Dragon's Dogma Has Studied Its Competition Well

If you thought Dragon's Dogma looked like Capcom trying to make its own Dragon Age, you are correct. And from what I saw of the game yesterday (and given people's reaction to Dragon Age II), that may be a very good thing.

This is partly due to the game's imagery, of course. Strip back the visuals and a lot of these kind of RPGs look the same, no matter where they're from: create a character, complete quests, battle in quasi-turn-based combat. But in adopting Western fantasy designs for this game (and aggressively marketing the game outside of Japan), Capcom isn't aiming at the White Knight Chronicles of the world: it's got Dragon Age in its sights.

During a demonstration from the game's development team, I was shown three distinct areas of the game: the character creation suite, a town "hub" and a boss battle against a giant Cyclops.

So You Want To Be A Hero

The game's character creation utilities are surprisingly impressive, with a massive variety of preset options available for all aspects, and once those are selected, you can adjust things like size and shape on a slider. The customisation ran so deep, in fact, you could add little moles to the character's face.

What was impressive wasn't just the options, though, it was the quality of the model generated at the end of it, the features coming together to make a character that looked the equal of anything specifically built (indeed, the developers mentioned that the game's NPCs were built using the same creation system).

The changes aren't just cosmetic, though. The bulk of a character affects things like balance, and in perhaps the coolest touch, you could adjust their posture as well. Sounds naff, but it actually influences the animation and "character" of your, well, character: if you want to be an evil wizard, you can stoop them over and they'll shuffle around. Straighten their spine, meanwhile, and they'll bound around like Mr. Invincible.

Town People

Most of what I'd seen of Dragon's Dogma to date involved linear battles, trudges trough artificial corridors of grass and trees. Yesterday's demo showed us a large town "hub", which was full of quest-giving NPCs, each of which was fully voiced. It looked a little empty in places, in terms of both buildings and characters, but to their credit Capcom has really nailed the look of a "Western" fantasy town.

Monster Hunters

The third section of the demo, a battle against a huge Cyclops, was your typical RPG affair. Party combat, spell cooldowns, little numbers flying everywhere, etc. Actually, you know what: it looked a lot like Monster Hunter. That's probably just the fact we know this game is made by Capcom, and has been made after Monster Hunter hit the big time, but hey, that's the vibe I got from it.

A few more points of interest from the presentation:

- The game will allow, in certain situations, same-sex relationships, showing the extent to which these guys have been taking notes on the competition.

- It's got a kind of new game plus, where upon completing the game you can start again retaining your experience.

- The developers were very intent on showing us the extent to which you could adjust the bust size of female characters.


Comments

    Looking nice. I'm glad they're learning from the competition. That character creator sounds really interesting.

    "The game will allow, in certain situations, same-sex relationships, showing the extent to which these guys have been taking notes on the competition."

    Yay.

    "The developers were very intent on showing us the extent to which you could adjust the bust size of female characters."

    Sigh.

    doesn't look anything like dragon age. Might be a good game though, who knows?

    It studied its competition so well that it decided it would forgo the social power behind such games? If they truly had taken lessons from other popular titles in nearby genres then multi player would have been a given.

      That's exactly what they've done. They studied that you don't need multiplayer to be successful. Infact having coop/multiplayer can make your game unsuccessful. Capcom's previous big games were strictly designed as multiplayer/coop games and they bombed because westerners did not like these games. Read into it what you may.

    I'm glad they seem to be learning less from Dragon Age and more from their own Devil May Cry.

    they can still put multi player in this with boss fights and pvp like demon soul where you can invade other player game to kill them crapcom you suck fuck this game white knight 2 is by far better becz of the multi play

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