Dragon’s Dogma: First Foray

In a flash-back or flash-forward moment (I’m not quite sure which it is) you start off in a ruin, as a hero of some sort. After taking a few steps, you are greeted by this scene:

Yeah, that's a Dragon alright
Yeah, that’s a Dragon alright

He speaks you to and takes off, leaving your hero with his lone companion. Not much farther into the ruin, you are greeted by other companions:

Full Party
Full Party

These “Pawns” are under AI control, but can be ordered to do things. Still getting the ropes of the controls, I let them do as they pleased. The dragon was said to have gone this way, when suddenly we were attacked by a huge beast:

Chimera, right off the bat
Chimera, right off the bat

With the foe vanquished, the prelude ended, and I was prompted to create a character. After creation, a cutscene depicts the same Dragon from the intro attacking your village, and you trying to be a valiant hero. You fail of course, and have your heart ripped out by the Dragon. You “die” and awake inside a house. Your chest has sealed itself but you have no pulse. You are Arisen now, and can hear the call of the Dragon anytime you place your hand over the place where your heart used to be.

Tin Man needs a heart
Tin Man needs a heart

Dragon’s Dogma follows the familiar approach of a three class system: Warrior, Rogue, Mage much like Dragon Age and other current-gen RPGs. I decided to go with the Rogue, as they mix bows with their dual wield daggers to give flexibility during combat. To make this selection, you are prompted to pick up your choice of weapon thereby “creating” your class.

Thievery is profitable.
Thievery is profitable.

Upon exiting the house, you discover that you are indeed in the same town and are greeted with a fantastic view:

Dragon's Dogma_ Dark Arisen Screenshot_6

Wandering the town, I completed some fetch quests, and then ran into an individual that appeared out of thin air. He is a Pawn, who hears the call of the Arisen, and answers only to them. He asks to be brought to an encampment where more of his kind are sure to be.

New Homie
New Homie

I still had some quests I wanted to finish up, so by the time we set out for the encampment, night had fallen.

It's pretty dark without a torch
It’s pretty dark without a torch

The game gives some feeling of a persistent world with day and night cycles. They also force you to have a lantern, but finding empty flasks to fill with oil is a pretty trivial task. Having the smaller light source also makes the world feel bigger and more dangerous. After some idle exploring of a nearby beach, we finally arrived at the encampment.

Dragon's Dogma_ Dark Arisen Screenshot_10

After spending the night in the encampment, the alarm was raised, the camp was under attack!

Ogres are like Onions
Ogres are like Onions

I attempted to keep my distance and attack with arrows, but the bow drains stamina pretty quickly, so eventually I closed in to slice up the beast’s ankles. After the fight we went back into the camp, and I spoke with a stone portal thing (I forget the name right now, excuse me) which is a gateway for Pawns. At this point I was employing two pawns, but was allowed a total of three. There is a feature that allows you to recruit a friend’s main Pawn at any point in time, regardless of how high of a level they are, and for free to boot. My main pawn was on that I was allowed to create, and I made a Mage specializing in healing. I figured that would help me along quite nicely. But once I saw a level 51 pawn that I was allowed to recruit for free, I was sold. I assume it will make the game easier than it would be normally, but I’m ok with that, due to my super casual gaming status. You can easily pick out the “super” pawn in this picture:

Calling Super Pawn
Calling Super Pawn

After doing some combat training side mission, there was a mission pending with the camp’s leader, and she was prompting me to rest before heading out to a capital of some sort. Upon waking, the camp was again under attack, this time by another popular mythical creature:

Snake Soup anyone?
Snake Soup anyone?

A multi-headed Hydra was ready to kill everyone in sight, and for some reason guards never see them coming. My party took the creature down pretty easily, as a hooded individual disappeared from the scene. I’m assuming this is some sort of recurring villain, but we haven’t learned much about who or what it is just yet, except that it might be summoning these crazy creatures.

At that point I decided I had done enough for one sitting. The game is very intriguing and I will definitely be getting farther into it as time goes on, as it is now in my steady rotation.