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Dragon’s Dogma is a game that I had barely heard about before E3, from the trailers I had seen I thought it looked possibly like a cross between a Demon’s Souls style game and a Monster Hunter type game. Instead what I had a chance to play turned out to be different than either of those games.
For the E3 demo you initially choose between two different classes, either the Fighter class or the Strider class. I choose the Strider class after watching another player go through the Fighter class. I was amazed right away with how solid the game feels for something still in development, the graphics are vibrant and sharp and there were multiple enemies and effects going on with one very large enemy Griffin flying around without any slowdown at all.
You control one character while the computer controls three AI teammates, and while there was no one around to really answer questions about the game, I’d assume that in the final version of the game that these characters could be controlled by other players. At least I would hope so, the computer AI was very efficient at healing and performing their class roles well in combat but being able to play with actual people in a game like this could make this a really amazing RPG. It’s not like there are a flood of co-op fantasy games out there.
The game is also unique in how it handles the combat for the fantasy genre. There’s a light attack, heavy attack, and the ability to modify the attack with a should button. The fighting is fast, fluid and closer to an action heavy game than a dungeon crawler. The Strider class also has the ability to shoot arrows from a distance, and the class is a whirlwind of knives for melee. There were some goblins in the level that were quickly dispatched, then the Griffin attacked. I was attacking the Griffin while being healed by the AI while the Fighter character distracted it (in MMO terms, it was managing the aggro) while I’d rush it. I tried the grab button near the Griffin while fooling around with the controller and ended up attached to his leg. I climbed up the Griffin’s back Shadow of the Colossus style while my stamina drained. Then the Griffin TOOK OFF with me still attached. It landed again and I was on it’s shoulders so I started stabbing it in the spine, which drained the health a lot faster than just hacking at it.
That ended the demo, but Dragon’s Dogma went from being a title I’d barely heard of to something I am eagerly anticipating. Keep an eye out for this fantasy title being released in 2012.