By Nathan Grayson on February 28th, 2013 at 10:00 am.
Divinity: Dragon Commander‘s title used to confuse me. I couldn’t help but wonder: do I command dragons, or am I a dragon who’s also a commander? Turns out, the answer’s a resounding, fire-belching “both!” The strategy spinoff of the semi-traditional fantasy RPG series sees you corralling mad steampunk armies and strapping into the jetpack (yes, jetpack) of a mighty alpha-reptile. My brain’s typically disparate tactical and dragon lobes are lighting up in a fashion that best resembles one of those cheapo party disco ball things. I am, in other words, quite interested. Have a lizardly look for yourself after the break.
In spite of its scaly exterior, Dragon Commander actually looks to be a fairly brainy mixture of large-scale RTSing, political positioning (complete with snazzy suit-wearing dragon people), and world-map-based conquest. In fact, there won’t even be a single-player campaign in the traditional sense. Larian explained that Dragon Commander’s length will “depend on how you play the strategy map,” because “this is not a strategy game in which you have premade missions.”
Further, it sounds like the aim is to push players’ strategic smarts to the limit, but with the caveat that a tide-turning dragon barrage is always waiting in the wings.
“Without a strategy, you’ll probably not make it to the fifth turn – the game is punishing if you do not think things through. If you have only land units, and the other guy has air and sea, you probably have a problem. Unless your dragon happens to pack the right skills…”
Dragon Commander, then, is quite an ambitious probing of the Divinity series’ lore, and of course, that leaves heaps of extra room for error. I’m pulling for all the moving parts to click together, though. Interesting RTSes are in fairly short supply these days, and honestly, the world of Divinity’s distant past looks worlds more intriguing than its present. Which is really a more elegant way of saying I want to dragons to wear adorable clothes. Suits, hats, bow ties, corsets – all sorts of them. And yes, jetpacks count as clothes.
Adam commanded a dragon or two earlier this week and will relay his thoughts on the experience soon.