Dragon’s Dogma announced. First trailer (Xbox 360, PS3)

Dragon's Dogma screenshot. Mythical beasts in open-world action from Capcom!
Dragon’s Dogma has been announced by Capcom at their Captivate 2011 event in which they announced the all-new open-world fantasy title that is in development by the creators of Resident Evil 4 and Devil May Cry 4 (producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi and director Hideaki Itsuno).

“Set in a huge open world, Dragon’s Dogma is a unique action experience that blends exciting and fulfilling combat with the freedom to explore and interact in a rich, living and breathing world. With your party of three you set out on an epic adventure to track down and destroy a mysterious dragon. Along the way you’ll encounter some of the biggest and baddest beasts ever to roam the land, and only skilful play and tactical teamwork can save the day.

Utilizing an enhanced version of Capcom’s proprietary MT Framework engine that delivered the groundbreaking graphical styles and lighting effects used in Resident Evil 5 and Lost Planet 2, Dragon’s Dogma expands the environment to create a vast, richly detailed world, ripe for exploration. Dragon’s Dogma will deliver a whole new world of action to Xbox 360 and PS3 2012.”

Different classes will be available, like the melee-focused Fighter, magic-focused Mage and speedy Strider. Your party of three can be customized or you can connect online and borrow an NPC from another player. These NPCs will help you in battle by seeking out your help or providing information about enemies and the like. Thus you will need to focus on not only building the experience of your character but also your partners.

In addition to the standard magic and melee attacks you’d expect in this type of game, one hook of Dragon’s Dogma is the ability to “grab”. This allows you to grab onto beasts and enemies which opens up new types of attacks. In the trailer you can see this demonstrated when the player grabs onto a Griffin. From there you can attack its legs or attempt to climb atop it and attack it in a more lethal area. This will definitely provide for some interesting situations not seen in other types of open-world fantasy titles.

“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,” says Itsuno, direct of Dragon’s Dogma. “With this game you can climb all over it. If it has a body part, you can attack it.”

The game will feature over 200 NPCs that move about according to their own time schedule, and all characters will be fully voiced. In an interesting twist, players can even recruit NPCs to do ALL the fighting for them, where all you have to do is sit back and watch the slaying! The developers are promising between 30 and 100 hours of gameplay. The former obviously being the main quest/path through the game, the latter someone who digs in deeper.

The game definitely looks impressive, with large open environments and giant, vicious-looking mythical beasts for you to fight. The game looks like it will be more action-adventure than RPG and you can see glimpses of the main character using elemental attacks (Ice, Fire) in addition to his melee attacks. And as suggested by the title of the game, the trailer also indicates that there is definitely some kind of religious, cult Dragon-worshipping craziness going on within this world.

This game is definitely an interesting direction for Capcom to go. It looks like they are trying their hand at a Western-RPG-style open-world adventure ala The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age 2 or Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Hopefully it’ll work out much better than the disappointing Lost Planet 2 this time around.

Here is the debut trailer for Dragon’s Dogma.