Dragon’s Dogma – E3 Preview

June 10, 2011 Written by Ray Conley

Capcom didn’t hold back any arrows when they fired away on their latest RPG demo of Dragon’s Dogma. Although there are plenty of RPGs to choose from, this particular dungeon crawler puts up a good fight to stand out with their fast-paced action sequences and strong narrative dialog.

In this demo of Dragon’s Dogma, I was given the option of choosing from two quests. With the quest that I selected, my male hero (I believe the other quest started you off as a female) was planted in a dark and dank cave, and I quickly made sure to let the enemy know who was their ruler of this territory.

Right off the bat, I noticed that the developers had done an impressive job with the amount of detail embedded in the environment as the cave had a great sense of age and wet decay. Adding to the immersion was the lighting effects of the soft glow from the lantern hanging off your worn leather belt, and the flickering torch lights that cast their orange hues along the damp and slick stones.

Character detail shined superbly down to the creases in the course fabric and the rusty chain-mail. However, I believe that level of sharpness among characters wasn’t exactly consistent when it came to NPCs or the enemy. Regardless, all the baddies still look satisfying when you’re placing them at the end of your sword.

Animations were fluid, and every combat ended with brutal satisfaction. You can change up your attack style by switching between quick swings or the slower heavy-handed haymakers if you can manage the timing. Grabs can also be performed which is then followed by a few options on how you want to manhandle your opponent. Amid the fast paced action, you will be able to see the health of your enemies with their health bar conveniently located above their heads.

After sending your foes to the earth from whence they came, you can replenish your character’s health and stamina by accessing the departmentalized inventory system and choose whatever healing snack is munchable.

However, there were a few things that were unsettling in regards to the combat. The idea of implementing a regenerative stamina bar could possibly cause you some unwanted headaches, especially if you’re putting up a fight against a major boss. As you’re desperately swinging at your giant nemesis, you’ll quickly discover that your ability to maintain stamina will likely be your undoing. When your stamina bar reaches zero, your character will be incapable of functioning – from running, walking, and even accessing your inventory to juice your thirst and refill your much needed endurance. While your character is “paralyzed,” the big and evil boss can turn you into his plaything in a matter of seconds, followed by consuming your limp and battered body as dessert.

At this point, Capcom’s Dragon’s Dogma holds tons of potential for those looking for a good RPG with its satisfying combat and flowing narrative supported by a cast of your teammate AI.