Welcome adventurers, to our review of 2012’s open world RPG Dragon’s Dogma. Your guides on this fantastic journey are; newly arisen hero, Kara and her trusted friend and ally, Koriand’r. Now please allow us to introduce you to our guides on this perilous quest…
Released by Japanese game company – Capcom in 2012, Dragon’s Dogma is an action role-playing game set in the mythical land of Gransys. You play as the Arisen, a hero on a quest to retrieve her heart (literally..not metaphorically!) from an ancient dragon named Grigori, whilst saving the kingdom from the many trials and tribulations that threaten its populace on a daily basis.
First order of the day is character creation, and in this Dogma stands proud above its peers. You have total control over the creation of your Arisen, gender, size and shape, hairstyle and colour, skin and eye colours, plus a myriad of minor adjustments, so that each and every Arisen will look totally unique. Not only do you create your own personal avatar, but also your companion for the adventure ahead.
The one feature of Dogma that most makes it stand out from a crowded RPG genre is the amazing A.I. that your created companion has, starting off as a blank slate, she will gradually gain a unique personality as you play. The way your main character interacts in the game world or deals with the arising situations has a dramatic effect on your chosen companion, plus other players from around the world can hire your ally (Pawns as they are known in Gransys’ lore), and when they return from adventuring in their parallel worlds she (or he) will have accumulated new knowledge and personality traits. I can honestly say that I am blown away by the variety of personalities that a pawn can adopt, you actually end up growing rather attached to your digital compatriot.
Another fantastic option incorporated into the game (fairly unique for consoles at the time) is the ability to take screen captures at any point in play, revolving the in-game camera and zooming in for the perfect action shot was something I found utterly addictive, all the screen grabs accompanying this review are from my own personal Gransys.
A vast scenic and perilous open world is yours to explore, Gransys’ continent takes in expansive sweeping plains, dense forests, broken down keeps and ancient castles, plus plenty of dank and dense dungeons. It’s an interesting hybrid of Japanese and Western style RPG, with open world exploration, a robust and complex fighting system and squad based tactics, plus some elements of an MMO thrown in for good measure, creating a unique experience for the player.
Adding to the replayability of the game are a total of nine different vocations the player character can choose to adopt. Vocations are the classes Dogma players can inherit, beginning with basic; Fighter, Strider, and Mage, later unlocking advanced classes of Warrior, Ranger and Sorceror, and finally the hybrid vocations Mystic Knight, Assassin, and Magic Archer.
Each vocation plays very differently, and has access to its own unique weaponry and armour, plus skill sets and animations change dramatically depending on character class, want to blitz your opponents with multiple whirlwinds or a devastating meteor storm? Sorceror is the class for you, prefer good old fashioned sword and board gameplay? then you need a Fighter or Assassin in your life.
Gransys is a dangerous place, a mammoth amount of varied enemies stand in your way, from the lowly goblin through to massive Wyverns, Drakes, Hydra’s and of course the Dragons of the title. The titular Dragons are the stars of the game with Red Dragon Grigori and the asynchronous online Ur Dragon being stand outs, and they are absolutely massive in stature making for fun though precarious battles.
Dragon’s Dogma has become one of my favourite RPG’s of all time, and I am still playing on a week to week basis, years after after its release. With a fantastic combat engine, myriad customisation options, almost infinite loot system and large and interesting world, let alone its unique online component, Dogma is a game recommended to all fans of fantasy fighting games. Welcome Arisen… your quest awaits.
Precinct1313 Rating: 5 Fire Spewing Dragons Out Of 5.