Surprised there isn't a thread about this yet. Just tried the demo and liked it a lot, then looked at some videos on youtube and got even more impressed. The combat feels as meaty as Dark Souls', the world seems to be as open as Skyrim, and the game treats the day/night cycle the same way Minecraft does. That is to say, when the sun goes down, get the fuck indoors.
I've been on the lookout for a nice medieval Dark Souls-esque adventure game since I wrapped on DS half a year ago. Kingdoms of Amalur looked interesting but when I tried the demo the combat didn't feel meaty enough for my liking. DD on the other hand seems to get it right. The characters and the enemies feel less like a series of animations playing out and more like a set of complex physics-systems. Like when a downed foe tries to get back up and you whack him in the head and he slumps back down, the inertia from him trying to get up transforming naturally into the fall. It's hard to explain, but it's something Dark Souls got right, and DD seems to as well. Your character feels like part of the world and not just a hitbox floating around while a walking-animation loops. Enough of me jabbering on, look at this video instead. It shows someone fucking around as a mage and a lot of the cool stuff in the game.
Wandering around at night looks like it would be genuinely terrifying.
Here's a short clip of Fighter-class gameplay:
The only nitpick I had about the demo was that the blocking system seemed a bit wonky. The character didn't always seem to lock on to enemies, and sometimes ended up blocking in the wrong direction. Or maybe I just didn't figure out some finer point of the control-system.
The game has been getting mindbogglingly average scores (75% avg. for the 360 version) so I'd love to hear the thoughts of someone who has actually played the full game. What are the game's weaknesses?
Yes we do.
Though most modern jRPGs can suck it....with notable exceptions.
Dragon's Castle Final Release: http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=141762
Untrue. Problem is the vast majority are on handhelds now, and are mostly by Atlus.
Oh, there's also Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii which I'm hearing is very good.
Pretty sure we play all kinds of games, as long as they are awesome. And Dragon's Dogma is looking sweeeet. Here's a video of a ranger and his friends going all Shadow of the Colossus on a golem.
I've been keeping a cautious eye on it, but haven't been swayed yet.
I'm a member over on YakYak, the forum of Jeff Minter and his games, and one of the guys over there has some interesting things to say about it.
These guys are generally related to the British indy scene in one way or another, with close links to Llamasoft, Lionhead, Realtime Worlds, Ruffian etc., so their opinions are always interesting to read, coming from a developer's point of view a lot of the time.
It's reading like a cross between an Elder Scrolls game and a Souls game, except even more rough around the edges.
I'm thinking bargain bucket pickup a couple months down the line.
Just a shame there's not a PC version.
Indeed, got a good feel of what the game is like from that thread. So the general concensus seems to be that the story is very weak, there's a lack of diversity in the enemytypes, and it's a bit rough around the edges, but that the combat saves the game despite occasional stupidity from your AI teammates and the game overall being bit too random to feel as "hard but fair" as Dark Souls.
I'm gonna wait a bit with picking this one up as well. Playing Skyrim right now, and then there's the Steam sale after that. Guessing I'll pick up DD sometime in August.
edit: I caved in and ordered it!
Last edited by henke; 6th Jul 2012 at 14:38.
DD showed up in my mailbox today and I just started playing it. Haven't had to time to do much more than play the prologue-mission and set up my character.
She's Fighter-class, and her name is Bjork.
So far I've found a Bucket, a Broom, and filled an Empty Flask with Water! Also a dragon stole my heart so I guess I should get it back.
FYI, all of the game's online features work with free XBL silver accounts.
I can't bothered going into detail because it's late and I'm up past my bedtime because I haven't been able to put this game down for the past 4 hours. I'll just say this: I am loving this game. There's a real sense of danger that makes he exploration a lot more exciting than it might otherwise be, and fights with 3 AI teammates leads to some fantastic emergent gameplay. It does have it's shares of flaws as well, but I'll get into those some other time.
I was tasked with finding a magic book, the Grimoire of Somethingsomething. A gang of thieves had stolen it and fled southward from the city. I gathered my companions and ventured southward, after a while we came upon the thieves accosting a traveler on the main road. We killed them, but found no book. Luckily the traveler had overheard them saying that the book had been taken to an old fortress, currently occupied by a great bandit-lord and his minions. So, we set off westward, away from the main road and through the hills. After a while we saw the fortress in the distance but many bandits lined the way up to it. We slew the first 2 groups we came up against but the third proved too difficult. Luckily we had used the arcane magic of "Quick Save" just before going up against the third group. Though we tried to defeat them many times we always ended up dead, face down in the muck on the dusty road leading up the the old fortress. Finally we decided to just sneak past them.
