Dragon’s Dogma review round-up

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Next week sees the release of Capcom’s first real foray in to the realm of open-world RPG’s with Dragon’s Dogma, a combat-focused game that has you – The Arisen – and your band of pawns saving the word from a terrible dragon. In my hands-on preview of the title, I pegged it as an excellent, but flawed game that while excellent, is somewhat niche and would appeal to a certain type of gamer.

Reviews of the game are starting to circulate – and it seems that my initial impressions form the general consensus. Here’s what others have to say of the game.

  • Game Informer (Print) : 85/100 – Combat feels like a necessary part of the game’s design, rather than something that was begrudgingly added to provide interaction between cutscenes. I left the game feeling that I made my mark on Gransys the way I chose to, instead of being escorted from plot point to plot point. When you’re talking about an open-world game, I can’t think of higher praise
  • Games(TM) (Print) : 80/100 – Its world isn’t as evocatively rich as Skyrim, it’s action-oriented combat doesn’t have the killer appeal of Dark Souls, and it’s single-player focus is completely at odds with the co-op-centric Monster Hunter. However, as Capcom’s first foray into the open-world RPG this is a worthy achievement, and further proof that the East-West divide should be breached more often. And not just by dragons.
  • Official Xbox Magazine UK : 80/100 – Missteps will infuriate those obsessed with consistency, but underneath the messy bits there’s something deep, fascinating and exciting. Dull bug-bashers won’t abide the rough edges, but they’ll be missing out on one of this year’s best RPGs. Put up with the shortcomings, and the rest is superb.
  • Edge Magazine (Print) : 70/100 – Capcom might not have crafted the kind of world in which players will invest, but it understands the powerful draw of party building and gear tweaking, the immediate thrills of slashing and spellcasting, and the spirit of adventure in sallying forth on a dragon hunt.
  • CVG : 8.5/10 – There’s no sense of danger in modern games. Dying has become a minor setback rather than something to be feared. That’s why Dragon’s Dogma is so inspiring. Its enormous world is rife with danger, and death lurks around every corner. It’s an adventure in the truest sense of the word, rich with mystery and peril.
  • Official Xbox Magazine US (Print) : 60/100 – Much like the main character’s chest cavity, this RPG ultimately feels hollow, with no real heart.

The most stinging criticisms seem to come from “Play UK,” who’ve given the game a 49, calling it  “A clunky, confused mess of a game that simply doesn’t know what it wants to be. There’s comfort in how compulsive it can be, but that factor doesn’t magically turn Dragon’s Dogma into anything other than a flawed, dull and unfair experience.”

Me? I’m still looking terribly forward to it. For some reason, I tend to enjoy those games that received mixed reactions as opposed to the ones that garner unanimous praise. Dragon’s Dogma will be available in the US on Tuesday 22 May for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Those of us in the rest of the world will have to wait until Friday 25 May.

Last Updated: May 18, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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