WeView: Dragon’s Dogma

When I played Dragon’s Dogma about six months out from release I didn’t like it. I found the controls confusing, the combat perplexing and was left feelingly mildly dazed by the game. In fact I walked away from the game with a feeling almost identical to the one I get when I manage to block an overzealous striker’s shot with my face, although I will admit that it was less painful.

All of this means it was probably a good thing that we gave the game to Dan for review; an article from me that simply said “I don’t understand” may not have been all that useful. With the game coming in at 7/10 it’s reasonable to say that Dan wasn’t the game’s biggest fan either, although he certainly found more to like than I did.

So just what did Capcom’s newest RPG do to earn that score? Well Dan was particularly enamoured with two aspects of the game, the boss battles and the game’s Pawn system. On the boss fight front he didn’t go into too much depth, being content to call them “pretty damn awesome.” He did add that he enjoyed the way that Capcom had thrown in random encounter boss battles if you strayed off the beaten track, something that does sound relatively interesting.

[drop2]Now, onto the Pawn system. This is probably the most interesting area of Dragon’s Dogma, although you can take that away if you simply boil it down to the phrase “AI companions”. Sure, there’s customisation in both looks and attack patterns of you main Pawn, one you’re given towards the beginning of the game, but that’s not all the unique.

No, what makes the Pawn system special is the ability to hire your main Pawn out to other online players. They’re still in your game, but they gain experience and knowledge of the environment with your friend at the same time. It’s an interesting concept, and feels like a fresh take on the use of online capabilities.

Obviously with a 7/10 score the game was going to have some issues, and amongst those were the dull characters. Dan complained that he wasn’t really able to form any sort of bond with his main character, finding him “just a bit lifeless,” and noting that “The same can be said of the majority of the characters I came across.”

He also found some performance issues with the game, citing “a fair amount of pop-up and some pretty major slow-down in places.” He also had trouble with the camera, complaining that “The camera can also completely lose the plot in some of the more intense battles, switching to some ridiculously obscure angle or zooming in far too close.”

Overall though, what Dragon’s Dogma did best was to excite for the possibilities in Dragon’s Dogma 2, something Dan commented on in his concluding remarks:

Dragon’s Dogma feels like the start of something big. It thrills and frustrates in equal measure, and whilst it’s not up to the level of those at the top of this genre, one can’t help but wonder what a Dragon’s Dogma 2 could be like if Capcom act on all the lessons learned from this game. An exciting thought indeed.

With Dan’s thoughts on the game well covered, it’s time to ask you what yours are. Whatever you think of the game, it’s time to have a bit of a ponder and write down what your experience of the game was in the comments below. Once you’ve taken care of that, remember to select a rating from the Buy It, Bargain Bin It, Rent It, Avoid It scale. Oh, and if you feel like having your comment included in Monday’s verdict article you’ve got till Sunday afternoon.



  1. I think the games alright, however theres no form of fast travel which kinda sucks since your going back to where you had to travel the castle. why. The pawn system is decent but its basically plain laziness to not bother having servers up for online co-op instead we’re forced with bad A.I that seem to rotate in limited Directions.
    Another thing seems to be the lack of variety of enemies.. Lizardmen are rather annoying to deal with as they take ages to kill regardless how great the weapon is. Having to fight bandits and goblins to me all the time gets so tedious.

    Dragons Dogma will pretty much have potential to be either used for ideas for the next Monster Hunter game which is obvious for MH4 with the trailers or it could be greatly improved on a next gen platform. Its a game worth playing even if it has some slight problems but its easily because of the limitations of the hardware its on.

    • oh shi.. forgot – Bargain Bin it, it seems to be still expensive but?

    • Umh.. There is a form of fast travel (the crystals) you find the first after a boss battle and then you can buy extra from the black market guy at your hearts (actually your pockets) content.

      Liardmen are hard to kill, unless you heed the advise of your pawns and cut off their tail first.

