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Wed Apr 25, 2012, 08:39 PM

Dragons Dogma - Demo - PS3 - Review

It seems like forever since I've done a demo review and I really love doing them. I've had the PS3 working again for a few weeks but was catching up on all the playing I've been missing from the games I already had, plus the new Tiger but... I hope to be putting these out more again (Plus I am about 3/4 of the way through a good sized Tiger update with more detail on some things). Keep in mind as well that I do now have my MMJ card and am almost certainly stoned out of my gourd when I'm doing these things

Onto the game... I've seen some videos of this and read a few vague articles so what I'm expecting from this is a game with very realistic graphics and third person Action RPG game play. The download is just over 1.7gig and tonight we got it quick, only about 15 minutes. Lets fire this bad boy up and see what we get... OK, install adds another five minutes... Lets try that again...

Blood and Gore, partial nudity, violence, yeah yeah yeah... Right to a splash screen where I can press start. Using 'X' works, cool. Another splash screen where I can choose from two different quests, character edit or options.

Options - Controller re-configure, Audio/Video and some simple game play options (What displays and what does not).

Character Edit - Gender, Name, Build (a bunch of pre-selects) and voice. You have to go through this twice, once for you and once for your companion (This is the first I know about a companion... I hope not an idiot that will spend most of the time dead).

I can now try one of the two quests offered... I have to wonder at this point, why are these broken up and offered as menu items? WTF? Will they all be like this in the released game? Oh well... I'll try the first one, The Prologue Quest...

No intro video, just a splash screen... Dragons come and kill lots of people, make life suck. Goes right into the game... I'm on a path with some guy(not the companion I made, no clue who he is. It's wicked dark and he wants me to lead the way to ... Somewhere, I missed what the hell he said... Only one way to go on the path so down it I go. The guy following me keeps talking but he stays too far away when he starts so I can't make out what he is saying and by the time I stop and go back so his vocals rise, he's done and does not repeat it, I'm not going to try anymore, if I hear it I hear it, heh... Still no clue whats going on here... We get to the end of the short path and there is another guy and this big ass fire ball comes crashing down and now everything is on fire... Looked very cool as the flames came sweeping straight into the screen.

The guy I'm with (who I can now hear calling me Master... What is he, my slave?) now runs ahead, slaughters a goblin, then grabs a second one and holds him for me to kill in a slow motion stab through the chest (almost a timed button press like in God of War but felt a lot more natural). I'm a little fuzzy as to why I did not also slay my servant as he was holding the goblin against his chest... but whatever...

We go on and come to a stone that I'm told will give me minions... It does not say for how long... Temp or permanent?... No idea. It gives me two more people who will follow me... Cool. One looks to be an archer of some kind and the other some type of mage or perhaps a healer.... It does not tell me... ahhh, select brings up a confusing menu of everyones items... They all seem to be consumables of varying kinds... Keys, quest items, potion, herbs but I don't see anything for items like weapons, armor, rings or anything you equip... Strange. I also see no way to look at spells or skills... And the only stats I can see are what is in the HUD... None of that stuff appears to be in either the Start or Select menus... WTF kind of game am I playing, is this an ARPG even?

The thumb pad apparently gives basic commands to minions, come, go and help.

The mini-map sucks, it's in the bottom left (need to see if that can be changed) which is a crappy place for it because I hate fucking change and tradition demands it is in the upper right. It also does not orient to you with a static compass, instead it rotates just your arrow so it points down when going south, up when going north... It's just kind of not right.

We all go on and quickly come to a room... I should say, WTF is a room doing here, we were just walking through a canyon of some kind and I can see that it goes on right after this room... Who the fuck builds a room in the middle of a canyon just wide enough for it? Maybe it's a guard room... There are a few goblins there that kindly rush us one at a time so the four of us can cut them to ribbons... Yeah, I'll go with that. I get another slow motion kill and display of my servants steel abs from the last goblin.

OK... I think we are in some sort of dungeon now and we kill some more goblins... It says R2 is pick up but I'm not really sure if they are dropping things or not... I don't see anything fall and R2 does not appear to do anything, no indication through audio, visual or text clues so I'm not sure.

There is a quick cut scene of a flying monkey gnawing on a corpse... He flies at us and we gladly remove it from the game. And... Now we are in a temple. We kill some more with some more slow-mo's thrown in... They seem to happen a lot and you don't have any control for a few seconds when it happens... Just a bit distracting. I get three more minions who are just standing around and decide to join... They said something about a big worm being awake. The new people are referring to me as "Arisen"... I'm a zombie?

