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Dragons Dogma PlayStation 3 Review

Can this ambitious RPG really compete with the other big RPG's of this generation?

I was a little skeptical when I heard Capcom were making an RPG, but I decided to take it with a pinch of salt and see what they had to offer, since they brought in some developers who worked on titles like Resident Evil, Devil May Cry and Breath of Fire I was curious to see what the people with these different gaming backgrounds would create.
So here we have it, a typical RPG setup that sees your life turned upside down all because some bloody huge dragon decided he was going to kick up a fuss, a fairly common RPG issue, but one that is well proven to succeed nonetheless.

Dragons Dogma - CCL Tech - ReviewDragons Dogma - CCL Tech - Review

Avoiding the major issues of plot here, this is an RPG about exploration, questing, slaying beast, things you want to learn about by yourself the world of Dragons Dogma, but I can say that while the story isn't the best in the world, it’s better than most and definitely gives you enough reason to wander the lands beating the crap out of monsters and running errands for NPC's. Either way you're still looking at 40-60 hours game play.
With a broad selection of classes, character customization, enemies, weapons and armor and so much more, there’s plenty to keep hardcore RPG fans happy here in the way of customization and character development, the same can be said about your main pawn, what is a pawn you ask? Even if you didn't ask, I'm going to tell you anyway.
Pawns are the most important part of Dragons Dogma, its ultimate feature if you will. from early in the game you're given a main pawn, you can name him, pick his class, weapons, in fact you have as much level of customization on this character as you do your own, while he looks human, he is in fact from a realm called the fade, a curious set of creatures that love to follow orders and travel to our realm to act as sell swords, a little convenient if you ask me, but it’s as good an excuse as any.

Dragons Dogma - CCL Tech - ReviewDragons Dogma - CCL Tech - Review

You can also summon two support pawns from many locations in the game, or even just find them wandering around the game world acting as some of the NPC's, but this is where it gets interesting, if you're online all the support pawns are in fact other peoples main pawns that you can rent out, even while your main pawn is with you others can borrow him (doesn't affect your use of him/her) and while you're using theirs or they are using yours the pawn earns knowledge of the quests he completes, monsters he defeats and more, they can even be returned with a parting gift, rated and commented on, which others can see to decide if the pawn worth renting out for a while.
This is a great system, it means you have a party of 4 and have near total control over who you have with you in battle, need extra mages to take down a certain beast, or maybe more swords for slaying some goblins? Best head to the fade for some pawn shopping then. Fortunately if you don't have an internet connection, Capcom fitted the game out with 100's of pre made pawns to keep you happy.
Combat is brutal in this game, in Capcom’s own words the game is "Capcom hard", take that however you will, but on my play-through a slight mistake means certain death, as packs of wolves, giant trolls, hydra and a whole host of mythical creatures from the tiny to the gargantuan will tear you a new one in no time if you're not well equipped or combat efficient.

Dragons Dogma - CCL Tech - ReviewDragons Dogma - CCL Tech - Review

With the ability to slash, burn and bash anything in your path, plenty of steady level grinding, new techniques and skills to learn and even the ability to jump on the back of enemies while fighting them all helps to keep the action fun and exciting throughout this game, so another big plus point for Dragons Dogma there.
The game world is pretty huge too and at first it can be a bit slow paced walking from one location to the next, but some other methods of travel do pick the pace up a little later in the game, with a form of teleportation stone that you can purchase from certain stores.
Graphics wise this game looks and feels like a high resolution PlayStation 2 game at the best of times, which I guess is a bad thing in some ways although no completely.  While I played this game, I was reminded me of Final Fantasy XII in terms of graphics.  With the large open world at your disposal, which if I'm honest looks fantastic regardless of the fact that the textures do lack a lot of detail. This game is a massive nod to the grand RPG's that we saw on the PlayStation 2 era of consoles in more ways than one, which is certainly no bad thing.

Dragons Dogma - CCL Tech - ReviewDragons Dogma - CCL Tech - Review

So there we have it, a new entry to the RPG genre and one that I'm glad to see land in the top 10 chart sales last week, with a rich and deep world as any other RPG on the market it’s easy to see past this games sometimes bland graphics, shockingly awful speech animation and less than perfect voice acting because at the heart of it this game wins you over in so many other ways, well done Capcom, because if you love RPG's even a fraction as much as I do, then I can't recommend Dragons Dogma enough.
And all this is without spoiling what the last boss involves, and awesome would be an understatement but any more than that would be spoiling all your fun.