Dragons With Jetpacks – Divinity: Dragon Commander

By Nathan Grayson on February 28th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

HELP. EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING.

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.

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36 Comments »

  1. RedViv says:

    Magitech-enhanced dragon jetpacks, strategic campaign map, and a bit of a Battlezone vibe? I want to spend human Earth currency on this!

    • The Dark One says:

      Still not perfect unless, like Just Cause 2, you can mod in a pair of sunglasses.

    • yurusei says:

      A librarian dragon-woman and they had that Undead female wear lipstick in the video. If those are not worth my human pennies I dunno what is.

      • ninnisinni says:

        Oh god, I read that as “my human penis”… needless to say, I was very relieved to see I was wrong!

        • caddyB says:

          Why what’s wrong with having sex with lizards?

          • ninnisinni says:

            You are of course right, and I understand I am being needlessly conservative in this.

          • sinister agent says:

            I once dreamt about sex with a dragon. It was surprisingly delicate. And no, I can’t quite believe that I’m able to say this on RPS and know that it is in fact relevant. Some kind of barrier has clearly been breached, and I am frightened.

        • KDR_11k says:

          You may be required to use your dragon penis though, to produce heirs for political purposes.

      • Snargelfargen says:

        I didn’t even notice the lipstick.

        This looks great,

      • caddyB says:

        You can actually marry that undead princess for a political alliance but be they are very religious and might be against some of the things you might want to do.

    • Lev Astov says:

      Agreed, I basically cannot seem to throw my money at the screen hard enough right now. This is pressing all the right buttons so far.

      The only thing missing from Div2 was being able to roast the stupid ground enemies, and it looks like this has no such restrictions.

  2. Zeewolf says:

    I am looking forward to this. I mean, sometimes the games industry seems like a disaster-zone, with all the nastyness surrounding microtransactions, endless sequels, dlc, games as services … and then someone makes something like this, and it’s all okay again.

  3. caddyB says:

    This is my most anticipated game of the year. I have all confidence that Larian will deliver.

  4. Ian says:

    Whoever it was who has the right to say “And then I thought we’d strap some jetpacks onto the dragons” should be made King for a day.

  5. gravity_spoon says:

    This and Divinity: Original Sin are on my top 5 list this year (besides Grim Dawn, Starbound and Nuclear Union)

  6. Kambyero says:

    My favorite part of the trailer was when the (somehow boobed) reptilian lady said, “Play your cards right!” and the gameplay shown was that of cards being chosen.

    That, and dragons with jetpacks. Those are two of my requirements, alongside grapples and parachutes.

  7. Stevostin says:

    It’s visually & conceptually brilliant. Very interested.

  8. Jack-Dandy says:

    This game seems so original to me.
    I suspect this is going to be my first foray into elements of Grand Strategy. Never touched these games before, but this might tempt me to do it.

  9. SanguineAngel says:

    My Word, and out of nowhere this looks simply wonderful. Unless they seriously screw this up this could be a sure thing for me

  10. Blackseraph says:

    I truly hope this will be good.

    So much promise and well something new too.

  11. Megakoresh says:

    I’ve been waiting for this game for quite a while.

  12. Rao Dao Zao says:

    I’ve been playing through the Divinity Anthology recently. Divine Divinity and Beyond Divinity had their ups and downs, but Divinity II’s so far been a total stonker and this looks like it’s continuing in the same vein.

    • Prime says:

      I did Divinity II recently too and thoroughly enjoyed it, in spite of a couple of horrendous difficulty spikes. Being a Dragon = awesome. And I loved Larian’s irreverent approach to the very stale fantasy genre.

      Looking forward to seeing this one although I have to say RTS’s are traditionally not my favourite genre. Demo, Larian?

  13. lofaszjoska says:

    “Welcome, recruit, to the Dragon Commander Academy” sounds like a perfect opening line for one of those weird dating sims.

    I’m pumped regardless.

  14. impish says:

    I require all my jetpack dragons wear monocles!

    Yest, that means one monocle per dragon eye.

  15. Ashbery76 says:

    Is the game slower paced tactical game ala Totalwar or a basebuilding clickfesting rts.The first option would net a buy.

    • KDR_11k says:

      It has a political/grand strategy layer that involves those people and cards you see in the trailer (e.g. previews mentioned deciding on marrying princesses to secure the support of their home kingdoms), the realtime and dragon combat stuff is for the actual battles.

  16. Cunning Linguist says:

    If this has slow tactical strategy interspersed with aerial dragon fights, it’s gonna get a lot of people interested, me included. I just can’t be arsed with the hectic clicking around of RTS games like Starcraft.

    Yeah , it also has many graphics!

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