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Dragon’s Dogma

October 30, 2012

Before I started playing Dragon’s Dogma on my PS3, I tried it at a friends’ house. I was told not go out at night, not to walk off the roads, not to go exploring caves and catacombs, and honestly I was laughing at the warnings. Well, I was laughing until I was killed by a Chimera; first experience.

Afterwards I found out I could take three non-playable characters called ‘pawns’ with me, which was what I did; a balanced group to deal with everything. After traversing the lands for a good twenty minutes I stumbled upon something, which would lead to my first encounter with a large monster that killed me (you do get to fight a monster in the tutorial, but I’m not counting that).

The story so far is pretty basic: Dragon arrives at world, world is about to be destroyed. You decide to go, ‘Hey dragon. I’ll beat you.’ You become the Arisen, and people want your help. You get chosen to kill the dragon and save the land. Besides the main quest or story line you can pick up quests/jobs from local notice boards and this can range anywhere from ‘kill ten wolves’, to ‘kill fifty rabbits’, ‘escort a guy from A to B’ or ‘investigate a cult’. Now, this all sounds dandy, but finding those fifty rabbits is actually quite hard in such a large and massive world. The world, or your part of it, is surrounded by water, which is nice. Except that you can’t swim anywhere or the Brine will get you and you die…

This is where you go to summon Pawns

Dragon’s Dogma was released in May 2012 for PS3 and Xbox 360 and developed and published by Capcom. The game shares certain elements with other games, such as the open world exploration seen in so many western style Role-Playing Games, but also the class changing system, typically found in eastern style Role-Playing Games. The combination works out brilliantly, so you have your level, your class level and your pawn, of which you can have up to three. One of these pawns levels as you level up so, as you get to level thirty something, your main pawn is level thirty, though the other pawns you have with you do not go up in level with you, so every now and then you have to change out the pawn for a higher level. I’ve also found that my level twenty-four mage was better than a level thirty something mage: not only was the combination of spells better, the pawn also had better gear. Changing out is needed when you want to be a mage, a magic archer, ranger or warrior. You need to change. A party of four mages is fun until you run into that group consisting of eleven bandits who just so happen to be effective at killing mages.

Yep … I’m screwed

The music and the environment in the game are very nicely done and it’s extra satisfying jumping onto the back of an ogre to make it jump backwards off a cliff. Though at the same time, having a bandit firing arrows from a hard-to-climb cliff  is really annoying. I’ve died my fair share of times to the bandits, not because they hit insanely hard, but the areas you go to later in the game see you running into run into ten or more at once. Now, as a shield and sword fighter that’s not so bad, but when running with your all-wizard party, or if you get caught off-guard, you die. Though I have to point out that this is your own fault and a problem with game balance. The only thing I’ve found annoying in the game is every now and then when I’m carrying a corpse or barrel (or whatever I have in my hands at the time) and walk for a good while, they somehow disappear from my hands, as if by magic.

But besides these minor annoyances, the game is immensely fun and has drawn me in many times for several extra hours after saying, ‘I’ll just complete this quest’. And as well as that, the large environment and great music adds to an already addictive game.

Dragon’s Dogma is not a game everyone will love. If you are a fan of the Monster Hunter series, Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls, there is a good chance you’ll like this game.  It is easier to start playing than Monster Hunter and not as hard as Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls. It’s a very enjoyable game which I’ve spent many a day on, and I will recommend you to, at the very least, give it a good few hours of gameplay.

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