Why You Need to Play: Dragon's Dogma

http://www.gamesplash.co.uk/2016/07/why-you-need-to-play-dragons-dogma.html
Credit: CAPCOM
Why You Need to Play: Dragon's Dogma


Remember, wolves hunt in packs.

Dragon's Dogma (henceforth referred to as "DragDog" for brevity's sake) is a charmingly generic fantasy action-RPG about hunting and killing huge, terrifying beasts. Story-light, this gallivanting adventure pits you against hordes of monstrous foes with only your three faithful Pawns to ally with and trusts you to pick and choose from a plethora of unique classes, each with their own unique skill trees and powers, to take on (you guessed it) dragons, chimeras, griffins, cyclopses, golems, hydras and much, much more. 

This is one of the more well-known choices on this list. Something I am keenly aware of. After all, Dragon's Dogma was recently granted a PC Port through Steam, ushering in many new players to this unsung gem of Capcom's growing library of "Franchises We Don't Care About". However, it went relatively under the radar in its initial release and subsequent expansion, and its Japan-only MMO sequel was lambasted into obscurity.
Credit: CAPCOM
Credit:CAPCOM
What was wrong with it? Apart from technical issues including framerate issues; muddy textures; occasional crashes and only one save file, DragDog contains all the hallmarks of an inept, lazy and generic open world RPG. Stunted, awkward fast travel; incoherent menus; mind-numbing side quests; a practically non-existent story; very typical art direction and utterly, utterly braindead AI. Yet despite all this, the game is far more than the sum of it's parts. Allow me to elaborate... 


Why should you play it? DragDog is an absolutely wonderful experience despite its many flaws. You will spend the first few hours doing tawdry quests and levelling up slowly until the game begins to open up. You'll do escort quests, collecting rabbit pelts, stabbing goblins and the like. Then, eventually, you will hit a point where you have a huge, open land to explore and begin to discover temples, hideouts, towns and most importantly: monsters hiding in wait. 
Credit: CAPCOM


The monsters. Maybe you'll be ambushed by a rampaging chimera, or stalked through the dead of night by a pack of rabid trolls. Either way, once you first feel that rush as you and your faithful companions charge headlong into battle, you will understand the appeal of DragDog.


 The moment where you ride a flame-ridden griffin, tumbling from the sky as your pawns cheer you on or when one throws you through the air to grab onto a soaring dragon and you crawl inch by inch up its tail to strike at its weak point and send it crashing to the ground. The combat, the adventure and the sheer amount of freedom granted to you is palpable and refreshing in an era of gaming so obsessed with linearity and restriction.


DragDog is delightfully rich, fun and respectful to the player. It grants you a great deal of agency by not shackling you to a story full of responsibility and supposed "depth", it instead opens itself to you wholeheartedly, and simply asks that you explore what lies within.
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