Initially, I didn't know too much about Dragon's Dogma. I'd heard the name dropped a couple of times, but didn't really explore it at all. Now, I kinda wish I had. If the demo is any indicator, this is going to be a high-quality game, and has officially made it on to my Must Have list for 2012. Capcom has stated that Dragon's Dogma will feature elements of open-world RPG, action/hack 'n slash, and survival horror. Given that the game is being worked on by vets of the Breath of Fire, Devil May Cry, and Resident Evil franchises, Dragon's Dogma should be ridiculously good.
Warning: Hydras in mirror are larger than they appear!
As soon as you open the Dragon's Dogma demo, you're treated to a beautiful title screen--a soft, heavenly soprano veiling hellish flames and a desolate background. This demo is unusually generous for an unfinished product--it fully allows you to customize your character.
That's how I began my time with it. The character creator is surprisingly deep. You first enter your character's name. DD enforces you to choose a 'monicker' from a preset list--this is done to screen inappropriate character names for players with parental controlled consoles. I'd say that's a pretty stand-up thing to do on Capcom's part.
Even for a demo, the character customization is wonderful. After choosing your basic appearance, you're allowed to edit your character's finer features, such as face shape, eyes, and brows.
Dragon's Dogma gives you an assistant character--an AI controlled companion who is with you at all times. This character is called your 'main pawn,' and you can edit them as well, just as you did your main character.
The demo features two different scenarios: 'Prologue Quest',' and 'Countryside Quest.' I started playing with the former. You're treated with some flavor text detailing a little about the world you've suddenly found yourself immersed in, and then the actual gameplay begins.
Gameplay feels wonderfully tight. There are a ton of controls to memorize, as not only is every button on the controller utilized, there are different combination effects, too. For example, holding Right Bumper and pressing one of the attack buttons will enable a special attack. The HUD and menu system is great, and there are lots of things to do with the items you have on your person.
The production values of Dragon's Dogma seem like they're among Capcom's best. If this is indeed the company's answer to Skyrim and Dragon Age, then they're on the right track.
Dragon's Dogma launches on May 22nd. My full review will be elsewhere, but I'm sure there will be plenty of tales to tell here at MT Ideas!