      Plus the dragons in this game are actually worth fighting and an endeavor not to be undertaken lightly as in some other game, which I won’t name but said games bears were more dangerous than its dragons.

      I would say buy it, but at this point in time it would pointless to seek it for the full price so its a bargain bin by default.

  2. I really, really, REALLY enjoyed Dragon’s Dogma. I’m a sucker for fantasy-like games, so this one drew me in straight away. It also has many similarities to Monster Hunter, another of Capcom’s series which i love, so this one was a no brainer for me.

    The lack of co-op is a little strange as it would have been simple to add it in. But that’s not what Dragon’s Dogma is about. It is the Pawn system that really makes this game shine. Being able to raise your own pawn, (almost like Pokemon!) and then to send them off for other people to use is an amazing feeling. Especially when they come back and you get a nice little message from some random person who liked your pawn, and sometimes a present too!

    It is also especially nice when you’re exploring unchartered territory, and your pawn will come out with a helpful hint, or even lead the way on a quest as they know where they’re going, due to having already been in that area when helping on someone else’s game.

    I love the free roaming aspect of the game. The world is very open for you to explore, and the game world is quite large. I’m not talking Skyrim sized or anything, but it still takes a good 20 to 30 minutes to get from the south of the map to the north. Even longer if you’re having trouble with monsters along the way.

    Exploring is rewarded as well. There are several areas that you don’t even need to go to in the game. However, by venturing in these places, you may come across armour, weapons, and even merchants who will sell you better stuff.

    Preperation is important, as if you venture out without sorting your party and weapons beforehand, you could run into nasty trouble in the shape of a dragon or a chimera! Those random boss encounters are so thrilling. There’s nothing like clinging to a chimera’s tail and repeatedly stabbing it while you’re being flung all over the place. Then, when you finally kill it, you turn around to see a massive dragon charging straight towards you!

    Don’t expect to be able to kill everything first hand as you’ll just die. You need to learn to run away from battles. Survival is key.

    In terms of story, i thought it was very interesting, especially if you play it all the way to the end. There are a few confusing aspects to it, like a certain bit with the Duke and Duchess halfway through, which doesn’t make much sense if you’re playing as a female character, but i won’t ruin it for anyone. :P

    If you’re a lover of fantasy games and you’re a fan of Monster Hunter, then i’d recommend ‘Buy It’. This game sucked me in right from the start, and i would not stop playing until i finished it. It’s not perfect, be aware of that now. You may not like how the game expects you travel the same areas quite a few times, and the fast travel is quite limited. But there are many, many quests to take on, so there’s nearly always things to be doing. This game will not hand feed you though, you need to find a lot of these things yourself.

    So yeah, buy it :D

  3. I only played the demo but i am very curious for the outcome, it felt like a more colourful Demon’s Souls which ain’t bad thing. Didn’t really like the camp-as-tits voices though.

  4. Amazing game.
    Bought it at full price and loved it.
    It wasn’t great at first, there are some aspects of the game that I wasn’t massively keen on. Like making sure you have a light source at night.
    Seems obvious, but go out at dusk with an unprepared party, you can end up in the middle of nowhere…unable to see diddly squat and surrounded by some rather unfriendly creatures. There are some harder enemies that come out at night btw!

    There is no fast travel at the start, no “wait” function like in Skyrim. No co-op, even though the game is literally screaming out for it and sometimes the game can dump a couple of BIG beasties on you at once. But that’s one of the things I really liked about it, it’s very random, literally anything can happen it seems!

    The endgame content that licks in when you “complete” the campaign is awesome too. I platinumed the game and have kept it for the upcoming expansion :)

    BUY IT.

  5. Best game I’ve played this year and in my top 5 of PS3 games.

    Easy to see it’s a marmite game though and most certainly not for everybody. Those can come to terms with its quirks and even find them as part of the charm will find a very special game.

    Having said that, encompassing all gamers, I unfortunately can’t recommend it as any more than a “Rent It”.


Comments are now closed for this post.