Well, you’ve done it. You’ve outsmarted the likes of the Qunari, saved Kirkwall and have become the Viscount to end all Viscounts – callo-calla-what fraptious day! – but wait, you’ve grown bored with not having dragons to slay you say? Need something to fulfill your dragon slaying fixes till the time comes when Bioware will pull back the lids on Dragon Age III? – well your quest is over dear mortals! There is potential in one little gaming hatchling on the horizon, and it’s name is Dragon’s Dogma.
Dragon’s Dogma is an RPG game produced by CAPCOM. Yep. The makers of some of the most prolific FIGHTING games have taken to the RPG arena – with this new IP title, and you know what? – it looks promising. There’s clearly a lot of aspects that I’m going to discuss here, but what you should know is that I’ve only played the demo for the time being. A demo does not a great first impression always make, therefore, keep an open mind and a reptilian, cold-blooded, open heart as I guide you through what may very well be your next gaming addiction.
Now the Dragon’s Dogma demo didn’t give any hints to the campaign. I didn’t feel like I learned anything about story or anything – but I did find on their website a sort of explanation for why your created hero embarks out into this dragon and creature infested world. It’s a little digital action comic and it clarifies a lot of the questions that I had while playing the demo:
Apparently you play as your created character who is a soul villager who stands up to this fierce dragon in a village called Cassardis. You stand up to him and the dragon, pretty much, calls you out. He steals your heart and goats you into finding him later in the game. You later awake somewhere safe, your scar from the dragon’s talon healed – you have become what’s dubbed as an “Arisen” and you must go forth and try to the dragon and seek vengeance upon it. Does that premise sound appealing to you? It did to me too, and this is what happened.
Here’s where things get juicy – the accessibility portion of our show – right?
Now I saw a lot of grand things, and I saw a lot of tweaks that may need to be looked at before final release, but alas, here goes – because I truly enjoyed my experience with this demo and I feel it needs to be shared:
- Text-based instruction perfect for deaf gamers. Most instructions are text based or visually noted, so helps deaf gamers with learning controls, etc.
- Character customization is robust and easy to use. Sliders for most changes, or just click on a predetermined face/body part/etc. makes for quick and simple customization.
- Party AI is actually really helpful. If you feel stuck they’ll direct you, pin enemies, etc.
- Lots of HUD displays [ Map, move notation on-screen buttons, etc. ] is a plus.
- Multiple classes lends itself to allowing a player to pick what control scheme may fit him/her best. If you feel like ranged combat would be more suitable so you don’t have to be in the immediate party attack radius you can choose to be an archer.
- Colors are nice and vivid, which will help for colorblind gamers – no harsh tones.
- Text is small and difficult to read for vision impaired players. Can also make it hard for deaf players to see instructions, etc.
- Physically impaired gamers will have a heart attack via the control scheme. 16+ inputs, and while there are at least 6 custom settings for button placement – you have to use L1 and R1 for attacks and defense respectfully and L2 and R2 for grappling an enemy, and or using special abilities. Highly complex controls, easy to get to know, hard to actually pull off.
- Camera angles. Fast paced gameplay lends itself to losing sight of enemies and party fast if you don’t keep your camera steady.
- Inventory system, while aware of it, is almost unnoticeable via gameplay. No HUD for it on screen makes for a hassle via combat sequences for the impaired.
This is only what I’ve witnessed so far, but Capcom has done a rather decent job at this game. Yes, there’s quite a lot of issues with it as far as accessibility, but they’re designing the game for console players. It’s only scheduled to be available for 360 and PS3 – and so like I’m used to seeing – the accessibility goes down via console play. I’m hoping at some point they’ll release a PC version that’ll allow more players to play it. I’m hoping for a lower screen inventory bar, a party customizer setting, some customizable control settings – shoot anything to give this game a bit of an edge accessibility wise.
I truly am intrigued by this story, and I’d love to see this game do well. I personally will probably be picking this game up when it comes out May 22nd. The game is unique in many ways, because it employs the use of party mechanics – so if you’re more of an RTS player you could effectively play as an overseeing-healer while your party battled enemies. I also found it amazingly intriguing with the grapple mechanics. You can ride creatures and stab them – how cool is that? The game is open world with side quests, main quests, and a slew of high energy battles.
You can check out Dragon’s Dogma right now on XBox and PS3 – and get ready to hunt some dragon May 22nd. Here’s looking at you Capcom – time to see what your RPG can do! I’ll most likely post a full review whenever I get a chance to get my hands on this nugget!
Happy gaming folks!