Dragon's DogmaDragon's Dogma is an upcoming action role-playing game that is being developed by Capcom for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game features an open world fantasy setting, in addition to hack and slash and survival horror elements, and is planned to be released in North America on May 22, 2012, May 25, 2012 in Europe, and May 24, 2012 in Japan. The game is being developed by staff members that had worked on previous Capcom franchises such as Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, and Breath of Fire.
GameplayThe player will be able to select between various types of vocations, of which nine have been revealed: Fighter, Warrior, Mystic Knight, Strider, Ranger, Assassin, Mage, Sorcerer and Magic Archer. Gender choice and appearance settings will also be available. The class system, or vocation, makes a difference to the gameplay and tactical options available to the player, ranging from Fighters relying on hack and slash combat (with a move-set similar to Capcom's Devil May Cry) to Striders relying on climbing over large enemies (like in Shadow of the Colossus).
One of the game's main innovations is the "pawn" system. While the player's party is exploring the world, the three party members who accompany the main character will be controlled by artificial intelligence, but the player can issue orders like "Go", "Help" and "Come to them". One of the party members is a non-playable character (NPC) and belongs to the main character's world. The other two party members are NPCs borrowed from other players by connecting online, but the game will not require an internet connection. However, the player can only borrow the NPCs from other players, not their main character. The party members, referred to as pawns, will talk, seek the main character's help, and provide information about enemies. The player will need to work on strengthening the main character and the party members.The pawns are vocal, yelling out useful hints and strategies, which are often vitally important to surviving tough boss encounters and dungeons, which is seen as an evolution of the message-leaving system in Dark Souls. The pawn system will also feature social networking features.
The game will feature a "grab" action, where the main character can grab on or cling to enemies, objects, or NPCs. The player can use this feature for more advanced attacks. For example, the main character can either grab on to a giant griffon's legs and attack it directly, or climb up to reach its head for a more lethal blow. "In a lot of action games, with big enemies the tendency is just to have you hacking away at the shins. You don't get the full effect of fighting a giant boss," Hideaki Itsuno, the director of Dragon's Dogma, said. "With this game you can climb all over it. If it has a body part, you can attack it." The ability to climb enemies has drawn comparisons to Shadow of the Colossus.
The game's large open-world environments have drawn comparisons to Capcom's own Monster Hunter series as well as The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. In addition to the large open world, Dragon's Dogma will also feature a large city environment with over 200 NPCs who will move about according to their own time schedules. The player will be able to communicate with the residents in full voice. The game features a persistent world with a day-night cycle; this affects the gameplay during the night, when the game takes on a more survival horror feel reminiscent of Capcom's Resident Evil series. In addition, the game's art style and character movements have been compared to Dark Souls, the hack-and-slash combat elements have been compared to Devil May Cry and Dark Souls, some of the fantasy elements have been compared to Breath of Fire. and the combat and party systems have been compared to Monster Hunter.
The game is being designed to be playable even by those who are not too skilled at action games. These types of players can recruit strong NPCs and let them do the fighting during combat as they watch over the battlefield. Players can look forward to anywhere between 30 and 100 hours of gameplay, the former figure for normal play and the latter for those who wish to dig in to the game.
PlotDuring its raid on the fishing village of Casadeis, a dragon approaches the hero of the story, telling them that they are the “chosen one” and proceeds to tear out their heart. With their heart ripped out, the hero’s death is inevitable. However, through some unknown miracle, the hero is saved from certain death. Now revived as an “enlightened one”, the hero is destined to find and kill the dragon that stole their heart.
DevelopmentThe game is being developed by Capcom staff members that had previously worked on series such as Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, and Breath of Fire. These include director Hideaki Itsuno, who previously directed games such as Resident Evil: Outbreak and Devil May Cry 3; producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi, who previusly produced games such as Resident Evil 4 and Killer7; and Breath of Fire designer Makoto Ikehara, who worked on creating the fantasy game world and script elements during the early stages of production.
During the press conference at Capcom's Captivate event in 2011, director Hideaki Itsuno said that Dragon's Dogma is a game he had been dreaming about making since his school days. He was able to realize it now due to advancing technology, and has been directing a staff of around 150 people at Capcom Japan for the past two years development time (three years including conceptual phases). As of April 2011, the game's development status was at 50%.
Istuno stated that his team have "made Dragon's Dogma and come up to this point through our experience of action games. We're trying to make a new genre: We're using our action heritage and putting that into an action RPG." In addition to Capcom's previous works (such as Breath of Fire, Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, and Monster Hunter), Istuno also cited the influence of other Eastern RPGs such as Dragon Quest and Western RPGs such as Fable and Oblivion. Itsuno later explained that they have "seen a great deal of open-world action RPGs over the years," but that "there's never been one that really put everything together in the action parts. We figured that if there hasn't been a game made by people who understand how action works, then we ought to do it ourselves. We wanted a game where the player is thrown into the world and needs to figure out how to stay alive via nothing but his own controller." However, it will also be possible for characters to take a less action-oriented approach, with Itsuno stating that they are "making this game such that you can beat the monsters even if you build up EXP, collect good companions and/or pawns, and sit back and watch the battle unfold," and elaborating that while it is an action game, "that's not all that it is. You can fully configure your party and put as much thought as you like into battle, which is something we're doing for people who really want to get into this world."
It was announced in January 2012 that the game would include early access to a playable demo of Resident Evil 6 with the Xbox 360 demo, due in July, while the PlayStation 3 version arrives in September.