Dragon’s Dogma has been a game on my radar for about a year now as “The next Monster Hunter” within my mind. However, this theory was soon proven false by Capcom. Within a few months of its release, it was confirmed that the game wasn’t to have any co-op whatsoever. Of course, I was baffled. “How the **** could you take co-op out of a game like this?!” is what I thought for about a week prior to finding that out, when actually, I found this game to be slightly better than Monster Hunter -- at least when it comes down to being a game that can be played alone.

As for the good things about Dragon’s Dogma: Right when you begin playing the prologue stage, you are thrown right into the intenseness of the game. There’s no cheesy introduction, no attacking inanimate objects, and definitely no boring guides that keep the player wondering when the fun is going to start. You even have to go against one of the games tougher enemies’ right at the end of the prologue and kill it. Right after that, you make your character and pawn to go up against ANOTHER massive enemy before the game even truly gets started. Though the second massive battle is relatively short, it’s still pretty awesome to experience so early in the game. 

The games controls are fairly simple to remember, especially for the fact that you can choose to have your controls displayed on the screen at all times. While they’re there, they don’t seem to get in the way of what you’re doing and actually do more help than harm. Along with the controls follows the games combat, which I must say is definitely what makes this game tick for me. With a wide selection of vocations (classes) to play as, numerous skills to unlock and many enemies to face, one may find themselves hacking and slashing at just about everything with a pulse to get experience. 

While on the topic of combat and enemies:  Aside from all of the enemies in the game being very well textured and animated, they also each come with some kind of strategy to defeat. These strategies can consist of attacking weak-points, using a certain kind of element with your weapon, killing the leader in order to make the rest retreat and more. You can also grab onto your enemy and technically climb on them. This is one of my favorite features of the game and definitely comes in handy against quite a few of the monsters.  Oh, and before I forget – This game will serve as quite a challenge for the majority of players. It’s not too hard, but definitely not a walk in the park either.

This game offers a lot to see, and a heck of a lot to do. So much in fact, that simply following the main story will make you miss a large percentage of the games content. My first playthrough was about 50 hours long and I apparently haven’t even done half of the side-quests or even seen a few of the enemies in the game. Just to prove how ridiculous this game can be, it took me about 30 hours to even see my first deer. Unfortunately, when I found my first deer it attacked me, so I ended up killing them all from that point on. They had it comin’…

Pawns are the games answer to co-op gameplay. Though they may not actually be controlled by human players, they are all (for the most part) created by them. Just about every pawn that you find will have been created by another player from their appearance, name, and even abilities they possess. Each can be used by you to assist in combat and are actually quite helpful in more ways than aggressive ones. Pawns gather knowledge from their adventures (with you and others) that can help the player out with strategies, landmarks, and even warnings of what’s to come. In the event that you get sick of seeing your pawns subtitles appear on your screen or even the short cinematics that show them doing something of little importance, you can always turn them off just like the on screen controls.

Dragon’s Dogma has an amazing story as well, despite there being so many quests to take one’s mind off of it. This is especially true towards the end of the main quest-line, where “The Final Battle” not only takes you through one of the most epic moments in gaming history (in my opinion), but also proves that looks can be deceiving. What I mean by this will stay something that I’m to know and you’re to find out, unless of course you’ve beaten the game already. The game also has a New Game + mode, which is always welcome and is always a huge plus within a game that has so much to see, do, and collect.

This isn’t really a bad thing, but for some reason Dragon’s Dogma only allows you to have one main character. The reason that it’s not really a bad thing is because; you can change your character’s vocation (class) and edit their appearance (skin/hair/voice) just about whenever you want as long as you have the gold. If you wish to change your character’s (or pawns) gender, you must go to a vendor in the game known as the Rift Shop and buy a ticket to do so. Unfortunately, on your first playthrough you’re only allowed to buy one of these.

As for the bad things about Dragon’s Dogma: I personally feel like the designs and animations for the human NPC’s are definitely lacking compared to the monsters. This especially shows when viewing in-game cut-scenes or when talking to them. 

Having to run great distances between some quests may be seen as influencing adventuring, but I think that it can be quite annoying at times. What makes it the most annoying for me is the fact that the same enemies tend to spawn in the same spots every time, making exploring a rather repetitious process. Exploring is also quite annoying because it means you have to travel with your pawns. Though they are really helpful, they can also be incredibly annoying at some points in the game due to their repetition with certain hints or all of them finding the need to talk at once.

Overall, Dragon’s Dogma is a fantastic game that’s definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for something unique, challenging, and will last you quite some time despite its minor set-backs.  8.5 out of 10.  

If you liked what you saw, be sure to follow me on my Youtube Page (TrueFreakinGamers) or Twitter (thatSTERLINkid) to share your thoughts on whether you agree or disagree! Thanks for reading my review. 

(review based on PS3 version)