Easter Eggs: Dragon's Dogma

By Marc Hollinshead, 3 years ago
Welcome to Easter Eggs, where the TA Team shines the spotlight on games that many gamers might have missed, perhaps hidden away behind the millionth copy of Call of Duty or FIFA. Much like a gamer who finds an Easter Egg hidden away in a game and proceeds to trumpet it from the highest hills and forums, the TA Team is going to be featuring these Easter Egg games on the front page for all to see.
The Role-Playing genre in games is very prevalent due to the sheer amount of choice we have. There is a huge variety and so depending on your personal preferences, you could probably find an RPG that is right up your alley. Want an immense feeling of exploration and the whole world at your fingertips? Then pick The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. How about a cast of characters that will have you so emotionally attached to them that you’ll forget they actually aren’t real? Mass Effect it is. Or maybe you want a challenge where you’ll be punished over and over again simply because you forgot to dodge one attack? Dark Souls is the game for you. What if you want a game that takes some of the best aspects of different RPG’s and combines them into a unique experience that feels both familiar, and yet completely different? Dragon's Dogma is what you’re looking for.

Logo pic


The Basics

As an RPG, Dragon’s Dogma has what you'd expect from the genre: an open world to explore, lots of mystical beasts, weapons and armour galore, quests, and not forgetting a main character who is the centre of attention to the entire universe. The game begins with your character going about their business in their home village of Cassardis, when all of a sudden, a gigantic dragon decides to attack the settlement in a rampage of destruction. Of course, being the noble person you are, your character tries to battle the winged monster, but to no avail. Grigori the dragon then plucks out your heart and kills you where you stand. Not the happiest of openings is it? Somehow, though, you end up miraculously surviving (despite missing a vital organ) and thus the “Arisen” is born.

Grigori 2


From this point on, you go on a great quest full of political uproar and giant monsters to get your heart back. It certainly won’t be an easy one and the story will reach a climax that you definitely won't be expecting. Dragon’s Dogma's world of Gransys hosts beasts at every turn and you will get the choice of which class you’d like to play as when the game begins to take down these foul foes. You may want to be the classic warrior, or go for a ranger, or the one every RPG lover knows and loves; I’m obviously referring to the mage. Once you progress through the game enough and gain more skills, more obscure sub-classes will unlock to refine your particular style, such as the mystic knight or the assassin. So from the outset, Dragon’s Dogma seems very generic in terms of the aspects it possesses, but it’s the new and unusual things that make it unique.

The Hook

The pawn system is what makes Dragon’s Dogma shine. You will initially start on your own and take a tour through the village of Cassardis to get you to grips with the basics. Eventually you will depart from there and create your very own pawn. Pawns are basically people who will follow you and aid you on your quest through the means of combat and helpful hints. The pawn you create will be a fully formed combatant with their own class, skills, gear and so on. This one will be with you forever so choose wisely! After creating your own pawn, you will be given the chance to take your pick from two other pre-made pawns from the "rift" or directly when you see them in your world. This is where the online element of the game comes into play as these are other player's own pawns that they have personally created. When you find a pawn that suits your needs, you basically hire them into your party for as long as you wish and they go gallivanting across Gransys by your side along with your created pawn. When the hirelings no longer provide decent service, you can replace them with other pawns that are higher level than they are. Hired pawns don't level with you, unlike your personal pawn, so the game encourages you to constantly switch up your party and try out many pawns on your adventure. If someone uses your pawn in their game, it doesn't mean that they disappear in your world; they just have another version of your ally! It sounds a little complicated, but it's a very interesting concept and adds variety throughout the game.

