Preview: Dragon’s Dogma
In Dragon’s Dogma, you assume the role of a nameless hero who has a chance encounter with a dragon. Prior to his quest, the dragon tells him that he is the “chosen one” and after having his heart torn from his body by the dragon; death seems inevitable. However, some type of miracle occurs and the nameless protagonist is still alive. Following this, he becomes known as the “enlightened one”, or as the Arisen, and sets out to destroy the dragon, and retrieve his stolen heart.
Title: Dragon’s Dogma
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
Genre: Open World, Action RPG
Expected Price: R499
Release Date: 25 May 2012
Capcom has provided some brief details about the other characters in this game. Mainly, Quina, the nameless hero’s childhood friend, Edmon Dragonsbane who is the previous hero that defeated the dragon and brought peace to the land, and finally the Dragonsbane’s third wife, Aelinore, who is kind and detests the strictness of royal life. Some other characters have bios on the official Dragon’s Dogma site, with more specific information about the various attributes of the classes as well. There’s not much else on the story itself for Dragon’s Dogma, and many of the other characters. But a few more details about the gameplay of the game have been revealed.
You’ll be able to select for your character a variety of different vocations, or classes, to play with through the game. These are the: Fighter, Warrior, Mystic Knight, Strider, Ranger, Assassin, Mage, Sorcerer and Magic Archer. You also have gender choice and appearance settings available to you for those of us who wish to customise their hero to the tiniest detail.
What I really liked about the game from playing the playable code was the ability to switch between weapons, and change classes effortlessly mid-battle. It gave great dexterity to the game and the combat system as a whole. Especially since this a party-oriented RPG where your entire party is important. This includes three A.I. controlled members to which you can issue basic party commands. There is nothing too complex which I find to be better than trying to reinvent the wheel with the basic command system that most RPG fans are used to. The party itself in Dragon’s Dogma has one NPC and another two characters that are brought in from other people’s online games.
Yes, that’s right, your party consists of one NPC character from your own game and other ones built by other Dragon’s Dogma players. When borrowing these player-created characters you obtain an array of different party members with altered stats and specialties. This livens up the gameplay and may help you to take on increasingly difficult enemies for which your own NPC may not be suitable to challenge. What is awesome about this party structure is that you create two NPC party characters for other players as well, and once another player has finished with your creations you reap certain rewards from the exploits of your character creations. Essentially this benefits your run in the world of Dragon’s Dogma. In turn, the more you upgrade your character-creations the better your progression in the game will be. Yet this may be problematic if you live in a country with poor internet access or none at all. You need to understand that this not a true multiplayer component, but rather just an extension of the open world nature of the game, more so than anything else.
The rest of the battle system is still very much the same as in the playable code with the ability of your party to take on giant monsters, creatures and enemies with concentrated assault strikes. With one of the main features of the main character being that he can “grab” on to enemies, objects and NPCs, and with this feature can initiate more advanced attacks on bigger enemies in a style similar to that of Shadow of the Colossus and Capcom’s own Monster Hunter series. I’ve spoken extensively about the specifics of the combat system in our previous preview of the game’s playable code at rAge, which can be read here.
One forgets that this Capcom RPG is open world and it has been confirmed that the environments in-game will feature a large city with over 200 NPCs whom you’ll be able to talk to, with full voice options. The game will have anywhere from 30 to 100 hours of content depending on how you play through Dragon’s Dogma which ranges from normal play to hardcore RPG runs. I’m really looking forward to Capcom’s attempt at an open world RPG. It will be interesting to see how this game competes with the likes of Skyrim and Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning. It releases at the end of May. So look out for it.