Great PC gaming moments are bite-sized celebrations of some of our favorite gaming memories.
The PC version of Dragon’s Dogma includes simpler, cheaper fast travel to make getting around the game’s sprawling world less of an ordeal. But you shouldn’t use it. The ordeal is the point.
Dragon’s Dogma is a game that, unusually for an RPG, is interested in both the journey and the destination. Traveling is slow – you have to walk everywhere and if you’ve never been there you can get lost along the way. And that slowness can be deadly in itself, because those who don’t make it to a safe place in time experience the horror of the night in Dragon’s Dogma: escaping through pitch black darkness, pursued by brutal nocturnal hunters.
Even during the day, the monsters of the wild have no regard for the phrase “level-appropriate encounter.” If you wander into caves or clearings that are too dangerous for you, that’s on you, mate. And if the wolves and ogres don’t get you, your lack of preparation could perish you. Players who don’t stock up on essential supplies will be worn down by their adventure, a death by a thousand cuts without the healing herbs to mend them.
All in all, your first major cross-country trip in Dragon’s Dogma will be one of combat. It’s in no way a survival game – you don’t have to eat or hit trees – but it’s a game that doesn’t make survival easy. When you arrive at your destination, you really feel like you’ve been through something. They made mistakes but also made amazing discoveries. You’ve been eaten alive, but you’ve also learned to defeat and outwit monsters so big you’ll have to climb onto their backs to get a good hit on them. The sense of satisfaction at overcoming adversity is delicious and makes even a simple goal seem like a great quest.
And then you have to travel all the way back. Dragon’s Dogma has only one true bastion of civilization, the city of Gran Soren, where all journeys begin and end. The way back can get even more arduous – exhausted and low on supplies, you’ll need to use your newfound expertise to find a more cautious route, hopping back and forth between the relatively safe spots you discovered on your uncertain outward journey.
Finally, just over the horizon: the soaring spiers of the city. The moment is burned into my brain. I don’t even remember what quest I was on (anything about a cyclops?), but I’ll never forget seeing Gran Soren in front of me after all those days on the road. As I staggered the final steps towards the gates, shattered and bruised, hurtling through the setting sun, I experienced something few games can match – the genuine joy and relief of coming home.
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