Cut scene of some kind of giant lion that has something else growing out of it's back... Some type of serpent that breathes fire. It kills and eats one of my minions (from the last batch) during the cut scene... Down to 6 minions for those keeping score at home.

The fight with the lion was pretty cool. The other two minions from the last batch died quick and dis-appeared. One of the others was injured and fell to the ground, stayed there (not taking any more damage) until I came over and healed her. It ended right after the kill, no time to look for treasure, just a voice that said to go on or go back and a door opening... Then back to the main menu. I will do the other quest later.

Graphics - A lot of this was dark... Real dark, hard to tell what it looked like because what you could see was colorless. Even when you could see the only real color was the fire so it's kind of hard to say. It did not appear to live up to the visuals I saw in the various videos released. It has to get a lot better when it's brighter (and there better be a lot more settings to see it) to be what they showed... Thats not to say it's not very good, just not as good as I was expecting.

Audio - Needs work on the NPC audio queues, I'm sure they had stuff worth hearing but because the audio gets fainter the further they are from you, I missed a lot.

Control - The camera is just a little bit closer then I like, if it could be pulled back just a bit it would be fine, not a deal breaker. The rest of the controls are very intuitive and there is a handy legend for the buttons in the bottom right.

Items - Tons of consumables, even in a short play through. I started with most, if not all, of them but there were a lot and room for lots more. Things you equip has me a bit nervous. No stats, no inventory for weapons, armor, etc, no spells/skills... I don't know... Finding/boosting these things are a pretty major part of these kinds of games.

Fun Factor - It plays very much like an ARPG combined with the CAPCOM 'press this combo of buttons and triggers to get this move'... Damn... It's almost a Streets of Rage type game with a different view, some items and way better graphics... I can dig it for that if thats what it ends up being It was fun to play.

Bottom Line - A fun game even though I'm still a bit fuzzy on exactly what kind of game it is... It's mixing stuff from a few different genres. I'm going to have to know more before I can decide if it will be a release buy or wait for bargain bin buy... It will almost certainly be a bargain bin buy since it comes out a week after Diablo III but if I get some big surprise it might move up to release buy... I'm not expecting it

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Reply Dragons Dogma - Demo - PS3 - Review (Original post)
Ohio Joe Apr 2012 OP
Ohio Joe Apr 2012 #1

Response to Ohio Joe (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:13 PM

1. This demo has been a topic at work...

Last edited Sat Apr 28, 2012, 11:16 AM - Edit history (1)

We have had some interesting discussions on this demo and we have come to some conclusions but first let be give a brief description of the second quest:

You appear in a big field with 3 companions. You are now sporting some cool daggers, one in each hand and they are on fire The game looks much better (but still not as good as the released videos) and it is outside and it is nice and bright. A very short distance away are a few goblins that, just like in the first quest, are perfectly content to be slaughtered without much fuss. Right away, you are attacked by what I think is a griffin. It's flying and you just can't get a good view while fighting... You can really just do one or the other. Regardless, it is another giant boss fight that is filled with you hanging onto the boss and hacking away at it. It does certainly look cool while it is going on... Wicked cool but... You are not really doing much. R2 to hang on and hit the box button to attack. I tried a bunch of other stuff but nothing else really did anything except get me whomped on. As soon as the battle is over, so is the quest. It happened really fast so I did not really have time to check out if anything was different. I did notice that my character had a bow on his back but was unable to switch weapons so... That sucked.

Thats it, Demo complete.

Back to this being a topic at work... The conclusions we all agreed on:

1 - The game delivers some great visuals when it wants... It is unknown how much they will do it.

2 - After playing the demo, I am more confused about this game then before I played it. Is this an ARPG? Or an updated beat em up along the lines of Double Dragon or Streets of Rage? Or something else? Everything we all remembered of what we had previously seen said the game was an ARPG but there is a lot missing if it is.

3 - This is CAPCOM... There is a lack of trust issue.

4 - This is going to be, at best, a bargain bin purchase. Depending on what is planned for DLC... Pricing... Is it already on the disk and are they wanting us to pay for it again... Some stupid DRM to want you to pay some online fee if purchased used... Things like that have the potential to make it a pass completely. I expect these will be known before too much longer.

Edit: to add - 5 - Don't bother using the character creator in the demo. They have you do the shit not once but twice and then don't use the characters you created, there is no point to it.

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