A few months back when Dragon’s Dogma launched I played the demo and came away kind or sort of impressed. The combat seemed fun enough and I was in the mood for a fantasy role-playing game. The pawn system was also intriguing, being able to create and share one of the characters I rolled sounded like something I would like to experience. So I decided to pick it up and give it a whirl.
Fast forward to last week, I finally found time to pop the game in and give it a shot. Boy am I glad I did. Not only am I having more fun with Dragon’s Dogma than any of the new games I received over the holiday, but it may be better than anything I’ve played this year. So yeah, that sounds crazy in a year where games like Journey and Walking Dead came out, and I’m not saying Dragon’s Dogma tops those games but I haven’t been this addicted to a game since perhaps Bioshock.
The game itself really does feel like Capcom wanted to mix Skyrim with Monster Hunter, and it totally works. The combat is really the selling point of the game; it’s fast, requires some thinking, and it’s dynamic. In my short time with the game, about say 10 hours or so I’ve had some of the coolest moments I’ve had all year. Whether it’s my pawn tackling a giant Ogre and falling off a 100 foot tower to both their deaths, or climbing on top of a Griffin, soaring in the air as I hack at his wings and force it to come crashing down in a ball of flames, the game is filled with “Holy Shit” moments that better games in the genre fail to muster. Another aspect of the game that needs to be praised is the leveling system. While typical in every way a generic role-playing game can be, the powers gained throughout the journey are paced in a way that feels like the game designers really considered where I might be and where I might want to go at every level I reach.
Sure, so far the plot is paper thin, and the voice acting is really terrible most of the time, but I can overlook those issues because the core gameplay is so strong. The game has its hooks in me and I’m having a ball.