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Dragon's Dogma: A JRPG, but not as we know it

Capcom's latest takes a few cues from the West

Most Japanese RPGs these days are depressingly linear.

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Dragon's Dogma, on the other hand, is completely open world, with a promised 100 hours of gameplay. Another twist is that instead of simply recruiting party members to help in combat, you create them.

They're called Pawns, and you can edit their appearance and even their personality. You can, of course, also edit your own appearance.

We watched producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi, who has previously worked on the Devil May Cry series, take down an enormous golem. The combat was reminiscent of an MMO like World of Warcraft; a mixture of melee attacks, offensive spells and support magic. As he tackled the monster his Pawns would heal him.

Occasionally we'd see the hero jump on top of the golem and attack glowing weak spots. Shadow of the Colossus, anyone? We thought it was a boss battle, but the golem fight is actually
a random encounter. Indeed, as you wander the huge world map you'll regularly come across monsters to kill and quests to do.

Dragon's Dogma doesn't look quite as essential as Skyrim, but it's good to see Japanese developers attempt something this ambitious. It does share a lot of similarities with Bethesda's game, though.

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The main city is enormous and filled with hundreds of non-player characters who follow their own routine depending on the time of day. It also boasts hundreds of quests that will take an age to clear.

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