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Scaling The Heights: Dragon Early Access

Lair-y

Magic Carpet, but a dragon. That's Dragon, an Early Access game that was the first thing to spring from my inbox this morning. It's an open world monster simulator, in which you'll be able to team up with scaly chums in multiplayer while propelling your bulk around the world, chomping villagers and scorching villages. The aim is to make a game in which you can do all the things a dragon tends to do, including lair construction, gold hoarding and terrorising the locals. There's mention of late-game politics, with elder dragons imposing their might on the world politically and economically, but that's a long way off. For now, you can fly and you can frazzle.

Like a sneaky little salamander you might meet in a bar one night, Dragon: The Game is talking the talk but it doesn't have the walk or the hoard to back up the words just yet. Sure, it might eventually have the kind of wingspan that'll make you swoon and enough gold for the inaugural Scrooge McDuck synchronised swimming gala, but right now it's more of a Bic lighter than a volcano. According to the Early Access page, this is how the final version will differ from what's available now:

The full version of Dragon will expand on the core game-play of Early Access. Better character models and art, new bodyparts and weapons. Mid to late game will also be expanded with ways to economically and politically impact the world around you. Your dragon will also age and grow becoming potentially much larger as you carve your legacy into the world.

Right now, it's a proof of concept. There are dragons and you can control one - if the servers are behaving, friends and strangers can control others - flying around the world, finding settlements to raze and...that's about it. There's every chance that Dragon will fail to achieve its potential but I like the idea of an open world fantasy game from a different perspective. And I like dragons.

Is it worth a tenner? At the moment, a brief flap around the environments suggests not, unless you're happy to drop the cash to support development, knowing the whole plan might never come to fruition. It's about as bare-bones as this chap.

Right now, your dragon needs might be better sated in Choice of the Dragon. If your first decision isn't to knock the knight off his horse with a slap of your tail, you will never be the best of dragons.

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