Capcom has been teasing a big reveal all morning, and now the floodgates have opened and the media embargoes lifted. Dragon's Dogma, headed up by the largest development team ever assembled at Capcom and spearheaded by Devil May Cry 4 honchos, Hiroyuki Kobayashi and Hideaki Itsuno, melds the open-ended fantasy digs of Elder Scrolls with the beast-bashing endeavors of Monster Hunter. It's due in 2012 on both the PS3 and Xbox 360.
Dragon's Dogma is Capcom's first attempt at an open-world title, featuring fully-voiced, objective-driven NPCs; a day-night cycle with certain characters and creatures only appearing at select time-frames; cities, hubs and all the loot and booty you'd expect from a fantasy RPG. You take on the role of a nameless - for now - hero who is instructed by a resurrected dragon to voyage the land, learning new skills and powers so he's better equipped to actually battle the ancient wyrm.
Combat is a standard third-person affair featuring swords, shields, spells and all that jazz. You can choose from three classes, the damage-dealing Fighter, the spell-casting Mage or the ranged Strider. You're joined on your quest by three 'pawns', recruits who can swap in and out from the half-dozen cities you'll stumble on. You have basic commands at your disposal, like 'go' or 'help', and the 'pawns' themselves deliver fully-voiced instructions when in particular trouble. However, reports suggest the system is far from perfect and in need of a makeover.
So far, so Elder Scrolls, right? Well, Capcom have thrown a dash of Monster Hunter into the mix - with numerous mythical beasts like Griffins and Hydra to vanquish - finished off with a dollop of Shadow of the Colossus. Using a newfangled grapple-mechanic, you can climb up each monster's scaled or hairy hide and locate a weak-point to hack away at. According to a few outlets, its a brilliant feature and and takes Dragon's Dogma from standard fantasy RPG fare to something much more exciting.
We're pretty stoked and can't wait to see the result. It's due in 2012, and with serious talent behind the wheel and a vast army of capable Capcom employees harnessing the latest edition of the MT Framework engine, Dragon's Dogma looks set to be one of 2012's big hitters. [Eurogamer]