Gamescom 2011: Dragon's Dogma Updated Impressions Preview - Pawns

Hiroyuke Kobayashi explains the party mechanics in Dragon's Dogma.

We're not sure what to make of the name Dragon's Dogma. It's hard to imagine a dragon's religious upbringing went any further than "thou shall breathe fire" and "thou shall devour foolish adventurers." Whatever it means, the game was on display at the 2011 Gamescom. Because we already got some hands-on time with this open-world, hack-and-slash game, developer Capcom focused on explaining its pawn system with the aid of producer Hiroyuke Kobayashi.

Pawns make up your main character's three-person party and will accompany him throughout his adventure. Kobayashi described them as "otherworldly beings" who look and act human. But unlike humans, they don't age or die. Well, their bodies die if you stab them enough times, but their spirits live on in the rift: the realm of the pawns. They are also compelled (for reasons unknown) to obey the whims of the protagonist.

Two of these pawns will be support pawns, and the third is your main pawn. Support pawns include hundreds of disposable characters you can mix and match to make a well-rounded team. However, your main pawn is unique and will be tagging along for the entire adventure. She is assigned a class at the start of the game, but you can change it later on if you're not satisfied. Kobayashi suggested players pick a class that complements the main character; for example, if you're a mage, you might want your main pawn to be a fighter so that she can cover you in battle while you cast spells.

Your main pawn can also be copied and sent online to join the parties of other players. She will appear in the other player's rift and, if selected, will join that team as a support pawn. After someone uses this copy and returns it to the rift, your main pawn gains knowledge from that player's world. This could include information on undiscovered areas or tactics on how to defeat a certain monster. You also get paid. If you design a popular pawn, your hero could find himself swimming in a bed of rift crystals. This currency can buy special items that are otherwise unavailable or recruit more powerful pawns.

"No matter where you go in the game, there's something to do and interact with," Kobayashi said. Dragon's Dogma is a new beast for Capcom, which aims to combine the developer's fluid combat mechanics with a realistic, open-world setting. Kobayashi also put extra emphasis on the role of player choice throughout the presentation, stating "Every choice you make impacts the story and gameplay." Dragon's Dogma will be released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on March 27, 2012.

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Discussion

21 comments
ArmorGod
ArmorGod

It's obvious to me why co-op play has become scarse these days...$$$. If most of the RPG's and SP games came w/co-op, the "industry" would lose money. I know I lot friends who cannot afford games let alone a console for a particular game. I have a good friend that does not own any consoles but is a HUGE fan of the Halo series because of the ability to play the co-op missions on my console. By limiting the amount of co-op games for RPGs and SP games, the "industry" is enticing and or forcing people to go out and buy console/games. It's all about the Benjamins folks...

Rovelius
Rovelius

@metaltorn I'm not getting Skyrim.. The reason isn't due to a lack of multiplayer.

SimulationStim
SimulationStim

Skyrim comes out in Nov, this game next year. Play them both.

aniemouse
aniemouse

this game looks sweet might take it over skyrim but the dev had said the third person view in skyrim is much better then it was in the first one so now im torn. first person games suck and i will not buy them maybe ill rent skyrim first see how the third person is then make my purchase from there

SimulationStim
SimulationStim

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

metaltorn
metaltorn

@Bear_in_Action we're done here it's Drafon's Dogma time kid. BTW like your avatar

Bear_in_Action
Bear_in_Action

@metaltorn So? Don't like it, don't read it. So I see that you are resorting to insults now, it's obvious who's the kid here. At least I'm literate, and you are... lol.

metaltorn
metaltorn

@Bear_in_Action hey this isn't no blog teddy bear kid.

metaltorn
metaltorn

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

meralonne
meralonne

Admittedly, MP would appear to be more fun. I'm intrigued by the "main pawn" mechanics described, though... could make things very interesting.

Bear_in_Action
Bear_in_Action

Darn... I accidentally edited my whole original post, so I had to delete it and post it again. Anyway, here's my original first post: "What is with you people who must jump on those that wish to have multiplayer in certain type of games? It's not like we want EVERY SINGLE GAME to have multiplayer; Skyrim obviously doesn't need one, because the character is a lone wolf from the start, and I'm perfectly fine with it. I play mostly SP (and RPGs), but when games like this come out, I really do question why it doesn't support MP. Unlike Dragon Age, Dragon's Dogma doesn't sound like each companion has their own story and can get you personally attached to them; two companions you own are even described as "disposable". So why on earth must they be controlled by AI? What is the brilliant reason behind it that I cannot see? If a game was to give me companions that serve no purpose other than beating monsters with me, I don't understand why they couldn't be real players. (I'm only speaking about these "support pawns" since I don't know enough about the main pawn. And if you do see a great reason, do share. I ain't stubborn and welcome a fair debate.) By the way, I'm NOT bashing the game and I'm still very much interested in it. I simply question one aspect of it, and can't stand the people who praise SP like it's Holy Grail. Seriously, you guys are just as bad as the people who praise and play only MP."

Bear_in_Action
Bear_in_Action

@metaltorn since your comment was very short, I don't know why you'd think that I didn't finish reading it. I wonder if you, on the other hand, finish reading what that "kid" wrote. He never said he wasn't going to buy the game for sure, he said "it's hard". I'm not going to analyze his state of mind, but he obviously said that he had no issue with SP games. It's just that, and I quote, "this game looks like it's MADE for multiplayer, yet we're stuck with dumb AI..." This is hardly a "kid" comment, because it allows reasonable debate. I personally find it unfortunate that the game decided to go strictly SP, since I've been waiting for a Monster Hunter type of game to come to NA for a very, very long time. I have plenty, and I say PLENTY of SP games on my shelf, and I was hoping I could play this one with friends. Good 4 player co-op games are hard to come by on consoles. With this one failing my hopes, I guess I can only wait for Borderlands 2. If Rovelius is in the same boat as me, and he feels like SP games is no longer in his priority, that is his choice and the choice doesn't make him immature. No need to generalize him into some kind of "no MP no play" kids.

metaltorn
metaltorn

@Bear_in_Action read the whole thing i typed out, then comment on what i said. i was telling some kid that he was gonna miss out because he was not gonna by the game since it didn't have MP.

Bear_in_Action
Bear_in_Action

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

pai-may
pai-may

I'll at least give it to the review, it's looking real nice and sounds interesting so far.

reavin81
reavin81

hmm im still hesintent being capcom you know hmmmm

metaltorn
metaltorn

@Rovelius because a lack of multiplayer? WOW then ur gonna miss out we'll tell if its worth buying when we're done with ;) dont worry ohh Skyrim isnt going to have multiplayer either. soo yeah

Rovelius
Rovelius

It's going to be hard for me to buy this game after they confirmed the lack of multi-player. I love singleplayer games, don't get me wrong. However, this game looks like it's MADE for multiplayer, yet we're stuck with dumb AI...