Once inside the fortress we found the bandits inside not to be hostile. Perhaps they assumed we had to be friendlies since we had managed to get past all the bandits outside. Sadly, however, the bandit-lord did not feeling like handing the book over. He was like "What are you gonna do about it, punk?" so I pulled my sword out and stabbed him in the gut. This really pissed him off. The fight that followed between us and the bandits was easily as vicious and difficult as the one with the bandits outside. The only reason we didn't get defeated this time was pure endurance, and a lot of luck. I came close to dying several times, and before it was over I had used up most of the stamina and health potions in my inventory. At one point all my comrades were down for the count and I was cornered up on the rampart, shield raised, backing away as a dozen angry bandits kept driving me backwards lowering my stamina-bar down with each thwack on my shield. That's when I took a desperate measure and jumped off the rampart, down to an inner courtyard. Luckily the fall didn't kill me and I sprinted around to the front area of the castle where all my comrades lie dying. Quickly getting them back in their feet we continued the fight with the bandits who were now coming running back down the stairs.
After a while I managed to get the bandit-leader cornered and finally wore him down and killed him while my men kept the other foes at bay. He didn't have the book but I did learn the location of it, at the top of the fortresses' only remaining tower. My guys and me were too low on health to fight our way up there so we retreated back outside, through the main gate. The sun had gone down by this point and it was almost pitchblack outside, so we hid for a while. Of course we couldn't go home empty handed, not after all of that hassle, so after a while we snuck back in. I figured all the bandits would be near the campfire in the main courtyard, so we snuck around and made our way to the tower in the back.
We didn't wanna risk getting detected by the bandits so we didn't light any torches, instead we stumbled around in the dark of the tower for a while before finding the stairs to the top. Or almost to the top I should say, because OF COURSE the last flight of stairs had crumbled. So in the dark of night I had to start climbing around on the outer facade of the tower and engage in life-threatening platform-jumping before I got the the very top, where a chest containing the book rested.
After that we snuck back out of the fortress, past the bandits outside and made our way back to the main road. As we ran through the darkness we kept hearing growls and howls off in the distance and sure enough eventually we had to fight a pack of wolves. When we finally reached the main road, bruised and bloodied, with most of our supplies gone but the objective completed, the sun was rising on the eastern horizon.
Picked this one up myself.
Still getting the hang of it. Killed a cyclops, then a hydra. Then took on what apparently was not the next quest I should've been on, as I was promptly eaten by a pack of wolves.
Enjoyed what I've done so far though. Lots of Shadow of the Collusus boss climbing. And picking up goblins and chucking them off cliffs is kind of amusing too.
Gotten a little further. Had to guard the cart hauling the head of the hydra I killed earlier as we rolled it to the capital as a trophy. Apparently, hydra head tastes really, really good since every monster on the road was after that cart.
I hadn't been paying attention to the time, and the whole journey took place under the cover of night. Zombies showed up at the end.
I'm liking this game quite a bit.
It does a very good job of making even simple stuff feel like an actual adventure. Going down the well, exploring, then running into a bunch of nasty stuff - as generic a quest as possible - but the practicalities of it made it feel like a credible adventure. Those nasties can in fact hurt you, and you do have to worry about all sorts of practicalities - like getting your lamps extinguished if you get them wet.
A walk in the wilds feels like a walk though the wilds, with dangerous stuff all over.
Combat is definitely fun. It much faster then Souls games are, and you've got a much wider variety of moves available at any one time - but it has the same tactical flow where a mistake can and will get you killed.
The plot...meh. "A dragon stole my heart!", sure. 9 months later, the Dovahkiin was born. So far though, it doesn't much matter - I'm playing to see what's over that next hill, not what the next plot point is.
Yeah the stakes are quite high in this game. There are plenty of enemies you'll need to just run away from, or avoid. And I've actually failed one of the missions you get from the Duke. It seems like the story still goes on though, even if you fail a mission or two. And at one point one of my pawns got pushed off a very high ledge and I couldn't get down to where he was in time to rescue him, so he died. Wouldn't have bothered me much if I hadn't just spent about 20000 Gold on upgrading his equipment.
But of course the presense of a save system means the stakes will never be as high as in a Souls game. It helps if you commit yourself to never loading a game unless you die, but even so it's not as difficult.
