Every Dogma Has Its Day: Dragon’s Dogma Out Jan 15th

When I watch trailers for Dragon’s Dogma [official site], I’m not quite sure what I’m all excited about. It looks like a hacky and slashy RPG with some big ol’ monsters and a full party system, and that’s fine, but what makes it stand out from the pack? It’s the voices of friends who played the console release that elevate it rather than anything in the videos – someone once told me that Dragon’s Dogma is like a party-based Dark Souls and I was sold there and then.

And that’s why I’m excited that this latest trailer reveals that the game comes to PC on January 15th, even though the trailer itself isn’t all that exciting.

Sure, some people are probably excited about the 4Ks and the 60FPS, and maybe it’s really genuinely a great thing that during the three year wait for the port, Capcom found a way to integrate all of the DLC at no extra cost. But I can’t stop looking at what happens at 1:08. A man jumps on another man’s shoulders so that he can stab him in the neck and that’s fine, but then the animations of the two characters just do not get along with one another at all and the first man just sort of hovers in mid-air, kneeling on nothing.

If you look at this still, you can sort of imagine that the assailant has somersaulted into a crouching position, perfectly balanced on his enemy’s weapon. Now he’s doing a nasty guff in their faces, made more potent by the crusty leather of his +2 breeches.

I might not even remark on that kind of glitch while playing but it seems odd that it’s crept into a trailer. No matter – Dragon’s Dogma is one of the first games of 2016 that I’m thoroughly looking forward to playing.

47 Comments

  1. TΛPETRVE says:

    Expecting a “party-based Dark Souls” is gonna leave you sorely disappointed. I love the game, despite its generic setting and aesthetics, but it really plays more like a medieval Devil May Cry with AI companions.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Although less combo heavy than a DMC game might be.
      Often very spammy with all sorts of mayhem going on though. Unless you’re bringing out the big flashy skills or spells. Good grief the bigger spells. It puts all other meteor swarms to shame, among other things.

    • LexW1 says:

      Sorely? No.

      Somewhat, perhaps.

      There’s definitely a significant degree of commonality between Dark Souls and Dragon’s Dogma – there’s a lot of DMC in there too, of course, but level of deadliness and speed of combat reminded me more of Demon’s Souls/Dark Souls than it did DMC, and the strong sense of immersion, of an actual world out there was much more like DS than DMC’s phantasmagoria. It’s also quite hard unless you happen upon certain exploit-y ways of playing.

      I think you’d have to be after very specific elements of the DS experience to actually be disappointed.

    • Ephant says:

      “generic setting and aesthetics”

      That’s something I really like in DD.

  2. ShatteredAwe says:

    Sounds like fun and looking forwards to it. It might be the first game in a while that I pre-order.

    One thing though, has anyone played the original Dragons Dogma on Console? How do the controls hold up, and would you consider it more difficult than dark souls?

    • Jediben says:

      Nothing as punishing as Dark Souls. Ensure you have an xbox pad to play with.

    • Ringwraith says:

      As above, it’s not really Dark Souls apart from the sense of the game have very defined enemy behaviours (best Greek monsters I’ve ever seen) and if you go to the wrong place it has no compunctions about killing you very easily.
      Also meandering around a lot.

      • LexW1 says:

        It’s also full of secrets and optional stuff you’re not pointed to and quite unforgiving in certain ways that simply aren’t the case in Western RPGs, but were in Demon’s Souls particularly (moreso than Dark Souls). I think unless you’re really demanding precision combat of a very measured pace (which Dark Souls specializes in), you’ll be pretty happy if you just generally “liked” Dark Souls.

    • Unsheep says:

      The ranged combat, especially the magic stuff, is closer to Dragon Age Inquisition than to Dark Souls.

      The melee combat is more hack-n-slash than Dark Souls, somewhere between Dragon Age 2 and the Witcher. Its not as hacky-n-slashy as Amalur.

    • mattevansc3 says:

      Controls are really good but while its aesthetically similar to Dark Souls its hard to compare difficulty because the gameplay is different. Dark Souls is much slower and is at its core a rhythym game. You know the patterns and timings and it becomes a lot easier.

      Dragons Dogma is much more chaotic and requires a considerable amount of situational awareness. Focus too much on dodging that Cyclops’ club and that wolf from off camera has just pounced on your back. In my play through the AI seemed much more organised than most hack and slash games with even the basic mobs showing some tactical skills such as holding back until you are distracted with another mob then all piling in as opposed to them all piling in from the start. Mobs will switch enemies specifically to exploit a weakness, they’ll fall back when wounded and have another mob jump in its place.

