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A traditionally flavoured fantasy world, decorated with unintuitive online features and a meaty action game in the middle, Dragon’s Dogma will have you scratching your head as you try to figure out just exactly what sort of game you’re sinking your teeth into. Worry not, though; RPP connoisseurs will leave feeling full and satisfied after this hot pot of gaming goodness.
You play the Arisen, the human chosen by the great dragon to fulfil a destiny. It’s a medal you’d gladly wear with pride were it not for the dragonic heart transplant it necessitates. The exact details of this destiny and the Dragon’s Dogma’s story in general are reserved till the final chapter of the game. There’s a whiff of an epic somewhat seeping through the exploration and action of Dragon’s Dogma, but for the majority of the title you’re left in the dark as to the exact details of the plot. Moments of dialogue serve to remind you of the existence of the fantasy world and its characters, but they remain at a distance, never truly intertwining with the actions of your in-game self. So it is that you’ll be unemotionally killing villains whilst saving characters you couldn’t care less about.
Image of a small part of Dragon’s Dogma’s world map
The world of Dragon’s Dogma is vast and teaming with deadly villains. There’s a hard limit on fast travel which greatly helps to magnify the scale of the world and you can only designate the capital city and one other area to teleport to. All this means you’ll be engaging in combat often and many of these fights are going to hurt a lot as enemies are not scaled and resting places are few and far between. The good news here is that it makes finding items a real challenge and you’ll find yourself seriously considering whether or not to bother fighting off enemies in order to collect items. This decision making heightens the sense of immersion.
Pawns—the computer controlled characters that journey with you—can be designed based on an exhaustive customisation tool and you can select a pawn exactly to your choosing each time you visit a rift stone, choosing their class and abilities. You can also add specific pawns to a list of favourites. Pawns learn a variety of knowledge during their journey and will offers you hints at important points.
At times, Dragon’s Dogma can feel unnecessarily complex with its intricate systems and sometimes crosses the line between being a deep game and being a painful chore.
The central focus of Dragon’s Dogma is placed firmly on action, and most of your time will be spent firing arrows, hacking and slashing and fending off fiend after fiend. Successes in combat demands players to discover enemy weaknesses and to take tactical advantages where possible. The combat offers a great deal of variety. Very few RPGs have offered the depth and satisfaction in combat as Dragon’s Dogma.
If you’re looking for a fantasy world to get completely lost in then Dragon’s Dogma is for you. It’s not perfect and at times can feel laborious, but its sense of scale, truly enjoyable combat and depth are a banquet fit for a king.
Dragons Dogma Overall: 8.9 / 10
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