like climbing onto a giant's back and stabbing it in the head, or climbing on top of a griffon and plunging your daggers relentlessly into as your allies swarm below. Everything seems to rely on your valuable companions, one of which is your pawn. The pawn is your customizable personal companion that can accompany you throughout the entire game, plus there are two secondary pawns that you use to balance out your group. Your main pawn can be shared with friends or random players. Whatever your pawn learns in someone else game will be shared back to you, so they may come back with new tactics, map information or loot. I'm uncertain of whether others can steal the items from your pawn and then return him, but I believe they have some kind of system in place to make it so your pawn can not be de-valued like that.

The game will start with thousands of pre-made pawns for players to use, but eventually the top pawns will likely be those from other players. Pawns wouldn't matter at all if their A.I. was poor, but from everything I've seen they are very supportive and without them you could never take down bosses or challenging enemies. I was often impressed by seeing how they take the initiative to climb on top of enemies and do special moves, just like you would, and they also seem to manage their abilities and spells very well. All I've shown are screenshots so far, but take a look at this video and see everything in action, then you might understand why this game looks great. It is a gameplay preview from Official Xbox Magazine UK. It runs around ten minutes and it shows off the day and night cycle, among other things.

If you couldn't tell from that video this is a dark and mature game, with plenty of violence and not so friendly encounters, like when they are surprised by a huge enemy in the woods. The game will contain a very lengthy story and plenty of fully voiced side quests for those who wish to indulge in the world as long as they can. The developers for the game came from Resident Evil 4 and Devil May Cry 4, which isn't too surprising if you watched it in action above. It doesn't have any online co-op, other than Pawn system, nor local, unfortunately, but despite that it has a great deal of potential. It's reminding me a bit of Two Worlds, the first one, and how great that game could have been, but hopefully Dragon's Dogma it will live up to it's lofty expectations.

I should note that the game will be coming with a Resident Evil 6 demo, if that entices anyone. To end this overview I leave you all with another video, but this one is from Capcom themselves and it is very very long, how long you say? Two hours. It is from a live stream where they had some people playing the game, whom are Japanese, but there is a translator constantly spewing out everything in English. If you wanted to see a ton of gameplay here it is and I hope you enjoy.

Check out 1:44 for a very cool comet spell.

Thanks for reading and I hope to have some more information on the games, maybe even some hands on impressions, in the coming months. Still a little less than two months till it releases, May 22nd. Hope it looks as interesting to you all as it does to me. Let me know if you have any questions, I should be able to get answers from Capcom if need be.
Main Website: http://www.dragonsdogma.com/

-Written by Sean Cargle


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