Dragon's Dogma (PlayStation 3) Review

By Thom Compton 22.05.2017

Review for Dragon

Five years ago, Capcom unleashed Dragon's Dogma on the world. The hype was heavy, reaching fever pitch, as this powerful RPG approached its release. It had many contenders that year, including Diablo 3 and Mass Effect 3, but still managed to be one of the best-selling titles that year, and for a new IP, this is a pretty big feat. The following year, the Dark Arisen expansion arrived, continuing to propel the game to the status of one of the best-selling RPGs of the previous generation. The real question is, was it any good, though?

Dragon's Dogma opens with a bleak dismissal of power. There is a tutorial mission that teaches the player all the ins and outs of combat and the controls, and then a cutscene begins. A monstrous dragon descends on a small village. Our hero stands in front of it, ready to do battle. From this early moment it's clear that Dragon's Dogma is not like other RPGs. It's more ruthless, and expects more of the player.

Screenshot for Dragon's Dogma on PlayStation 3

Combat is superb. Everything feels so fluid and visceral, and attacks cut through enemies with little regard for flesh and bone. In a decidedly interesting twist, the player can channel the essence of Wander from Shadow of the Colossus and climb onto enemies. This allows them to attack different body parts, and produce different degrees of damage from those attacks. There's nothing like climbing onto the back of a beast and jamming a broadsword into its spine, and that actually making a difference.

While you wail on your foe, you have pawns waiting for orders. Pawns are wonderfully smart sidekicks who are able to assist the player, as it is not advised to make most treks alone. While lesser pawns spend a lot of their time dying, the pawns you have invested a lot of time into are absolutely brilliant fighting mates who serve the Arisen well.

Screenshot for Dragon's Dogma on PlayStation 3

The game is open world, and what a world it is. It feels oddly realistic, as the environments seem like they could easily be an hour outside of Aspen. The world is also hostile, and enemies come for the Arisen with great frequency. It's actually a bit annoying how often enemies attack, making treks between story quests a bit cumbersome, as the player spends a lot of their time just fighting random bandits and other lesser enemies.

Dragon's Dogma suffers some roughness, though, that cannot go overlooked. The camera, however, is the worst of it, and it's pretty rough. When the player is trying to delicately climb up a monster, and watching their stamina run out, they shouldn't have to worry about angling the camera so they can see their avatar.

Screenshot for Dragon's Dogma on PlayStation 3

Another issue is the relentless difficulty, which feels more padded than organic. Of course, a boss is incredibly hard when their HP is ridiculously high, especially so early on. Levelling works just fine, but it's really just that; it works just fine. There's nothing really special about it, other than the occasional pop-up to remind the player they have levelled up.

Still, Dragon's Dogma manages to hold it together and be a truly enjoyable experience. While at times it feels a bit directionless and hard for the sake of being hard, it pulls it off decently enough to make the player feel the need to keep going.

Screenshot for Dragon's Dogma on PlayStation 3

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Dragon's Dogma is a tough-as-nails RPG with some great ideas. It mimics a lot of the RPGs of its day (its day being five years ago), and by doing so, and injecting a bit of its own flair, it manages to be an enjoyable RPG with some annoying hang-ups included. Fortunately, the overall package is plenty worth the adventure.






Real Time RPG



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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