Hero who walks a mythical land

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iol scitech july 6 TO DD1 . These are mythical lands, where dragons and other monsters stalk a terrified peasant population.

Dragon’s Dogma

DEVELOPER: CapCom

FORMAT: PS3

AGE RESTRICTION: 18

RATING: HHHHI

What do you call a hero without a heart? In any normal circumstance, he probably wouldn’t be a hero at all.

In Dragon’s Dogma, you can name him what you will, but when all is done and dusted, you can call him The Man. Here’s why. For starters, these are nowhere near normal circumstances. These are mythical lands, where dragons and other monsters stalk a terrified peasant population, and a black man with a snow-white Afro can walk around with nary a suspicious glance thrown his way by the lily-white townsfolk.

This is our hero (at least the one I created) and the man upon whom the task of taming this dragon scourge rests. And he really doesn’t have a heart. It all transpired during a dragon’s raid on a peaceful fishing village.

With the locals cowering, and spotting his beloved in danger, our hero leaps into action, only for the dragon to rip his heart out in the process. But he lives… the dragon is so impressed that our hero dared to attack him that he allows him to defy biological conventions and see another day.

The once-frightened people, having presumably seen it all before, register little shock at this supernatural chain of events.

Our hero is now, by way of the dragon’s mercy, some sort of chosen one and so the locals seek him out to run all manner of errands for them. The military and ruling class, too, have designs on him, not least in the matter of bringing down the dragons.

Our hero then sets out on this quest, but he is not alone. On the advice of a spirit guide, drawn to him by his newfound power, he can enlist the services of pawns, mercenary soldiers who specialise in either magic, archery or combat. His choice of allies is important, depending on the mission he accepts. Along the way, he will encounter bandits, wolves and monsters, each requiring a variety of tactics to defeat. This constant menace makes the road long, but thankfully, our hero has his brothers.

Dragon’s Dogma compares favourably to an adventure/quest title such as The Elder Scrolls. Though it lacks the scope and depth of that title, it nevertheless offers a vast environment, not to mention a superior combat system. It is a bit of a let-down in some of the boss battles – there appears to be some disconnect in terms of the damage these creatures can cause in comparison to the pain even a rusty blade seems to inflict – but it’s a trifling matter when one considers what is on offer. – Tonight

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