Dragon's Dogma

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Dragon's Dogma

Postby Adul » Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:55 pm


(It's a long video, skip through it to see some gameplay. You're better off seeing actual gameplay than the trailers IMO.)

Uhh, where to even start with this one...

Dragon's Dogma is basically Uncanny Valley - The Game. The game is a master at taking something familiar, clich├ęd, and/or tired, and have it feel just off enough for the player to be unnerved and intrigued by it. If I thought any of it was intentional, which 260 hours and 3 playthoughs in I still can't tell if it is or isn't, I'd declare its genius. But hey, regardless of intentions what works works, right?

Dragon's Dogma is pretty much a Japanese take on the Western action RPG genre as well as European medieval folklore. In other words, it's Gothic filtered through a Japanese cultural lens. When I first started playing it I didn't know its place of origin, but I still felt a similarity between it and Dark Souls, because the two games have some things in common despite being very different in terms of gameplay. Both games have unconventional and weighty mythologies for their fairly generic fantasy worlds, and these mythologies take center-stage right off the bat. Character dialog is weird and nebulous, which is only enhanced by the bad localization, giving the whole experience an underlying cryptic quality.

So the premise of Dragon's Dogma is that "the Dragon" destroys your village, flies off, and it turns out you're the chosen one who's destined to hunt down and slay the Dragon. Very generic fantasy stuff, right? Yeah, well... kinda. During his village raid the Dragon also killed you and ate your heart, which made you come back as an Arisen, an undead hero who is a natural nemesis to the Dragon. Confused yet? There's more. You as the Arisen also have command over a race of human-like creatures known as pawns, who are warriors from another dimension you can summon by touching an old artifact known as a Riftstone. Pawns seem to have their own personalities but no free will, as they will follow you into combat at your wish. All of this may or may not have something to do with the creation mythos of the universe, which may or may not be involved in the game's story at some point. And it may or may not be incredibly confusing when it happens.

You'll have your expectations subverted. Or not. ... I don't know what's real anymore. :unsure:

Dragon's Dogma didn't start out very strong for me, because it took me a while to see past the generic setting and flat characters to detect the game's subtle strengths, which tend to manifest as you play. An example for this, the combat in Dragon's Dogma is twofold: you have your generic, button-mashy ground combat with swords, spells, bows, etc. and then you have clinging. Clinging is what you do when you have a big boss monster that has a weak point on a location on its body that's not easily accessible from the ground. So you grab on to the thing and you start climbing. It's basically the boss fight mechanics from Shadow of the Colossus in a Gothic-like open world RPG. The game combines this with some basic four-person team strategy and skill combos for some fairly competent action gameplay. It's pretty fun, but as I said, when starting out you won't get to experience it for some time, because there are no big boss monsters early on in the game.

Character building is also pretty fun, you get to customize two characters: your main character (a.k.a. the "Arisen"), and your henchman who follows you everywhere (a.k.a. the "Main Pawn"). There are also two other pawns you can hire, but you cannot customize your other pawns, only your main pawn. That said, there's a lot you can do, you can set your gender, appearance, height, weight, class, skills, equipment, even some personality and behavior type stuff for your main pawn. Some of these attributes contribute to your character's abilities in strange ways, like how height and weight affect how fast you can run, how fast you tire, how much health you have, how high you can jump, etc. It's weird. My favorite aspect of character customization is, of course, the dress-up part. I'm willing to sacrifice a lot of usability just to look cool, and the game accommodates this obsession perfectly.

The game also has an optional online element, but it's not really multiplayer, since you don't play together with other players. Instead, you can connect to the servers to get some other types of player interaction, like how you can hire the main pawns of other players as your secondary pawns, if you wish. You can even search and filter among all the player pawns, if you, for example, want to use your buddies' pawns. And should another player borrow your pawn, you get some rewards out of it. There are some other online player interactions, but they're pretty spoilery, so I won't go into it any further. Suffice to say, this is primarily a single player game and you can play it online or offline as you wish without losing anything. Internet connection NOT required.

So yeah, that's about it. Dragon's Dogma: a game full of contradictions. Love it. You'll probably like it too. Unless you have something against open world action RPGs. Which I don't think many of us on this forum do.
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Re: Dragon's Dogma

Postby Dlichnum » Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:11 am

I've played this and really liked it. I especially like that both males and females have access to a lot of the same customization options, which is so refreshing in this world of video games that think women with hair shorter then their chins is biologically impossible.
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Re: Dragon's Dogma

Postby Adul » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:42 am

Yeah, character customization is great. They definitely went with the more options the better route. A lot of traditionally male or female clothing and armor options are available for both sexes too.

Oh, and I was reminded of a thing that I forgot to mention earlier: character animations. Moving, jumping, climbing, attacks, monster death animations, they all feel great. You can tell that these developers have very different quality standards in this area when compared to other developers we may be used to. *cough* Bethesda *cough*
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Re: Dragon's Dogma

Postby Spirited Treasure » Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:20 pm

I played this on ps:3 it is geeat fun!
I am but a fragment cast apart from the whole.
A bit of flotsam to cling to in the storm.

I am a fly in the ointment, I am a whisper in the shadows.
I am also an old old woman. More than that you need not know.

Step carefully. No path is darker than when your eyes are shut.
-Flemeth, Asha'Bellanar, Witch of the Wilds
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Re: Dragon's Dogma

Postby Mr.Shadow1234 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:16 pm

Yeah. lorewise it sounds a lot like the Elder Scrolls.

Have to give this a go.
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Re: Dragon's Dogma

Postby Adul » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:04 pm

It's fun, just be sure to give it at least a few hours. I thought it was kinda rough at the start, but then the awesomeness began to reveal itself.
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