Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dragon's Dogma Demo Impressions

Yesterday Capcom released the Dragon's Dogma demo on PS3 and Xbox 360. It is a fairly short demo, with one 15-20 minute section that takes you through part of the games prologue and another very short section that puts you into a countryside battle with an enormous Griffin. I've written about this game many times on Violent Gamer, we've also shared a ton of developer and gameplay videos, but now I have some impressions to share as a result of the demo. In short, Dragon's Dogma is an open world party based RPG that has a combat system derived from other action based Capcom games, or a little bit similar to Dark Souls, and a huge world to explore. It is does seem to have a hint of a fantasy theme, with Griffins, Dragons, Elves and a few other familiar aspects, but it's absolutely not a cheerful and bright game. The world of Dragon's Dogma is filled with unapologetic danger and when night comes rolling around you best have a torch. If you want to read thoroughly about what Dragon's Dogma is about then check out my overview, but for this post I will be discussing the demo and showing off some gameplay that I took from the entirety of one of the two levels.

So as I previously mentioned the demo has two sections, the first of which is a chunk of the prologue. The prologue section shows some of the games story, as you are given control of a special knight whom they call the Arisen. It seems like this character is some kind of chosen one that is destined to defeat this great dragon that you are heading to defeat. They really hammer in the idea that the dragon is huge, powerful and nearly invincible. They do this by littering every area in the demo with dead bodies, most of which you can examine in order to hear your companion say something depressing about how everyone is dead, plus you run into some friendly NPC's who verbally reiterate the point that everyone is dead and the duke's army, the good guys, are routed. This demo section introduces you to pawns, your party members, a vague idea of the story, different enemy types and combat.

Combat is handled quite well in Dragon's Dogma. It is instantly familiar and gives you many options. If you are using a shield, as a fighter, you have a whole array of special attacks you can do with that, while you have another set of attacks to do that focuses on your weapon, in this case a sword. You also have some basic controls that let you do light and heavy attacks, blocking, sprinting and jumping. The system seems like it gives you a lot of options for combat and makes it easy to learn. Fighting enemies is a little odd, since you can't lock onto an enemy, like Dark Souls, but instead it's more free form where you have to actually keep yourself in the direction of an enemy, especially if you are trying to block an incoming attack. Check out the gameplay I took from the first section of the demo, it is gameplay of the entire part.

Boss fights are a big part of Dragon's Dogma. The world is full of huge enemies and fighting them is pretty damn awesome. For instance, the battle with the Griffin, the second part of the demo, is quite dynamic. It can stay in the air for long periods of time and sweep down to quick strikes only to return to the air again, or it may charge straight into one of your party members and engage in ground combat. One of my favorite parts of fighting the Griffin was grabbing onto the side of it and striking it with one hand as it flies through the air. Furthermore, if your party wizard decides to enchant the parties weapons with fire then you may set the Griffin's wings on fire, making it instantly crash to the ground. Another cool feature regarding bosses is that you may often cut off parts of an enemy, like a tail or a head (if it has multiple heads).

The demo let's you create your own character, and your main pawn, with the creation tools, both of which can be exported to the full game once it's released on May 22nd. That brings me to one of my complaints about the demo; why did they make a demo that only has a very limited scope by showing you two linear sections of the game? Normally that would be no big deal, but this game is advertised as an open world game and this doesn't represent that aspect of the game at all. Furthermore, the game is an RPG and you don't get to do anything with your characters. The inventory is static, meaning you can't change any armor or weapons, nor do they even show how you could do that (there is no section of the inventory for that) and that worries me greatly that you don't change weapons or armor in the game, but that seems impossible for an RPG. In the end I did like the demo, despite how short it is and linear, but instead of making me want the game more than I already do it made me worry about a couple aspects of the game. Check out the website below for more info on it, but thanks for checking it out and I do hope it is absolutely fantastic game, I am still greatly looking forward to it.
Main Website:

-Written by Sean Cargle


Post a Comment