Dragon’s Dogma, for all intents and purposes, is Capcom’s answer to Dark Souls. Set in a fantasy world, you are a normal villager who is attacked by a dragon. After it takes your heart, you reawaken as the Arisen, a sort of chosen warrior destined to defeat said dragon. And…that’s about it. There’s greater lore to the world fleshed out through texts and townsfolk, but the central plot is based around this dragon you won’t see again for dozens of hours. It’s lackluster and uninteresting, but the ending…ooo that ending.
What Dragon’s Dogma lacks in story it makes up for in gameplay. As a fantasy RPG, you have your standard mechanics of equipment, potions, leveling up, quests, et cetera. The combat can range from killing goblins on the side of the road to fighting large beasts like Chimera and Trolls. The cool thing about said beasts is that you can grab onto them à la Shadow of the Colossus. It makes for some intense battles. But this fight isn’t yours alone, as you can take up to three warriors along your journey known as Pawns. These skilled warriors can be dropped and traded via towns, or even in an online support system. It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s a cool idea nonetheless.
Not to be harsh, but this game looks as appealing as a brown paper sack. The environment may be large, but it’s not as populated and constructed in any mesmerizing way nor does it look beautiful. Graphics aside, the design is something to be desired. There’s plenty to do in this world, but unfortunately there’s few ways to get around. You can acquire warp crystal that allow you to warp to certain areas, but these said crystals are hard to come by which means you’ll be running…a lot. The music has some great atmospheric tunes and the opening theme sung by Japanese rock band, B’z, shouldn’t be missed.
Dragon’s Dogma is a valiant attempt by Capcom to enter the fantasy RPG market. Its combat could use some tweaking, but overall it’s a blast to play. Unfortunately the lack of story, an uninteresting world, and the encumbrance of traveling by foot make it hard to recommend. If you can look past it’s flaws, it may be worth a look.
Score: 2/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on January 30, 2013 via my Examiner account before the website shut down. Check out the supporting video review on the accompanying YouTube Channel, ReActionExaminer.