A magnificent RPG is to be had in this open-world fantasy adventure that is Dragon's Dogma! Though rough around the edges, Dragon's Dogma has, in alot of ways, similar features but unites them in a unique way (If that makes any sense). Alot of elements that can be noticed such as: The fighting style, large scale battles, and toughness that of Dark Souls, or the massive open-world element that of Elder Scrolls are the reasons why this game is so intriguing. Even a Lord of the Rings feel as you venture the world with up to 3 other pawn characters. And with new innovation features such as the Pawn System, it allows for a better sense of social interaction amongst friends and gamers alike. And the familiar and innovative elements of this game are what make it stand out and truly marvel as an RPG!Story
The plot of the game is centered around a mysterious Red Dragon whom you engage in battle with at the beginning of the story. Despite your courageous attempt to protect your fishing village that is being attacked, the dragon them eats your heart and flees. Now is there you are reborn, Arisen, destined to defeat the Red Dragon, retrieve your stolen heart and unveil the mysteries surrounding that event. As you progress through the game you'll be able to create a unique Pawn who will be the Mac to your Cheese, the Peanut Butter to your Jelly...pretty much your right hand man/woman. They will endure all the hardship you experience with you and never leave your side. They'll even be able to help other players if need be..which will be described later!Enemies & Environment
Almost as soon as the game starts you'll be exposed to the MASSIVE open-world and all that the game has to offer. This game is, in no way shape or form, linear. From the moment you leave your hometown you're free to go wherever you want, do whatever you want, and however you want with whomever you want! The game also feature a wide variety of monsters and enemies, each appearing in certain setting and environments. Goblins, wolves, bandits, harpies, trolls, chimeras, and wyverns(Baby dragons) are just a FEW of the many trials that you'll face which keep attention whenever you explore undiscovered areas of the game. As for boss battles, these are a treat for all. New features allow for scaling large creatures in ways such as grasping a griffin as it takes to the skies and continuing to hold on to dead live but attempting to chop it's wings off as well. Very innovative and creative as many enemies major and minor can be subjected to this feature.
The landscape and scale of this game is what I've personally spent 30 hours of the gameplay exploring and they're just sights to stop and gaze upon. Caves, mountains, ruins, valleys and giant towers are some of the setting that are waiting to be ventured and are what compels me to keep discovering the next best thing. And with over 150 locations in the game, your exploration and discoveries will be vast and intriguing from the first footstep.
Another great feat to the game is the free flowing, real-time fighting mechanics that are simple and grow more constructive as you level up. As you level up you'll earn experience which will level up you and your main pawn. Also included are discipline points that are earned from a percentage of your experience points. These points are what are spent when purchasing skills or new vocations(classes). As you start the game you can choose between a fighter, strider or mage vocation and as the game progresses you can choose from hybrid vocations mixing up techniques and battle styles. And with classes come skills abilities! Based on your class you'll be able to choose specific augments and skills which keep the fighting fresh and keep attention to the gamers.Gameplay & Features
Other than the natural elements that are feature in traditional RPG's the most innovative feature in the game is the Pawn System. When you start off in the game you'll be sent to The Rift, an alternate world where pawn nomads wander. They are mainly used for their combat skills yet lack free will and emotion. Yet they are destined to aid the Arisen whenever needed. It is there that you'll able to create your right hand man/woman, or Pawn. This created character will be customizable and be shaped however you want them to be. At that point the two of you will venture and fight, defend and support you with their life. With time you'll be able to give them a class and fully develop them as you see fit. Mixing up your pawn's vocations amongst one another can create different variation of skills and techniques.
As for online use: During online play main pawns created by online players become support pawns and are registered by the servers to be used in The Rift. Here you can search for other players pawns based on vocation, skill, gender, level to help you in your realm, or world. You're only able to recruit 2 support pawns at a time to help you if you're struggling with enemies or aren't accustom to certain areas that they have knowledge in. This is known as renting pawns.
Now as payment for such pawns you'll be paying in Rift Crystals. This form of currency is obtained by completing quests in the world or finding rift fragments. The price of Rift Crystals varies based on the level and experience of the pawns you wish to recruit. However, if you have a friend on your friends-list with a pawn you wish to recruit, the payment is FREE! And if it's free, it's for me!
Another form of indirect of payment also applies and very intriguing.
During online play, data is transmitted and received whenever you stay at an inn. If your pawn is being downloaded by another player since your last stay, they will bring back gifts including new knowledge on areas and quests not yet completed or ventured, items and equipment, experience and even Rift Crystals. So this is a passive payment if anyone downloads your pawn (Vice-Versa). Pretty awesome no?
Now that we've heard all the positive and intriguing aspect of Dragon's Dogma there is of course, the not so sunny side of it. A few minor and major faults of the game are what make the game rough around the edges and give skepticism to unsure gamers. With it the following shed some light on those issues.Loading screens
In this game the loading screens almost always pop up when transitioning into a cave or a new city and just aren't my cup of tea when I'm in the zone. Another form of which every time the game starts up you are prompted by the DLC board which gives updates on upcoming packs and DLC. Nothing to big but it does get a big annoying.No character/player relation
Vague character, story, and quest lines. With which you'd think these aspects would be an RPG's strong points. Other than creating a character there are no connection between character and gamer. As many we'd all want to care for them in some form but little is to be had here.Lacking story
The story of the game is quite interesting at the start of the game, however with the massive MMO like world the central theme of the game goes out the window for the next several hours due to exploration and such. None of which are cross linear to the storyline.Remedial tasks
Lastly, quests being how money is to be made are redundant and remedial as several are recycled, and hold no true value to the games core.Conclusion
As much as it is great, Dragon's Dogma is a peculiar game by nature. Brave ambition and intriguing innovation is where the game shows it can stand as a fantastic action RPG. With the amazing fighting style, vast open world, and pawn system, the games gives gamers something that is familiar and new at the same time. With drawbacks, that are usually the marvel of RPG's the game is left feeling somewhat unpolished and leaving more to be desired. Dragon's Dogma is a challenge and great if you're in for adventures and if given the chance, the clash of new and old can be what make it loved by all! Thank you for reading!Dragon's Dogma Trailer