      You do need to concentrate a lot in battles and one battle quickly spills into another which drags them out for quite a bit.

  3. Hawks says:

    Want this, but I hear the online game is pretty much the same as this… but with online. So kinda waiting on that.

    • LexW1 says:

      Where have you heard that? Literally every source I’ve found on the online DD (which is Japan-only) is not very like Dragon’s Dogma and is indeed kind of mostly a generic MMO.

      • Barnox says:

        Re: Online, it is very close to Dragon’s Dogma. It is a bit sparser in terms of enemy density and secrets, but the combat is very close. It’s more than enough to tide me over to the PC release of DD:DA.

        Some gameplay of mine here: link to youtube.com

    • Stedios says:

      This game is online but only for your party members (pawns), Your three pawns learn with everything they do, and when you are stuck on a quest you can go to the pawn hub and borrow someone elses pawn that has already run the quest, a neat idea.

  4. OrangyTang says:

    Glad this is coming to pc – the console version was one of the more interesting games to come out recently. It’s very much a Japanese developer attempting to do a ‘western’ rpg, and there’s lots of points where you’ll just do a sad sigh, roll your eyes and say “oh, Japan”. But it’s core combat/exploration loop is just so good you don’t care.

    Also, I’ll just leave this here: link to youtube.com

  5. UncleLou says:

    The story is sparse/pants, the AI companions keep repeating the same couple of phrases, the world is comparatively small, there aren’t really any open-ended quests with multiple solutions – and yet it probably was my favourite game of the last console generation, Souls games aside.

    Stellar combat that is fun as a melee class, ranged class or wizard, fantastic loot, and some of the best dungeons in any game, ever.

    I’ll buy this a third time, and on day one, too.

    • lordcooper says:

      Don’t forget the fact it actually has a rather good stealth system (although the game never bothers introducing it).

      Night time is done really well too.

    • Ringwraith says:

      The game’s definitely worth sticking through to the end though, it kinda starts being stupidly clever, in a way that I can’t talk about.

      • anHorse says:

        The smartness of the ending was counterbalanced by a random old man being the love of my life

        • Ringwraith says:

          Not gonna lie, I spent a lot of time standing in the market square repeatedly drawing and sheathing my weapons just so the blacksmith stopped falling over himself at me. Look, I’m flattered Caxton, but I only keep coming back so frequently because this was before they let you access storage inventory in shops, and I’m an inventory management addict.

        • OrangyTang says:

          I, too, had an old bald aristocrat as the love of my life. Probably because (like many people I suspect) I’d completely ignored the romance sub-game and he happened to be the only person I’d made an impression on.

          Hey random old guy – I saved your ass because I was eyeing up your wares, not your package. >_<

    • Unsheep says:

      Fully agree, the combat is what makes the game fun to play.

    • damoqles says:

      Party banter can be turned off in PC menu.

    • LexW1 says:

      The world might not technically be “large” (in the way, say, Skyrim is), but the way it’s presented to you gives an impression of largeness that is utterly absent in games which actually give you far bigger spaces to roam. The near-complete lack of fast-travel helps.

      It was pretty bloody amazing when it came out, so I will certainly be getting it too.

    • NeuroBug says:

      Fear not! The devs have added a “mute AI” option. No more spamming of companions terribad dialogue

  6. anHorse says:

    Apart from the wonky VA work (“It bears the head of a cock!”)
    I wouldn’t say that it shares too much with souls.

    Sure it’s hard at times but it’s also absolutely ludicrous, closest comparison I can make is to something like Devil May Cry but without the massive combos.

    What’s brilliant about DD is that every class is not only viable but also really fun, mage feels powerful, warrior feels satisfying and ranger gets the fun of climbing everything. There’s a fair amount of walking to and from places but that’s fine because the best fights tend to happen during these walks.

    Can’t recall the years they came out but both DD and Dark Arisen were frontrunners for my GOTY in those years, and that was with the frankly rubbish framerate the games had on console

    • Ringwraith says:

      It’s very much written mostly as old-timey English (it’s ‘ser’ not ‘sir’) and thus you’ll find many phrases that’ll make you double-take. They even use old meanings of words like “queer” without batting an eye.

  7. Unsheep says:

    When you actually play the game you notice what stands out from other RPGs, for me its mainly the way you do combat, especially when fighting bigger enemies. Some of the side-quests and bosses were also very unique.

