Dragon's Dogma Review

Hello everyone. This is my review for the upcoming Dragon's Dogma game, scheduled for release on May 22, 2012. Also, spoiler alert.

Gameplay:
Depending on which class you select, the structure on what you will need to do to survive changes drastically (mages have trouble in close quarters but nuke spells wreak havoc in the open environments where they have enough time to charge them.). First off, all classes have a basic light and heavy attacks assigned to the square and triangle (X & Y for Xbox) accordingly. Along with these, by holding the bumper buttons, you gain access to 3 more attacks for each bumper (X, Y, and B or square, triangle, and circle). The left bumper is for your secondary weapon while the right bumper accesses your primary weapon skills. These can be reassigned at rest areas within the game but are locked in their position for the duration of your outings away from the relatively safe zones. The right trigger allows you to perform a grabbing action to rather pick up small enemies/objects or to begin climbing on a larger enemy. This action costs stamina in correlation to the weight of your equipped gear and you lose your grip if it runs out, possibly leading to damage from falling from a flying enemy or an attack as you are temporarily unable to move while you recover. This means that you will need to plan out your attacks first in order to conserve the allocated stamina. Also yes, L3 sprints and yes, it takes stamina.

Environment:
Basically, you have the typical elemental settings with a good bit of work done in human controlled areas. Deserts are deserts, caves are caves, plan accordingly. The world is a large sandbox containing the various biomes but there are some things that need to be noted. Days are on a 24 in-game-hour system where as night falls, enemy aggro and level rises, ramping up the difficulty to dangerous levels. Visibility also gets limited and not in by just a few clicks of the brightness button. Unless you keep a source of light with you, you may end up running blind (literally) across the map to die by rather falling into a source of water with a (similar to GoW krill) enemy waiting or by coming up against a boss-status monster unprepared. Windy areas can make you lose balance unless heavy gear is worn, catacombs may reanimate their contents, etc. It's a good idea to look at your map before heading out on a quest so you'll know what you're getting into.

Enemies:
Take a lot of what you may know about the 'standard' mythical creatures and toss it here. You have your griffons, golems, chimera, harpies, goblins, trolls, ogres, cockatrice, dragons, drakes, undead, ghosts, hydra, wolves and more crammed in here. The A.I. is pretty good at keep them organized as well. Wolves will attack while you're down, hit 'n run, and use other pack tactics while some of the dumber enemies will use the generic tank approach. Weak points play a large role in fights. Elemental attributes are not only helpful, but sometimes necessary as things like a non-enchanted sword will not do anything against a ghost. Larger enemies will have sections that need to be taken out to prevent them from performing certain attacks and status ailments are not something to joke around with. Blind will cover your screen in fog, silence will render mages useless, and God help you if you get poisoned. Also, the fights are not just eye candy with some button presses thrown in. You are going to have to make your own openings for attack, actually dodge the giant limb flying at you, and sometimes, party member #53,594 is going to have to be a decoy while you run up behind the thing.

Quests:
These are the typical npc with some scripted dialogue telling you to do task #yadda yadda. They'll give you access to money for upgrades and help you locate some enemies on your map but are not always necessary to continue. You're free to just go out and explore around on your own (I suggest bringing at least one person with you in case you need to run. It happens.)or you can continue with one quest after another. Main quests take you through the plot, resetting back over in NG+ fashion, leading you along the path of the Arisen to do *insert endgame plot point here*. The sidequests do have their purpose though. They'll lead you to find better equipment and hidden areas but if you want to find the really good stuff, you're going to have to go out and explore on your own. One thing to note is that sidequests do affect the main story. People you save may come back to fight by your side and tell you hints on how to defeat some of the tougher enemies.

Multiplayer:
In all honesty, this is not the focus of the game. You can send a character that you've leveled up and customized out to help others or rent one from someone else for a fee, and they will come back to bring a reward from their journey. Aside from that, this is a mostly single-player game and personally, is fine focusing on just that.

Customization:
Age, gender, body type, and just about everything except species (you can still make them 3ft tall or a giant among men). Classes can have skills carried over in a job change menu, letting a mage become an elementally-focused archer or a thief to become a sword-twirling assassin. Your limits on skills are 3 per weapon (total of 6) giving you a decent bit of flexibility on how you play. Parties of up to 4 (including you) can be swapped out to help balance out where you're skills alone don't cover.

Possible DLC:
I haven't heard much in this respect but if it ever does come, it'll probably just be adding mounts or an additional monster or two to the mix. So far, there appears to be no on-disc dlc.

Final score: 7/10
While largely versatile, once a way to kill a monster has been established, there can be a sense of repetitiveness when you have to face another. Chimera are best fought by taking out the rear, middle, then front to systematically eliminate their attacks. The world is open, but fast travel and the paths through the wilderness are lacking in the creativity department. The game will have a good sense of familiarity, bringing aspects of previous games to mix together into an overall enjoyable experience but aside from the well-glued together product, there isn't much that we haven't seen before. If you need a good free-roam game, this is it.

Questions, comments, rude remarks? Post below.

Ive been playing the demo lately and it seems the learning curve for the attacks is really high, but the potential of having great combat once you mastered it is high.

