I’ve been following that Dragon’s Dogma Twitter page (@DragonsDogmaCap) for months now. Never before has video game marketing taken a turn into such extensive integration of social media and publicly toting around truck fulls of pre-release media. Eat the hype. From weekly live streams of testers, that last for hours, to an optional supplementary Facebook app the Capcom marketing team has hit the boards full force. All for the better though, because I’m certainly excited for what some have called: “The Dark Souls for 2012″. Albeit, the comparison justifies itself seeing as DD’s creators also cite Resident Evil 4 and Devil May Cry 4 on their resumes, but I feel Atlus may have set the highest bar for absolutely unforgiving learning curves in modern gaming.
D-Dogma embodies an open single player role-playing world filled with countless monsters, creeps, ghoulies, and em effin’ DRAGONS. These beasts roam freely throughout the game’s zones. One interesting quality to combat (as featured in the header picture above) possessed by the player is the ability to climb monsters similar to the way one could in Shadow of the Colossus. This allows the player access to all the squishy weak points of his/her opponent, and I imagine a great deal of players will go straight for back of the skull especially when dealing with the likes of a hate stained tunnel visioned cyclops bastard. There’s also the gluttonous Ur-Dragon: a boss dragon that any character can engage online with other players. Unfortunately, this seems to be the only direct multi-player interaction, but killing or dealing large amounts of damage to the dragon can yield special rewards or titles. This Ur-Dragon will also be available to offline players, but won’t come with the same exclusive incentives. Capcom has boasted that this game surpasses the deliciously excessive baddie collection their franchise Monster Hunter claims consistently with each title. This goes for the quantity, quality and complexity of encounters. From watching the live streams alone I’ve been glued to the painstaking detail invested into the visual splendor of combat as well.
Players can switch freely between the three traditional major western RPG archetypes: Fighter, Mage, Ranger. Over time you can develop into advanced and hybrid vocations that infuse those archetypes. In addition to that, since Capcom chose not to include a multi-player integration, players will have mercenaries, or pawns, that accompany them throughout the game. However, as an answer to the lack of multiplayer, pawns are placed onto the Capcom servers when the player is offline. From there, other adventurers can recruit them which allows, in theory, unlimited opportunities for your pawns to grow more powerful even when you’re not playing and vice versa. Other players are able to evaluate your pawn when returning them, and can even attach a thank you gift to return to you. Oh, and you can link your Facebook profile to your pawn leaving you more opportunities to advertise them for hire via automatic status updates and more.
You can go download the demo now on PSN or Xbox Live. Below I’ve linked some live stream videos (some of which are 2+ hours):
PS – Dragon’s Dogma comes with a complimentary Resident Evil 6 demo disc. #JustSayin