    ‘Punishing exploration’ is the only thing Dragon’s Dogma has in common with Dark Souls. It is open-world but some zones will kick your a## if your level is too low. It can also be hard to figure where to go and all that. Its a tough game.

    The game is very orthodox in its main storyline, it is similar to 80% of all other Fantasy games: Skyrim, Dragon Age, etc. In other words don’t expect anything that will really stand out.

    By the way, Dark Souls did not invent the ‘challenging action RPG’, we’ve had challenging RPGs for decades on both PC and console (JRPGs). I know its easy to use Dark Souls for the sake of reference but comparisons to it has to be taken with a grain of salt.

    • LexW1 says:

      Whilst I agree that DS didn’t invent “challenging action RPG”, what the heck are some Western examples of that post-1995? Or even pre? (I wouldn’t call, say, Drakkhen an “action RPG” – maybe Dungeon Master if you’re stretching it, but that’s in a genre of its own with stuff like EotB and Grimrock).

      Even look at at Japan I can only see the King’s Field series as really being arguably “challenging action RPGs” (I mean, assuming we’re ignoring Demon’s Souls which everyone does when they mention Dark Soul, even though I felt it was actually a better game).

      Demon’s Souls is certainly more similar in feel to DD than Dark Souls was, because it was like “dark-toned high fantasy”, whereas Dark Souls (and esp. DSII) pushed onwards into full-on “Gothic Fantasy”.

  8. Eight Rooks says:

    Yes, it’s not Dark Souls. Lazy comparison. It can be very, very tough at times, but that’s generally from having wandered into the “wrong” area/found an optional boss you weren’t expecting. Also I’m, uh, pretty sure I could find random stills from half the action games of the last ten years and throw some random imgur-worthy caption on them.

    It was straining the last-gen consoles even at the time, but the art design was still terrific. There is a lot to be said for tiny little levels that actually look as if they could be part of a larger world – there were places in Gransys that could easily have been part of The Witcher 3’s map, if they’d had a higher polycount.

    And the story is fine. Yes, it’s minimal, yes, it’s basically one of the oldest tropes in the book, no, none of that should matter to anyone. Yes, the ending has been done before. Don’t care, it was still brilliantly done. The big reveal pretty much blew my mind at the time – it wasn’t that I hadn’t expected the plot beat itself, but that I wasn’t ready for it to be quite so trippy.

    (Plus its cheery commitment to the silent protagonist is weirdly heartwarming. It doesn’t care what the PC looks like, so go nuts with the character designer by all means.)

    It isn’t perfect by a long shot, but there’s nothing currently on PC that comes close – that fusion of Monster Hunter battling, DMC/Ninja Gaiden speedy arcade combat, open-world exploration (in spirit, at least), dark fantasy, fairytale art direction and general Japanese weirdness. It’s a whole lot more than the sum of its occasionally janky parts.

    • Eight Rooks says:

      EDIT: I mean, there’s no combination of mods that’ll get Skyrim anywhere near this, regardless of how many 16K textures/ridiculous ENB setups you throw in there.

      • LexW1 says:

        That is for goddamn sure. Bloody DD ruined Skyrim for me. Ever since I played through DD, whenever I’m playing Skyrim I can’t help but think “Yeah, this is okay but wouldn’t it be so much better with Dragon’s Dogma-style combat?”, and no mod or combo of mods even comes close.

  9. jael182 says:

    This game is so good. Makes me sad capcom make a online game instead of a sequel.

  10. Heliocentric says:

    Played a dozen hours of it on PS3, my guy was a fucking abomination, blue skinned, maximum face, looked like a LotR Urik Hai.

  11. yogibbear says:

    Hm… fills the wait till Dark Souls 3 drops… butttt…. I’d rather Bloodborne on PC…. :(

  12. Deadpooler6 says:

    Not sure what this Dark Souls game is about, but it must be decent to be compared to DD.

    Been waiting for this release for a long time…if its anything like its console counterpart, you’ll want to get this.

  13. monkey_mischief says:

    I had this and Dark Arisen on PS3. I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited for the PC port. Can’t wait.

  14. monkey_mischief says:

    Personally, I think this was one of the best ARPG in the last decade. It was WAYYY underrated and thus, went under the radar for most. Those of us lucky enough to enjoy it knows this game is fantastic.

