I of the Dragon Review: Should You Buy?

I of the dragon cover

I of the Dragon Review: Should You Buy?

As a role-playing video game, I of the Dragon has a premise in which the player takes on the control of the dragon. This game was developed by Primal Software in 2002 for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux. The possibilities are endless with elements of flight simulation, first person shooting, strategy, role playing, aerial combat and relentless action. Sadly, I of the Dragon only hints at the fun that might have been.

I of the Dragon Controls are not Intuitive

Dragon photo
Don’t rely Soley on the control system.

Raining death upon a player’s enemy from above is a great concept, even better if they’re a living, breathing, killing machine like a dragon. For a game like this to work players actually have to become the dragon. That will require a control system that’s flexible, deep and easy to learn. Unfortunately, I of the Dragon’s control system is none of the above. There is not enough flexibility or depth. While at first the directions of flight may seem easy enough (only because they are limited), players have to include the various attack combinations which can get confusing when swarmed by enemies.

The keypads and the arrows dictate direction but it’s as though players can only fly forward, left and right. They can’t dodge attacks from the enemy properly by shifting a little to either side. Players will have to bank hard which makes them lose their attack perspective. Although the controls are re-configurable on the keyboard it would have made more sense to implement the use of a joystick for more fluid movements.

More Than One Playable Dragon

There are three playable dragons. One is your typical fire-breathing variety while the other two breathe ice and acid. Not only do they spit out fireballs and other volatile rhymes, but they also are able to utilize magic spells to combat the evil hordes. While piloting the dragon, one of the most important aspects to keep track of is the altitude. 

The closer to Earth the more deadly attacks become but also the more lethal the enemy becomes. They will literally overwhelm the dragon at some points when it comes to swoop in. Players will need to swoop in to take care of some of the spawning nests of the evil creatures, as well as to feed. One of the more interesting parts of I of the Dragon is when the dragons scoop a mouthful of enemies for a nice light snack. Listening to the juicy chomping sounds and watching the resulting bloody mess as the dragons scoff their prey is a gratifying experience.

Room For Improvement in I of the Dragon

Different types of dragons
Dragons can come in all shapes and sizes.

Using the camera perspective from that of the dragon is very limiting. The limited peripheral view will make players vulnerable to attack from the sides. The auto-targeting is sometimes faulty in that it won’t always target the enemy that is closest. Another problem is that some of the missions involve land-based characters, not dragons. These missions just drag on in I of the Dragon

The landscape is barren for the most part but when players come across a tree, they’ll probably find themselves getting stuck in it. The first-person perspective is also terribly limiting. The interface and the menus are awful. They are confusing and difficult to navigate at the best of times. A severe overhaul is needed just to bring this game up to a comfortable playing level.

Last Words

If players look beyond the dated, simplistic graphics, the flawed mechanics and the poorly designed interface, they would be staring at some raw code. In other words, the game’s flaws can’t be overlooked. The only good thing to say about I of the Dragon is that it’s short and gamers won’t want to replay it. It might, however, inspire a developer to make a better version of this concept.

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