(http://www.drakengardgame.com) Rated M for Mature by ESRB. Well, Not all reviews can be the same, and sometimes a game comes along that just doesn’t fit into the realm of normality. Drakengard 3 is that game… Imagine if you will, Monty Python teamed up with Quintin Tarentino and Suda51 to make a game that’s main intention was to offend literally everyone at some point. Ladies and gents, Drakengard 3. You play Zero and her pet Dragon Mikhail, a young goddess who is hell bent on killing her 5 sisters in order to have all the power to herself. That is pretty much it.
(http://www.drakengardgame.com) Rated M for Mature by ESRB. Well, Not all reviews can be the same, and sometimes a game comes along that just doesn’t fit into the realm of normality. Drakengard 3 is that game…
Imagine if you will, Monty Python teamed up with Quintin Tarentino and Suda51 to make a game that’s main intention was to offend literally everyone at some point. Ladies and gents, Drakengard 3. You play Zero and her pet Dragon Mikhail, a young goddess who is hell bent on killing her 5 sisters in order to have all the power to herself. That is pretty much it. Seriously. Sure, there is a bunch of nonsense about disciples who are really sex slaves, mythical kingdoms, and war-drama but in the end the only thing that matters is Zero killing her sisters. Boom. Every single bit of Drakengard 3 is an exercise in hyper-violence and absurdity, and for what it’s worth that angle is pretty entertaining. Some solid comedic writing actually helps that poison go down a bit easier than it should.
Unlike the typical Square Enix game, Drakengard 3 is ugly. The design work is beautiful, but the execution is abysmal. Clunky frame-rates compound the problems of terrible models, horrific texture work, and laughably jittery animations. When making a musou-style masher on a last-gen console, enemy counts should be massive, not struggling to maintain stability with only 10 enemies on screen.
The tongue in cheek writing helps push the terrible voice overs into an acceptable realm, but as usual the English cast tries too hard to mimic the Japanese voice styles instead of honing their own acting ability. The result is predictably obnoxious. The soundtrack is also lackluster to say the least, with no memorable tracks or themes to help build emotion or tension.
Now, when making a hack and slash, combo based, action game the most important aspects would be fluidity and responsive control. So why any game in that genre would forgo those specific aspects is beyond me. Drakengard does just that. The on-foot sections, which make up the largest portion of the game are clunky to say the least. While combat is fast passed and initially enjoyable, it quickly devolves into monotony. The combo meter is simultaneously easy to build and useless. Larger enemies are damage sponges with predictable and repetitive systems, while smaller enemies are mindless fodder. The problems escalate when you take in to account the awful animations which leave too many loops and openings. You cannot cancel out of strings which is a huge problem when facing the more powerful and speedy monsters due to the fact that they cannot be interrupted. The game isn’t broken, its just not well designed. The fact that you can no longer jump on and off the dragon at will to fight an entire army at once further hurts Drakengard 3.
Even more UGH inducing is the dragon combat. While the controls are fair enough and easy to learn, these sections tend to be less difficult and more annoying. Again targets tend to be damage sponges and several missions are timed, so if you miss for even a few seconds your tools for success are thrown out the window. Boss fights boil down to arena style or shmup style combat which ultimately bores due to the lack of difficulty and finesse in the combat design. Over all the gameplay is just there, it neither strives to achieve nor bombs terribly.
Drakengard 3 is a tough one, because the humor and story are entertaining enough to warrant a ply through. Also, Square deserves to be rewarded for taking a chance on a fan favorite cult series again, but the sum of the parts is just not that good. Drakengard falls short on every level, it neither lives up to it’s namesake nor carves a path for future installments. The game is just mediocre, and that is a shame. I highly recommend it as a collector, but this gem might be better to keep factory sealed.