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Dragon's Dogma Review

June 04, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 287

We begin our story with a petty fisher. Your typical nobody main character whose village is attacked by a murderous dragon. Naturally, you attempt to kill the massive beast yourself with your rusty sword. How noble. The dragon takes notice of your courage and gruesomely rips out your heart and eats it. Yet you wake up later, breathing and moving. As you leave your village a mysterious man falls from some sort of wormhole and you're informed he is a Pawn - someone who lacks emotion and dwells in the Rift, a place that connects Pawns to various Arisen. Pawns have no true free will of their own and follow the Arisen, the one chosen by a dragon. Why does the dragon choose people? So they can seek out the dragon at a later time for mysterious reasons.

The story is a pretty big, jumbly, tangly mess of a plot and is most definitely not the main focus of the game. While interesting at times, the small bit of plot in the game isn't strong and often leaves you with plenty of questions. The ending does well to wrap up a lot of the major concerns, which is nice, but you're still left wondering about a lot of the smaller elements throughout your playthrough. In fact, a lot of plot points are easily missed in random side quests. Just know that if you want the whole story, it's safer to do every single quest you can.

Pawns are easily one of the two selling points of this game, the other being the combat. Not far into the story, you'll create your first pawn. This pawn will follow you around forever, so it's crucial to make sure it's something you can stand looking at, which is made extremely easy with the amount of detail you're able to put into creating characters. Choose a class for your pawn that compliments yours and go to town.

The best thing about pawns is the "rental" sort of system they've got going on. You have the ability to enter the Rift and find various pawns created by other players. You can hire up to two pawns [not including your main pawn] to travel with you. The cool thing about this is that you'll always have a unique party since all pawns are different in a lot of ways. Depending on where the owners of these pawns are in their own games, the pawns you hire could have a ton of knowledge you don't have on certain quests. When this happens, the pawns will take the reins and show you how something is done. Whether it's showing you the location of something or telling you how to take down a huge foe depends on the quest at hand. When you're done with a pawn - and we're assuming it didn't die - you can send it back with gifts and a message for its owner.

Your main pawn always has a copy of itself in the Rift for other players to hire it, even while you aren't playing. It's quite possible you can come back to your game with your pawn bearing loads of gifts [If you're in my shoes, it's likely lots of skulls. People love giving me skulls for some reason...] and messages for you. The pawn system kind of gives you that Dark Souls sort of feel. You always have the option of help from another player, but they're never fully there.

Personally, I can't say many games revolutionize something. Dragon's Dogma has indeed revolutionized combat though. More specifically, fighting large enemies. All it took was a combination of a couple different games - Devil May Cry and Shadow of the Colossus. The combat in Dragon's Dogma is fast and fluid. There are toooooooons of skills and abilities to learn from nine different classes [Called vocations in-game] to choose between. Once you hit a certain point in the game, you can switch your classes using Discipline points. Once you've bought a class, you have it forever. This game is very friendly when it comes to finding your niche. You have plenty of time to experiment.

So, you've found the class you like. It's time to go fight something big and scary. There are multiple options when you've found something large that wants to destroy you. You can stay back and ping it with tons of arrows or you can get close and slice it up with some blades. You can even go the route of spells. There are spells in this game that cover large areas. There are spells well suited to taking down large foes. There are lots of spells, okay? But a lot of enemies will require to jump onto them and hold on for dear life just as we did in Shadow of the Colossus. More often than not, you'll find yourself on the back of a large enemy, slicing away at a weak point or just preventing it from flying away with your weight - all the while your pawns down below are exploiting other weaknesses. Sometimes your pawns will even climb up there with you. Dragon's Dogma shows us what boss battles SHOULD be in games these days. There are no Quick Time Events to deal with. The game doesn't hold your hand. There is a huge monster with a few weaknesses. Everything is done beautifully.

The unfortunate thing is getting to those enemies. Some, like cyclopes or chimeras, are fairly common. Other large foes are far and few between, requiring tons of walking to get to them. Dragon's Dogma has no reliable fast travel system. This factor does not bother me, but has a lot of people up in arms. Some are even demanding DLC that gives us mounts or better fast travel. I think the weird fast travel system encourages exploration of the world, which is vast and lively. There are plenty of things to see and do - plenty of things that you'll miss out on with fast travel. The only way to fast travel in this game is using ferrystones and portcrystals - items that are rare as they are expensive. There is one portcrystal in the main hub of the game and another to be found in a far off place. Ferrystones range from 10,000 to 20,000 gold, which can really add up. On New Game+, you can buy more portcrystals for a whopping 200,000 gold. So fast travel can cost you an arm and two legs. You're going to find easy ways to get money by late game though. NG+ hands you all the money in the world, so fast travel isn't an issue later. You just need to earn it.

Dragon's Dogma is a game that rewards us with extremely satisfying combat [if a bit dull after slaying the same enemies in the same places over and over], epic and challenging boss battles that have never been seen done in such a proper manner before, and a dynamic world to interact with. You'll see your fully customized character and pawn with their equipment you chose in cut scenes. You'll interact with each other in combat by holding an enemy down and letting your pawn get some critical blows in [or vice versa]. You'll hire other pawns who could have more knowledge than you, helping you in your quests.

The largest and really unfortunate flaw is the story. As said earlier, it's a mess. You'll likely lose sight of what's going on since you'll spend so much time exploring or just getting these small tidbits here and there. What you will be getting is a satisfying experience with tons of gameplay. This game can easily suck the hours of your life away if you aren't careful.

I want to recommend this game to everyone, but I highly [Read: HIGHLY] recommend you go read more reviews and watch some gameplay. It really is up in there whether people love it or hate it here since it's an odd mix-up of Dark Souls, Devil May Cry, Shadow of the Colossus and maybe even some Skyrim. Play the demo, but don't play it expecting a proper example of the full game.

Dragon's Dogma is easily one of my favorite games of the year and I almost hate to say this, but I've finally found a game that is competing with Dark Souls. I know a ton of people will think I'm crazy for that, but Dragon's Dogma really does offer that much of a unique feeling. Its combat and boss battles are that well done.

As seen on Empty Apartment. We plan on bringing you content in our own words and style, from the view of an everyday gamer, just like you. Expect to see reviews and previews of newly released and backlogged games, our opinions on news and announcements, live streaming of Empty's gaming antics and much, much more. We're constantly looking for new ideas to bring content to you in interesting ways.

Source: EzineArticles
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