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D&D Daggerdale: First Impressions

Posted by: Sean Cahill at 5/24/2011 10:24 PM
Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale hits an online marketplace near you within the next week, depending on your system of choice.  However, that hasn't stopped me from getting my hands on the final product and giving it a test run before breaking it down for a review.  I have some early impressions and thoughts about the game to share, just as an appetizer before the main course.

- The graphics are pretty solid.  Sometimes, with DLC standalone content, you don't get the greatest of products.  This is not the case, though.  The character models look good, but the real stars are the enemies.  Goblins, skeletons, and lizards:  They are all well done and certainly look mean enough.

- Camera angles can be a bit of a pain, sometimes.  You can rotate on the X-axis easily enough, but you have zero control over the Y-axis.  It makes for some bad situations if you have a low ceiling, a bridge that you are under, or torches.  They can and will block your view.  Also, only two views:  High above, and the over the shoulder angle, although it's still quite a bit away from your sprite.

- Four character models, none are customizable.  Job system is race-specific, matching up a human, elf, dwarf, and halfling with warrior, rogue, cleric, and wizard, respectively.  Even though the character models aren't customizable, they still look good.  Just think back to your days of playing Gauntlet and you won't care about not being able to change up your character.

- Gameplay is certainly fun and a bit challenging, especially in the early stages.  Tutorial was simple enough to learn and only took about ten minutes.  Playing as a warrior, I have melee, ranged, and special attacks.  The melees can be put into a combo of three successive hits.  Range attacks are limited by your character's range, which can be changed through gear.  Special attacks are earned as you level up.  Anyone who has played Dynasty Warriors might feel a little bit of that style with the hack and slash, as I found myself up to my eyeballs in goblins at more than one point in the game.

- NPC interaction is read-only.  Characters are grunting and that's about it.  We've seen this before in games, so it's not entirely rare.  The early cutscene to open the game had voice over, but none of the character models actually showed mouths moving.

Those are the first impressions that I get from this game.  After about two and a half hours of gameplay, I have a very good feel of the game and, to foreshadow a bit with my upcoming review, I'm not disappointed in the least with this product.