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Drakengard 3 Review - Sister Hacked

Jim Sterling | 30 May 2014 17:00
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Developed by Access Games. Published by Square Enix. Released May 20. Available on PS3.

01

Zero is an intoner, one of six numerically named sisters with the ability to sing powerful forces into being. She wants to kill her sisters to become the strongest being in the world, and she also has a dragon that urinates compulsively. After killing women, she takes their men and has sex with them, she has a flower that's sticking out of one eye that lets her regrow her limbs, and her arm falls off but she uses a parasite to keep it attached.

She's sadistic and genocidal, she's abusive towards her only companions. She is also the player character, and this is one of the stupidest videogames I've ever played.

Coming to us courtesy of Access Games - that studio behind the brilliantly demented Deadly Premonition - Drakengard 3 is about as dumb as it gets. Full of brainless hack and slash combat that is sloppy in execution, littered with insensible dialog, full of repeated references to extreme masochism, horny old men, and the shoddiness of the game's own level design, this is a title that picks up the crazy ball and proceeds to hump it without dignity or remorse. It made my jaw drop. It made me cringe.

Damn it ... it made me laugh.

There's something about this game that is impossible to hate. It is crude, both in terms of gameplay and humor, yet it carries with it a total sincerity, a sheer love of its own creative insanity that I can't help respecting. While an old man on stilts declares that he can't function without "booty in the morning," and Zero complains about receiving experience points for mundane tasks, this third Drakengard goes out of its way to subvert expectations and lampoon itself at every opportunity. For a game about mindlessly slashing at everything onscreen, Drakengard 3 never fails to surprise.

Like previous Drakengard installments, the meat of the experience is found in slicing up hordes of vulnerable enemies in a fashion similar to Dynasty Warriors. Over the course of the game, Zero will gain access to four weapon types that can be switched on the fly - swords, spears, gauntlets and chakrams - of which there are many different flavors with their own unique attacks. Weapons can be upgraded using gold and materials, gaining more moves and attack power as they level.

Most levels consist of Zero running from point A to point B, taking out the Intoners' armies as she does. Regular soldiers are backed up by annoying archers and giant-sized enemies that can take and dish out a ton of punishment. Every now and then, there may be a platforming section, but the majority of the action is focused on bloody murder (with emphasis on the bloody).

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