Dragon's Dogma hands-on preview

Felling the aforementioned griffin represents just one of many quests that pepper the landscape. As an open-world game, you’re free to pursue only the story missions, but as with games like Oblivion, you’ll undoubtedly miss some of the best stuff by staying on track. We were told huge creatures, such as the perpetually regenerating hydra, will ransack villages, consume AI partners and generally run amuck. Should you choose to intervene and save the town, the spoils are yours. If not? Ehhh maybe next time. Either way, Capcom said each mission you complete (or fail to complete) affects the story in some way, leading to one of “a number” of endings.

Further details are light, but Capcom made this point very clear: it has a lot of faith in Dragon’s Dogma, with Hiroyuki Kobayashi (producer for RE4) saying it could be “the greatest action game we’ve ever made.” We obviously can’t verify that just yet, though the pieces we saw and played were assuredly chock full of action. Not the usual Capcom-style action, mind, with DMC-style combo counters or the head-exploding gore found in Resident Evil, but something comparable to a ramped-up, story-driven Monster Hunter that doesn’t hinge on multiplayer. The non-monster-climbing combat was a tad bland, but then again, we’ve only seen one area in isolation and not what the full game has to offer.

Above: This is apparently the main overworld field, where we also fought the griffin. Looks full of adventure…

This brief introduction to the basic mechanics has our interest piqued. We’re specifically curious about multiplayer – will the whole game support co-op, replacing pawns with human characters? Will there be multiplayer-specific dungeons? We expect E3 will expand on this ideas put forth in this demo and subsequent trailers, and perhaps paint a fuller picture of Capcom’s big 2012 release. Look for more during the first week of June.

Apr 12, 2011