Review by GujinKami
"Ironically no Falling Action"
Dragon's Dogma is the new IP coming from the renown company, Capcom. This game can be compared to their other RPG adventure title, Monster Hunter. That is a simple generalization, however, and there are many key differences that make this a completely different experience.
The story gives you control of the Arisen, a fancy term for "chosen one" who must go out and kill the dragon that pillaged your village. It has your basic "Go to the main city, help out the ruler, get aid in killing the dragon etc." While the story is well told, there are moments where you could be asking if Capcom could have added more to it. Again, it's good, but at some points it feels empty. Still, nonetheless, it's a fairly told story, and unless you make it your job to point out every single main issue, you won't have much of a problem with it.
I don't judge games on sound and graphics, unless they're universally bad, but they're overall good in this game. The ambiance and sound effects you get from fights can make things tense, not to mention the audio queue's changing to something more heroic if you're winning a big fight, and sound being muffled and semi-muted if you yourself are nearing the end of your own life, not to mention that the graphics are good enough that you can tell what every object and creature are. It's not Crysis-quality, but still good quality nonetheless.
Combat feels like a simple masher at first, but as you thoroughly get into your own role, you can do multiple sorts of things, such as the Fighters being able to link their special attacks together with their normals, Striders having all sorts of crazy close-ranged flurries with a mix of range barrages, and Mages having simple-to-crazy spells, going from small single-target fireballs, to gigantic meteor showers raining down on your enemies. And it doesn't end there. Those are just the 3 basic classes. There's 3 more advanced forms of said classes, as well as mixes of classes that you can unlock later on, such as Magic Knight being a mix of Fighter and Mage, and and Assassin getting a whole lot of weapons at their own disposal.
While you're playing, you'll notice a troop of companions following you on your adventure. These are known as "Pawns" and while the main story will describe further how these companions will work, the general knowledge is you create your own pawn, making him look unique and stand out, and for your other 2 pawn slots, you rent out other pawns from other people online. Unless you go out of your way to make all your companions look alike, you will most likely always have a unique cast of partners traveling out with you.
Now, you look at the score, and then you look how much I'm praising the game, and I'm sure you ask yourself "Well this game sounds amazing, but 6/10? What gives?" and you have every right to question. As you're starting out, doing the main quests for the first time and such, it's a grand adventure. However, as you keep on playing, you start to see the repetition of the world, traveling place to place fighting the same enemies, side quests consisting of "Kill 10 x" or "Get 20 y" things start to feel the same, even if enemies to actually somewhat change and get stronger as you progress.
My main gripe with this game is how there's nothing to do when you beat it. End-game can be compared to Borderlands and the General Knoxx Armory DLC, where you're going to spend most of your time in that 1 area, and if you aren't roaming the main area killing and looting the same enemies, you'll be spending most of your time killing one of the end-game bosses again and again and again. If this were creatively done, it would have actually been fun to play through. However, by the end of the game you end up spending most of your time killing the same bunch of enemies again and again.
In most traditional RPG's, post-game, you fight to get stronger to fight stronger creatures, and follow that formula. In Dragon's Dogma, you fight to get stronger to fight the same creatures. There are better games to invest time in, and by the end of the day, your end result amounts more to seeing who's higher on the leaderboard, and less to actually creating a strong character.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 06/18/12
Game Release: Dragon's Dogma (US, 05/22/12)
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