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Dragon's Dogma (Xbox 360)
in Game Reviews
Reviewed On: Xbox 360
Available For: PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
Genre: Role-Playing Game
Age: 12 (BBFC)
There's often a Dogma attached to the role-playing game. People feel storyline gets in the way of action, and menus hinder combat. Dragon's Dogma sets that rumour ablaze and offers the RPG gamer a faster paced experience almost anyone can enjoy.
An action RPG, Dogma makes combat strategic without slowing it down, calling for players to be both astute and quick-thinking. Take for instance near the beginning of the game when fighting a Hydra. A member of the team points out that the only way to kill it is by chopping off its head. You'll have to grab hold of it, shimmy up its neck, and attack it. Now this enemy is a hundred times bigger and attacking it at the base is useless. It's all about finding that weak spot.
Big beasts are not a rarity here, nor are critters in general. It's all about slaying for survival, for contract and often for story progression.
The fighting is action based and in real-time, with button presses utilising custom-mapped moves. As play progresses and enough experience is earned to acquire new moves, these can also be mapped to desired buttons for easy access.
Pawns will fight alongside you by offering some form of support. It could be physical or magical, but a good mix between both your pawn and yourself will produce better results.
Just as your main character can, your pawn will climb levels as they gain experience. The pawn can then be freelanced to others gamers, to help them on their missions. They can even be advertised on Facebook and Twitter.
The shopping system impresses me no end. For years we've been using checkout systems online when making purchases, and that's what Dragon's Dogma introduces. The total payable is tallied up by adding goods to the basket, and then paid for at the checkout. It's the sensible way to carry out a transaction.
The difficulty is set to 11, with the more rakish gamer becoming the product of impending doom, and dancing the inevitable jig of broken heroes. You will die – but you will want to continue.
The aesthetics of Dragon’s Dogma’s open world is not only pushing the Xbox 360 as far as it’s ever been, it’s also pushing RPGs in a brand new direction. It's big, revolutionary, fast-paced, and packs one hell of a challenge.
SCORE: 9 / 10
PROS: Inovative checkout system. Great graphics. Plenty to get your teeth into. A decent challenge. Freelancing your Pawn is an amazing idea.
CONS: It can sometimes be a little too difficult.