Dragon's Dogma Features

Dragon's Dogma Preview: Of Inhuman Bondage

FeatureDragon's Dogma Preview: Of Inhuman Bondage

Capcom's ambitious role-player makes slavery its key selling point.

Stop me if you've heard this one before. A terrible dragon has returned to a blighted kingdom, leaving its citizens superstitious and frightened. To challenge this resurrected threat comes just one person - you, as it happens - destined from birth to battle the monster.

You may be called the Arisen rather than Dragonborn, and you may be defying one dragon rather than many, but you sense it's still going to be hard for some players to see past the surface similarities with Bethesda's all-conquering Skyrim when the time comes for Capcom to sell their vast openworld adventure on the merits of its story.

This is a tricky time for a third-person RPG to stand out. Not only does the brutal spectre of Dark Souls still hover over the genre, setting a gruelling standard in player expectation, but any new entry must also fight for attention against the likes of Kingdoms of Amalur, The Witcher 2 and Risen 2. Luckily for Capcom, Dragon's Dogma has a secret weapon: porn.

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Dragon's Dogma Preview

After all the talk of Monster Hunter and Demon's Souls, all the footage of giant beasts being tackled in majestic battles, it's quite a surprise to sit through the first couple of hours of Dragon's Dogma and realise what this actually is: an extremely traditional, noticeably Western roleplaying game.

It's set in a wide open fantasy world, which stretches from the sandy shores to mountainous regions, and walking from place to place promises lengthy, tempestuous journeys. The enormous monsters the game has already become known for are conspicuously absent: only one appears during our demo time, and it doesn't stick around for long.

Capcom have never made a secret of Dragon's Dogma's status as an open-world RPG, but it's interesting to see just how close to the standard formula the game sticks. Its universe is Oblivion, it's Two Worlds and it's Risen - it's places you've seen on countless occasions before, pieced together to create something whose only real identity is in how it combines the lot. And of all the quests you'll undertake throughout the game's duration, only a small percentage concern the slaying of gargantuan monsters.

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FeatureDragon's Dogma

Breathe fire, eat sheep.

You've got to feel sorry for new IP: we bleat for it all the time, then Capcom whips the covers off its first-ever open world game, a titan-slaying adventure of breathtaking scope. And then people say "Monster Hunter meets Demon's Souls, innit."

Dragon's Dogma

Scale away.

Let's be honest. We've never asked ourselves, what if Capcom's Devil May Cry team employed its action expertise to create a game which could be described as Monster Hunter meets Oblivion? But then we're not in the business of making games. Capcom is, and that's exactly what it's done. Say hello to Dragon's Dogma.