Dragon’s Dogma – A (Dragon’s) breath of fresh air…

Posted: September 5, 2012 in Review

And once again with the blog silence…no wonder no-one comes visit me…

I will endeavour to improve (it can’t get much worse – here I am talking (or should that be typing) to myself)…

Ahem…

DRAGON’S DOGMA!

Wanted to try this for a while, demo didn’t overly grab me but read so many positive responses when it was first released and that pawn system definitely required a further probing.

I’m about 3 hours in now and, having mastered an understanding of 50-60% of the mechanics can honestly say I’m having a whale of a time. Cannot quite believe that a game threw a sodding big Chimera at me 10 min in! Cue a lot of thrashing around and button mashing as I tried to work out a) the controls and b) a strategy other than just falling about and shouting ‘Hello pawns, look I know I’ve just met you but GO KILL THAT BIG THING!’.

Appreciated the quiet time in Cassardis and have carried out the initial menial quests to level up and learn more about the system. For example, combat is surprisingly deep with a number of options becoming available as you accrue discipline points. Am really enjoying creating and cultivating a character whereas all too often in RPGs I start off with good intentions only for my man / women to become a mishmashed walking armour/weapon stand. Apparently there are options to jump vocations later on too.

Just about to venture beyond the starting area but wanted to mention that pawn system again. Basically, it’s the method by which this game gives you your NPC squad and ultimately leads you to building the classic RPG set up – Tank, Rogue (Strider in DD), Mage +1 other BUT the system definitely brings something new to the genre. You have one ‘permanent’ pawn who you can skill up and equip just like your own character plus up to two others (recommended, there are some big beasties in Gransys).

These secondary pawns can be picked up when met in the game or accessed via one of the Riftstones found in the gameworld. Activating these stones takes you to a mysterious otherworld (full of dry ice it would seem) where you can inspect and invite pawns into your team (and you can do this as many times as you like in case you come across a part in the game where more or less Mages or Fighters are needed). You can select from those offered or use a database to search for pawns that fit your requirements. Some are ‘free’, some can be bought using another form of in game pawn currency but ALL have been generated by other players – how cool is that? I know that my chubby but affable Fighter pawn, Indrid Stern, is being uploaded and offered for use to other gamers whilst I’m choosing from theirs. It’s not a perfect system yet but I’m sure Capcom will continue to develop it for the rumoured sequel.

Difficult to say too much more having only played a small percentage of the game but there are some negatives – the pawn comments can suffer from repetition fairly early on and you can almost hear the pop when the graphics and draw distance stutter at times (rolling on PS3 if you’re interested) but I can forgive these sorts of faults and they’re not game breakers. The roughness in places just confirms what type of diamond this game is.

The fact that I’ve gone out and bought a strat guide for a game I don’t technically own tells its own story. Will have to hand back soon but will have it on radar for the eventual price drop. Recommended!

 

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