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Capcom’s epic fantasy action RPG Dragon’s Dogma takes center stage and brings a world of freedom that Western gamers love with the action that only Capcom can deliver.
Capcom is a developer with a long history of action titles. It’s the companies bread & butter. Few developers have the pedigree in action titles that Capcom holds. Just one look at their catalog brings to mind memories of fantastic action/adventure titles like Devil May Cry, Strider, Onimusha, Magic Sword and some of their less known arcade titles like Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom.
With Dragon’s Dogma, Capcom is once again embracing the fantasy genre in a way the company hasn’t done since the much loved and very missed Breath of Fire series. (seriously, give me a new Breath of Fire Capcom)
We’ve been hearing about Capcom’s marriage of an open-world fantasy world with the studios action expertise for months now. It’s a title that Capcom is hedging their bets on will be a fresh take on the fantasy genre and also a project that Western gamers will grab hold to like FromSoftware’s brutally atmospheric and challenging Dark Souls. The past 3 months Capcom has been on a marketing assault with online streams and bringing Dragon’s Dogma to gaming events to let gamers get a better idea of what is shaping up to be something special for action fans and fans of open-world games like the Elder Scrolls series.
My Arisen taking on a Griffin. Burn Griffin Burn!
Earlier this week Capcom dropped a demo on the populous to get a small and I do mean VERY small taste of Dragon’s Dogma’s combat and innovative Pawn system. I’ll be honest, my first rush into the game was spent messing with the surprisingly deep character creation system. I spent a good 30 minutes just goofing around and seeing what the system was capable of.
To my surprise, Dragon’s Dogma passed the “I wasn’t beaten with an ugly stick’ test that most character creators seems to love to deal with.
My Pawn Allera. She carries a mean big sword.
While the demo didn’t really give me a chance to test out the Pawn system, it did me a chance to get a taste of the action one could expect when the full game drops next month.
Dragon’s Dogma feels arcadey and in a good way. Delivering a mix of Devil May Cry’s smooth and fast combat with a dash of strategic flair. No two battles have to be exactly the same with Dragon’s Dogma rewarding improvisation, something I discovered after my third attempt at the griffin battle. While just randomly striking at the mighty beast will eventually put him down, it’s really all about working with your Pawns (who thankfully have a rather robust AI) and focusing to make sure he can’t take flight. Having a Pawn light your weapons with fire changes combat allowing you to aim for his wings to ground him. It took more than a few tries to get those wings burning but once he was lit up like the 4th of July he came down harder than a sack of bricks.
Sadly both parts of the demo are over far too soon to let gamers really get a feel for the games exploration and Pawn system. Something that Capcom has shown in its stream events. Visually, the game is beautiful, showing off the development teams influences of classic 80s Dungeons & Dragons artistic style and Lord of the Rings. It’s classic high fantasy come to life animated wonderfully in HD. Personally, I think it’s going to be Dragon’s Dogmas awesome looking enemies and “Holy crap” moments that are really going to sell the experience. It’s a title I’m highly looking forward to; even more so now after enjoying the games fun combat. Just a small recommendation: go to the options menu and remove the onscreen controls, Pawn subtitles and the map. It changes the experience drastically. Playing with a toned down HUD not only enhances the games visuals but also lets you fully experience the games atmosphere. Trust me, you don’t need a constant stream of subtitles taking up valuable screen real estate while trying to take down a Chimera.
Busty wenches make an appearance, giving it that authentic fantasy feel.
Dragon’s Dogma releases May 22nd on PS3 and Xbox 360.