  15. Scelous says:

    One thing I don’t see mentioned is Dragon’s Dogma’s character designer, which I absolutely love. I have never been as happy at how my character turned out looking as I have been in Dragon’s Dogma. Seriously, I was more satisfied with how my character turned out than any character creator I ever used.

  16. ye-ole-PK says:

    This is perhaps one of my favorite games on the PS3 . The story, while minimal is enough to keep you interested. The combat is amazing and the dungeons crawls are also fantastic. I hope they keep the pawn system in place, it is quite a chuckle !

  17. Tally says:

    Going to share my thoughts after dozens, likely over a hundred hours in the PS3 version through the main game and the entirety of the Dark Arisen DLC.

    Every time I recommend it I first disclaim a few things: the inventory system is poor, a lot of the sidequests are conceptually uninteresting, the graphics were mediocre, and there is an NPC affection system that ties into a determination of your love interest which is shallow and can produce some surprising and unpleasant results.

    However, the two central systems, combat and pawns, are solid and enjoyable. As many have said, the combat is weighty (lending comparisons to Dark Souls) but fairly quick with a lot of style (lending comparisons to DMC). The playstyle of every class is also rewardingly distinct and you are in no way punished for changing classes. In fact, while active abilities are weapon/class dependent, the passive ones are not and any one unlocked can be used as any class, producing a satisfying sense of cross-training your character.

    I spent time with every non-magic class and loved every one. I enjoyed tackling small enemies and sprinting up large ones to then slice them up with my daggers or retreat to mid-range and hold them off with my bow. The two-handed warrior feels clunky at first but learning to lead into a deadly combo with a precise pommel blow makes the class fall into place. The sword and shield class has a nice middle ground with a variety of sword attacks and shield abilities that range from aggressive combat use to support abilities or aggro control. I ended up spending most of my time as a hybrid “Assassin” class that gave me access to any two at a time of the daggers, bow, sword or shield as well as certain other assassin-y abilities.

    The overarching world design is not very inspired but it enjoyable to fight your way around and, next to Fallout 4, I now fondly remember that you can (with some difficulty) be on non-hostile terms with most of the bandits in the wilds. There is a somewhat satisfying narrative turn near the end of the game that lends the world some depth and makes the NG+ much more comfortable than most games. The second main area from the Dark Arisen DLC, is clearly inspired by Dark Souls but does a good job of implementing a dark, intimidating, and winding dungeon that actually has a satisfying amount of variety and that connects back with gradually discovered shortcuts.

    All this made for one of my favorite ARPG’s to date but was hamstrung by the performance on consoles, which is why 4K and 60FPS means so much to many. We just want to play this terrific game unimpeded by hardware. Hopefully someone else will read this and eventually enjoy this like I have. I was overjoyed to hear that this game was coming to my favorite platform and hope it works out well for Capcom. Now I only hope a save import is feasible.

  18. derbefrier says:

    Man I bought this on ps3 and didn’t think much of it. Jumping around on big monsters was kinda cool but the generic everything else about the game really put me off. I just don’t get the praise this game gets.

    • LacSlyer says:

      The combat overall was extremely solid even if the majority of enemies were simple to the point of becoming tedious to kill. Once you got into the meat of the game where you dive into dungeons and experience the more complex enemies it was a lot of fun. The combat seems generic, but it’s far from it I think, as it’s very fluid and diverse.

      The real point where the combat shines is the end game though, where the bosses you fight are noticeably more complex and the final boss is easily one of the best experiences ever created for an action RPG. It’s one of the few games I’ve felt that the ending made the entire experience much more epic simply because of the final boss fight. In fact, I’d suggest playing through the entire game, even if it’s unbearable for you, just to experience the final fight.

  19. devronius says:

    This game allows you to climb up bosses Shadow of the Colossus style and stab them in the face. It also has one of the most diverse character creators I’ve ever seen. What’s not to love?

  20. horrorgasm says:

    Certain aspects of it are a little similar to Dark Souls I guess, but nowhere near enough that it could be referred as a clone like Lords of the Fallen. And the combat…it’s tougher than say, Skyrim, sure, but it’s no Dark Souls. It is a lot of fun though.

  21. EhexT says:

    Just remember, this is Dark Arisen so if you don’t like the travel times you can drop marker stones (which are far more plentiful) at far-away locations to make your own teleportation network. That gets rid of one of the big complaints people had about the base game (although frankly I think the complaints were ridiculous – traveling in Dragons Dogma is FUN).