Dragon’s Dogma: A beacon to all RPG’s

With the growing number of under handed tactics, it’s hard to love Capcom. As for me, with some of my favorite games being made by them, it’s hard to hate Capcom. Like many gamers today, I’m very weary of the dlc which I purchase from the company but with titles like Devil May Cry, Monster Hunter and of course, Mega Man, I just can’t find myself to really hate them. They’ve been a huge part of my life, almost since I began gaming altogether. When two of their latest titles were shown, I was on the fence about Dragon’s Dogma but was utterly mesmerized by Asura’s Wrath. After the games were released, I felt the complete opposite. I was saddened by what little actual gameplay Asura’s Wrath featured. When I got my hands on Dragon’s Dogma, I was in awe! I took a chance on this title and for a while, really feared that I had made the wrong choice. Game in hand, I popped it into my PS3 and was greeted by one the best modern RPG’s.

Sabre tries to free his accompanying Pawn Morrigan from the grip of a Drake.

Obviously, many gamers shared my sentiment seeing as how Dragon’s Dogma has been picked up as a franchise. I really wanted this game to sell well. My love for Monster Hunter definitely helped shape my opinion of this game. Like Monster Hunter it featured huge bosses that I could now scale in a Shadow of the Colossus sense. I’m actually hoping that Monster Hunter takes a page out the book of Dragon’s Dogma and implements a similar system. Fellow hunters, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how cool it would be to hold on for dear life as a raging Tigrex flails itself wildly. Or am I the only one crazy enough to want to do that?

Griffins were rare beasts for Sabre. Their defeat was assured when they did show themselves!

A huge difference between Monster Hunter and Dragon’s Dogma is the fact that it is a story driven RPG. When it comes to RPG’s I can be very picky. The first thing I ask is “Can I make my own character?” I know RPG’s can feature their own set characters and still be very good but the ones that let you create your own hero or anti-hero increase the immersion factor incredibly. Not only did Dragon’s Dogma include this feature but utilized it in such a tremendous way. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that your Pawns aren’t the only customized characters that will impact another online player. If you’re curious as to what I mean, check out a new game plus play through.

This situation made me lament switching Sabre’s vocation when I did.

In a game that focuses on combat and slaying giant monsters, one would expect the story to suffer. Dragon’s Dogma proves this to be just a stereotype (and admittedly it is really). After completing the game, I found myself asking questions about the events the game sets into motion. Being an Arisen seems to be incredibly fascinating. The choices they are given impact not only themselves but the general populace as well. The story of the Arisen is the main story but not the only one; players are introduced to a sub plot focusing on the cult Salvation. Some in game characters from lands not accessible in this game even hint at possible plots for later games or expansions to explore. It is clear that the world of Dragon’s Dogma is a large and complicated one and that there will be many adventures that take place within.

“Bring it on!” Sabre growls as the beast approaches.

Of course every game has areas that need improvement but these areas are quite small in Dragon’s Dogma. The combat, while masterfully done, feels limited. I wish that, as a player, I could have equipped a few more skills to my Arisen. The classes are well done and split nicely but to force a player to choose only three of the many and varied skills a class can equip is just wrong. The second place the game could use a little help, and really this is only because the game was so well done, is that the areas players have access to leave one wanting more. On my third play through, knowing where everything thing was located was very helpful but a bit depressing. I wanted to see what else this world had to offer. This is actually a good thing if you think about it. It has been a long time since a game has left me wanting more. Right now, the only way to do so would be to do another play through or ten while awaiting the next in the series.

Sabre SEES what the Evil Eye did there.

Dragon’s Dogma is a shining display of what RPG’s should be. Before the release of this title, I would have said that the Elder Scroll series was the pinnacle. I adored Oblivion and really need to get back to Skyrim, but the two titles share a lot of mechanics. What I’m trying to say is that Dragon’s Dogma feels different, it’s refreshing. While I know I can count on Elder Scrolls for one type of experience, it’s nice to know I can find new and unique experience with Dragon’s Dogma. Besides, Elder Scrolls doesn’t let me cling to a dragon while it desperately tries to flee the death that it knows I’m about to deliver.