Dragon’s Dogma Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
Dragon’s Dogma Box Art
System: PS3*, Xbox 360
Dev: Capcom
Pub: Capcom
Release: May 22, 2012
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Blood and Gore, Partial Nudity, Suggestive Themes, Violence

Stamina plays a critical role in combat, since every power in every class feeds off of this resource, and being overburdened requires skills to use up even more stamina. Your hero will show noticeable signs of fatigue as the energy bar decreases, and will be forced to stop and catch his or her breath when completely depleted, a significant vulnerability in a heated battle. It's just another element in a robust and challenging combat system against some incredibly imposing monsters such as ogres, wyverns, griffons, and hydras, just to name a few. Each enemy uses its own specific tactics, and most are extremely aggressive, so finding the weaknesses and exploiting them requires a sharp eye and a quick mind, as well as weapons capable of causing meaningful damage, and armor able to hold up under heavy blows.

Dragon’s Dogma Screenshot

We finally come to the multiplayer aspect, which has been a highly advertized feature from developer Capcom. You can have three companions, called pawns, join your campaign. One is created by you and levels up like you do. The other two are chosen by travelling through the Rift, and are either computer-generated allies if playing offline, or crafted from other players if playing online. Each pawn is unique in that they are forthcoming with tips and knowledge from their conquests in that particular player's world, creating a dynamic scenario no matter where you travel. However, they cannot be leveled, and thus you'll never get to keep the perfect crew, forced to enlist new characters as you progress. It may be more than most RPGs of this scope accomplish in the multiplayer department, but you still are stripped of being able to actually play the campaign alongside a friend, which is a shame.

Dragon's Dogma suffers most in the technical department. There are far too many texture pop-ins, and characters will fade in after you've approached due to slow loading. The character models are not as detailed as they could have been, nor do they have any semblance of believable lip-synching in their presentation. Listening to the multitude of various music styles, from lyrical rock tunes to soft synthesizers, certainly leaves an impression, but many times the music just feels out of place. And again we are presented with a mute hero, a trend in this genre that infuriates me.

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Saying that Dragon's Dogma takes elements from various other Capcom titles and fuses them into a Western RPG would be missing the point of what should be considered a unique action fantasy in its own right. The world is one of the first I've seen that truly implores you to give it the proper respect rather than brashly dive into the unknown and expect to emerge unblemished. The story and characters may not drive you to a sublime world of fiction, but the action more than makes up for it, with character and equipment customization that will keep you tweaking and enjoying yourself the entire time.

By
Sean Engemann
Contributing Writer
Date: May 23, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.3
Graphics
The mammoth monsters are beautiful yet imposing, and the world full with the scale we were hoping for. The character models and animations needed some more polish though.
4.6
Control
Some of the smoothest and responsive controls in any RPG, but a plethora of inputs to study makes for a steep learning curve.
4.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music is nicely put together (if not diverse in styles), as are the sound effects. However, most of the voice acting is abysmal, and the rest only passable.
4.6
Play Value
Considering this game could take you well into the hundreds of hours, there's more than enough content. The multiplayer aspect is interesting, but not as full-fledged as we'd have liked.
4.4
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Highly Stylized Action Combat - The creators of this game were responsible for the action hits Resident Evil 4 and Devil May Cry 4.
  • Fight With Ability - The soul of combat comes down to how the game is played, where you strike the enemy, and how you react to their attacks.
  • Accessible Depth - Bringing an unprecedented level of depth to the action genre, every decision has an effect on gameplay in an intuitive way that does not require micromanagement. The weight of your weapon, the material of your armor, even the length of your legs will play a role in how you fight your battles without interrupting the flow of the action.
  • Epic Adventure - Dragon's Dogma is built from the ground up as an action experience for consoles with a continuous, epic storyline that stands alone in style, scope, and substance.
  • Open World - Utilizing Capcom's proprietary MT Framework engine and the groundbreaking graphical styles and lighting effects used in Resident Evil 5 and Lost Planet 2, Dragon's Dogma expands the environment to create a vast, richly detailed world, ripe for exploration.
  • A Rich Population - In addition to interacting with hundreds of fully-voiced NPCs, you'll be able to fight a large variety of creatures, from goblins to griffins and dragons. Each enemy requires a different strategy and provides a unique experience.

  • Videos / Game Trailers
    Dragon's Dogma - Griffin Battle Trailer - click to enlarge
    Griffin Battle Trailer

    Screenshots / Images
    Dragon’s Dogma Screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon’s Dogma Screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon’s Dogma Screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon’s Dogma Screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon’s Dogma Screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon’s Dogma Screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon’s Dogma Screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon’s Dogma Screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon’s Dogma Screenshot - click to enlarge Dragon’s Dogma Screenshot - click to enlarge

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