I really want to buy and play the game, but ive been burned before, so ill just wait till the price lowers and watch some more reviews before buying.

Played the demo and hated it, every time a battle started the AI and enemies would literally run to areas I had already been, leaving me sitting there looking around for them while they fought in some room behind me (Based on multiple attempts)

Thanks for the thorough review =) Could I ask about your resetting quests comments?

No spoilers please for the plot, but what happens when you complete the main quest? Do you get thrown back into the world with the ability to replay quests with your stuff intact? Or is it more like you start over the entire game, but get to keep your levels etc.? THanks =)

Thank you very much for the detailed review, Nyaoku.

...Oh, L3 is for sprint? Yikes. I'm so paranoid about breaking my joystick, I never play games that have L3 used for sprinting. I'll make an exception for Dragon's Dogma, though. Guess I won't run.

It could fit in a roleplaying persepective. I noticed in the demo you can make a fat guy. I'm a pretty fat guy in real life, and I don't run, so it all works out!

I am still on the fence with this one so I think I'll wait to see the general consensus before I pick it up.

Furioso:
Played the demo and hated it, every time a battle started the AI and enemies would literally run to areas I had already been, leaving me sitting there looking around for them while they fought in some room behind me (Based on multiple attempts)

Maybe the demo for you is buggy or maybe you rush ahead? The enemies for me always stick in the room I'm un and so do the A.I.

I know it's Capcom and they have lost my trust one too many times but I think I'm gonna get this day one, it's just so much fun and I love the character customization. My character is going be like this child prodigy and my pawn will be this super tough person who is my guardian and what not. Kind of reminds me of Big Boy and Rusty (that cartoon series years ago about a little boy robot whose hero was this giant robot except the giant robot was just a suit)

Not sure I like that day-night cycle thing.

I really guess I should play the demo and make up my own damn mind.

Loved the demo. I've been hyped for this game ever since I started watching trailers of it a while back. The fun combat and amazing character creation really has left me wanting more. First day purchase for me!

GobbieGoldchain:
...Oh, L3 is for sprint? Yikes. I'm so paranoid about breaking my joystick, I never play games that have L3 used for sprinting. I'll make an exception for Dragon's Dogma, though. Guess I won't run.

I'm pretty sure you can edit the controls if I remember correctly.

Sparrow:

GobbieGoldchain:
...Oh, L3 is for sprint? Yikes. I'm so paranoid about breaking my joystick, I never play games that have L3 used for sprinting. I'll make an exception for Dragon's Dogma, though. Guess I won't run.

I'm pretty sure you can edit the controls if I remember correctly.

Yesssssss.

Hope this is the case. I got my fingers crossed!

I love me some fantasy games, Especially those with "Dragons" as a marketing strategy. I love dragons.

Yet, I can't say I'm excited for this game.
Of all the concept art and screen shots I've seen, I've only seen one, maybe two dragons, the rest being griffins, harpies, insert typical mythical creature here.

I just feel for a game with the word "Dragon" written in the title there should be more... dragons.

Then again, Dragon Age has this same problem.

GobbieGoldchain:

Sparrow:

GobbieGoldchain:
...Oh, L3 is for sprint? Yikes. I'm so paranoid about breaking my joystick, I never play games that have L3 used for sprinting. I'll make an exception for Dragon's Dogma, though. Guess I won't run.

I'm pretty sure you can edit the controls if I remember correctly.

Yesssssss.

Hope this is the case. I got my fingers crossed!

Trust me, there have been many a thrown controller in my house. It takes a lot to break a joystick :P

captcha: as you wish

Yes well... ahem...

Jaeke:
Trust me, there have been many a thrown controller in my house. It takes a lot to break a joystick :P

captcha: as you wish

Yes well... ahem...

Haha! I'd be lyin' if I said I wasn't relieved to see the controller went through some serious QA, my friend.

It looks pretty cool but I don't play console games anymore so since it wont come out for the pc I suppose Ill be ignoring it.

I have another question, what's the death cycle like? As in, when you die where do you reset? I'd also like to know how long the game is roughly =)

Sparrowsabre7:
I have another question, what's the death cycle like? As in, when you die where do you reset? I'd also like to know how long the game is roughly =)

Pretty sure you get a nice game over screen.

Ghostwise:

Sparrowsabre7:
I have another question, what's the death cycle like? As in, when you die where do you reset? I'd also like to know how long the game is roughly =)

Pretty sure you get a nice game over screen.

As in what happens AFTER that. Does the game rest to your last save, your last checkpoint, does it go back to the title screen...

Sparrowsabre7:

Ghostwise:

Sparrowsabre7:
I have another question, what's the death cycle like? As in, when you die where do you reset? I'd also like to know how long the game is roughly =)

Pretty sure you get a nice game over screen.

As in what happens AFTER that. Does the game rest to your last save, your last checkpoint, does it go back to the title screen...

The system shuts off, and you have to reset time and date, pick your region, and reacquire all system updates prior to starting up the game and picking up where you left off. In hardcore mode, your hard drive melts.

Eclpsedragon:
*snip*

Sheesh... Are you me?

Anyway, good to hear it's gonna be a tight action-RPG. How long is it?

 

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