I like how proactive the pawns are though, picking stuff up everywhere they go, whether it's something useful like a healthpotion or a worthless trinket. My main pawn keeps picking up every banner he comes in contact with. I've no idea what's wrong with him. They generally know how to handle themselves in fights though. And at first I liked how they raged like a bunch of hooligans and smashed up crates everywhere we went. I stopped liking it when we got to a point where some crates were stacked up against a wall and it was clear that if you climbed them you'd be able to jump up to the ledge of the roof and get up. However I only had time to jump up on the crates before one of my pawns decided to smash them to bits and I came tumbling back down. Great teamwork guys.
Last edited by henke; 14th Jul 2012 at 13:56.
What class are you playing as Phatose?
I started off as Fighter, but switched to Mystic Knight later on. At first it felt like the magic stuff was just flashy but not very impactful, that changed when I went into the catacombs. My sword slashes didn't do much to the zombies but a few Fireballs took them right down. Defenitely seems like the differences between the different classes are very pronounced. A certain enemy type might be a cakewalk for one class, but nigh on impossible for another. Pays to have a well-rounded team I guess.
I was a fighter, but I just hit max profession rank so I switched over to a warrior to see what boosts can be unlocked there. Don't care for it much so far - the two handed weapons are really slow.
Zombies definitely seemed to have physical resistance. Fortunately my main pawn is a sorceress and she's quite liberal with her boons, so I've typically got a flaming sword anyway.
The main problem I've had so far are the damned flyers. It's a real bitch to take down a harpy with a broadsword, even with the overhead attack skill.
Some big ass enemies out there too - came out of the capital one time to see a trader's cart being attack by a giant ass griffon. It flew off before I could actually do much attacking it. Ran into it again later - it was hunting buffalo outside the capital. Again, didn't hang around much.
Edit: Was wandering around and ran into a dragon. I suppose this is one of those games where a drake isn't a dragon, just a fire-breathing, flying, talking giant lizard. It went badly.
Finished the first leg, got my first assignment from the Duke....and it's to kill that Griffon. Oh joy.
Last edited by Phatose; 14th Jul 2012 at 23:53.
OK, the game has definitely lost some of its luster.
There have been some fantastic set pieces (hunting down that griffon was fun), and a couple of hard bosses. But there's one huge problem.
Walking. Walking. It's fucking Lord of the Rings all-about-walking.
The regions are fixed level, so theoretically you just move into harder zones. Problem is that the capital is quite low level, and it's the hub, so you're constantly going back there. And then walking some more to your next destination, which will probably take 20 minutes of just walking.
There are fast travel stones that take you back to the capital, or to a beacon stone (of which I've found 1). The problem is they're single use, and crazy expensive - 20,000 a pop. I'm level 45 and I've never had more then 150,000 gold, so 40k for a round trip is rough.
Which means a lot of foot travel, through places that just aren't even remotely a challenge. Walking to one castle on a narrow cliff, I ran into a cyclops. First boss type creature - stopped being challenging 25 levels ago. It managed to toss my pawn over the cliff though - which meant I had to go down the cliff to revive her, then circle back up the long way (+3 minutes walking).
I jumped down and immediately behind me was a Chimera, another boss type creature. Stopped being challenged 15 levels ago. So despite having 2 mini-boss encounters in a row, I was far, far more annoyed about the extra walking then I was remotely threatened.
The plot is....well, honestly, incoherent. Mid-game spoilers for anyone who cares.
The local duchess asked me for an after hours meeting in her royal bedchambers. I didn't know why, so I went. Next thing her husband shows up, I hide...and he tries to kill her. Of course, her husband is the Duke, the dude I'm working for, and I'm in his wife's bedchambers....but gotta stop the murder. So I stop him, then he comes to his senses, the lady accuses me of thinking her a whore and sneaking into bedroom to ravish her. So I get tossed into the dungeons and flogged. She shows up, apologizes for all that, gives me a key, and I sneak out.
And the next day, I go back to work, for the Duke - who just had me imprisoned and whipped for trying to fuck his wife - and nobody says one word about it. Not word, not a snicker, not an insult, not a "How did your ass get out of our dungeon anyway?". Like the whole incident was some bizzare hallucination caused by all those mushrooms I eat to restore stamina.
Now frankly, I ain't playing the game for the plot any more then I was playing Dark Soul's for the plot. But still, what the hell?