DD Easter Egg picture


Dragon's Dogma has been compared to the likes of Dark Souls because of they way in which it likes to make things hard at times. You won't be getting sliced up left, right and centre, but the game can be a tad difficult if you're not fully prepared. As it doesn't have a really accessible fast-travel option, you will find yourself running around a fair bit. In a way, that actually intensifies the experience as each quest results in a long and potentially treacherous journey even if all you're doing is fetching a random item. What makes this even more dangerous is how lethal it is to venture out at night. Unlike other games where night time only adds a visual difference, the darkness of night in Dragon's Dogma is another story. A lamp is absolutely essential if you stand any chance of surviving as you will barely see three feet in front of you without it. New perils await unsuspecting players if they explore Gransys in the darkness so you best come prepared. You could easily miss the path and walk straight into a horde of hungry zombies that will not hold back in feasting on your flesh. You will regularly find yourself racing to the main city as the sun begins to set. This sense of urgency causes you to plan what you do next in case the darkness grabs hold of you when in a gloomy forest. The again, why would you not run head first into an exciting challenge such as this?

Night


Dragon's Dogma definitely gives you that glorious feeling of triumph that many games lack today. When faced with a cyclops for the first time, I had a blast jumping onto its head and slashing away while my pawns came to my aid and hacked at his body. If you're lucky enough to face a drake, then you will have a long, tough, but extremely fun fight. The difficulty of the game edges more towards fun rather than frustration because the fights are just so epic. As you level up, you will clearly notice your character becoming stronger as enemies that used to be a big challenge end up falling to your blade as though they were just a measly goblin. With this in mind, the game does get easier, but if you push through to the end game, Gransys will become a death trap. Wolves become hellhounds, and bandits become undead warriors. Always be on your toes!

The Achievements

It's not a hard list by any means, but it does require a fair bit of concentration and dedication. This is because of the game's design and quests being easily missed. The Hero is one to watch out for due to these missable quests. Guides will come in very handy. Typical of an RPG, there is also ton of loot to be found. The Well Equipped achievement will have you looting every corpse and finding every merchant so you can accumulate a total of 350 pieces of DIFFERENT armour and weaponry. As there is no way of tracking this, you will have to be careful so you don't miss a vital area or seller. The Messiah is the epitome of Dragon's Dogma fights because of how much of an effort this particular boss is. At least two playthroughs are needed to get the full 1000G, but I've had it sitting in my trophy case for over a year now and I can definitely say it was worth it.

Golem fight


The Stats

Just over 20,000 TA'ers have sought out Gransys and what it has to offer, and 1,894 of those people have completed it (including me). Like I said, the achievement list isn't hard by any means and so the game sits at a not too high 1,886 TA score.

Our community has rated Dragon's Dogma at a very solid 4.2, while the Metacritic consensus reaches a slightly lower, but still solid, 75.

The Price

For U.K gamers, Amazon is selling the original copy of Dragon's Dogma for just short of £16. The re-published version of the game with the new Dark Arisen content is on the market for a little more at £19. Those of you in America can get the original version for $29.99 brand new, and Dark Arisen can be claimed for $39.99. It may be higher in price than our last Easter Egg but it's still totally worth it.

The Verdict

Dragon's Dogma is a must-have game if you're a fan of RPG's. While retaining core elements of what we know from the genre, it brings a whole new set of mechanics and unusual aspects to the table. If you aren't an RPG fan, then you may struggle to get the same enjoyment out of this as I did. Nonetheless, the combat alone makes this a title worth trying out at the very least. I have never played the Dark Arisen content of the game and so cannot comment on that. Rest assured, though, that it will give you even more Dragon's Dogma fun as well as a few improvements on the original, including easier fast-travel options.

The biggest downside of the game is that it has ONE save slot only. Once you've made your character, that's it. It isn't gamebreaking, but you may have to watch out in a few places. This didn't spoil the enjoyment on my end so it shouldn't ruin it for others either. Bored of the same style of RPG that keeps getting churned out? Then become the Arisen and go on a quest to claim back what rightfully belongs to you. If nothing else, then at least do it for the awesome main menu theme!

Ur-Dragon


If there's a game you'd like to see featured in Easter Eggs, be sure to let us know in the comments!
Marc Hollinshead
Written by Marc Hollinshead
To summarize Marc in two words, it would be "Christian Gamer." You will usually find him getting stuck into story heavy action-adventure games, RPG's and the odd quirky title when he isn't raving about Dark Souls and Mass Effect. Outside the world of gaming, Marc attends and helps out in his church on a regular basis and has a not-so thrilling job in a supermarket.