Got back into this game this weekend. Good game for a weekend actually because it really pulls you in and keeps you playing for hours on end when you really get into it. Phatose, I played that part in your spoiler yesterday. I can't make much sense of it either. The mission isn't that good to being with so I can't see why they wouldn't just've cut it out, but I'm guessing the way the Duke or his missus acted will play into the story later on or something.
And yeah, all the walking and inventory-management really drag the game down. You just gotta grit your teeth and endure through those parts to get to the good stuff.
Finished it this weekend. The game ends with an epic multi-stage hour-long battle with the titular Dragon. It was pretty great. But then again it was clear already from the beginning that if there's one thing this game does right, it's epic boss battles.
Final verdict: a good game bogged down by too much boring inventory-management, a confusing story, and "fucking Lord of the Rings all-about-walking" as Phatose put it.
Apparently it sold quite well though as Capcom are planning to turn it into a franchise. I'm glad they're working on future installments, because this could turn into a great series with a few design changes. There's also a pretty sweet-looking DLC expansion coming out in April.
Resurrecting this thread to see if any of youse who have played it or are currently playing it want to share pawns.
Waiting for a "Bargain Bucket" discount paid off, as it's currently free on PlayStation+ in its "Dark Arisen" form, which means the rather hefty expansion is included.
I'm currently in the mid-forties as a Ranger with a Warrior pawn, and am getting some of that Mid-game Doldrums feel that Phatose & henke outlined above.
There has been one crucial mechanical fix since henke & Phatose played it by the looks of things; portal stones are a LOT cheaper now, being only 2,000g a pop as opposed to 20,000g. I've also happened across 4 of the big stones in my travels, the permanent ones that can be placed like anchors, so it makes fast travel much more viable. Plonk one of those down and it stays in place permanently; you use one of the small stones when teleporting to it, but with good placement, you can travel most places in the world a lot quicker. If you're unhappy with its initial placement, you can pick it back up and place it somewhere else.
Saying that, I've only just twigged properly how they work, so the game still isn't good at explaining its core concepts.
If anyone's playing or has played this on PS3, add Mungrul to your friends list and we can cross-pollinate pawns. Fnar.
A bit on Dark Arisen and how it improves the main game:
Dark Arisen takes place on Bitterblack isle and is a meaty dungeon crawl that rewards spelunkers with more gear, upgrade options and enemies.
Gameplay is a bit more thoughtful, requiring you to mix up your party to allow for a balanced set of skills and damage types. Certain enemies are immune to magic, others to physical damage, etc.
There's one particular boss that appears at random and has to be killed over the course of multiple encounters, which is a pretty cool idea. It retains damage done between fights, so you don't have to start from the beginning every time. That one took me a while to figure out.
Physical vocations are easier to play in Bitterblack, with my favourite being Strider. Ranger and Assassin are just as viable. Warrior, Fighter and Mystic Knight are good, but crippled by the lack of ranged attacks. Magick Archer is good, but is ineffectual against enemies immune to magic. Haven't tried Mage, but I'd imagine it suffers from the same problems as Sorceror. Sorceror just takes too long to cast anything useful and lacks any means of non-magic attack.
However, for exploring and getting to some of the more hard-to-reach chests, staff-wielders have a huge advantage over classes that can't use them: Levitate. EVERYWHERE in Bitterblack is easily accessible with Levitate.
Double Vault for Striders, Assassins and Rangers is not quite as good, but you can still get to the same places with a bit of skill.
But Warriors and Fighters will be missing out on a buttload of loot due to limited movement options.
DD has been hovering on the edge of my awareness for a while, the only thing that's put me off is the henchmen. I'm not too keen on party based RPGs (With a few exceptions). Are the henchmen essential, or can you play without them?
Technically, yes, but it would make things very difficult against certain monsters. You'd also probably be limiting the class you could play and you'd have to carry all sorts of equipment to cope with all scenarios.
I think most people playing Dragon's Dogma will probably want to change class at least once, and I know I've tried them all on my character.
Also, while their barks can get annoying and repetitive, it's VERY hard to imagine playing the game without them once you understand how they work. They're not like traditional party members from other RPGs. More like automated weapon platforms, like drones in side-scrolling shooters. They just happen to be very customisable.
Yeah you can simply not hire a second a third pawn and then kill your main pawn and not revive him and you'll be on your own. It's apparently doable, I've seen youtube videos of people playing like that. You should defenitely try playing the game with pawns first tho. You'll miss the goofy bastards once they're gone.