It’s no secret that I love dragons. Which is why when I saw Dragon: The Game launch on Kickstarter I didn’t hesitate to back it. After receiving my Steam early access key I couldn’t wait to try it out. I really did love the idea of being able to play as the giant winged lizards of folklore and the promise of being able to do pretty much anything that I can think of as a giant fire-breathing beast of legend really captivated me. Well, after a little bit of playing in the latest alpha build there’s good and there’s not so good. Read on if you’re interested in my take.
Before I get to the parts that I didn’t much care for let’s talk about what I did enjoy. First off, the game looks good. The graphics at this stage aren’t actually too bad. It does look like there’s some placeholders, like villagers with what look like lightsabers instead of swords for instance, but overall I like the look of the world in Dragon: The Game. It’s not great but it’s not horrible at the same time. The audio does need a little work but overall I didn’t mind it much.
The other thing that I enjoyed in my short time playing Dragon: The Game is the open world feel of the game. When you start a new game after creating your ideal look of your own beast you do get what essentially amounts to quests like killing critters or terrorizing villages, but you’re not limited to doing what the game wants. You can do them, of course, but if you’d just rather burninate the countryside or fly around majestically over the plains that’s your prerogative. It is an open world game, after all.
The one thing that I really had a hard time getting into is that the controls were less than ideal for my playstyle. The keyboard controls are pretty intuitive even though some didn’t seem to work for me. Either I was doing something wrong or they haven’t been implemented yet but things like eating or dropping what you grab didn’t work for me. The mouse controls, though, really had me frustrated. I find the “inverted” movement in any game to be counter-intuitive to what I’m used to. I don’t even use it in flight sims. This made my experience more frustrating than enjoyable.
Despite my issues with the control scheme, though, I don’t regret backing Dragon: The Game. It is after all still in an early state of development so I can’t fault them on my current issues. I’m also sure that they will also offer “standard” and custom control schemes down the line in their options menu. Until then I’m stuck with this default. That said, I’m also glad I didn’t give any more than I did. With further builds I’m sure to enjoy it a lot more but as it currently stands I’ll have to put it on the back burner while I wait. It’s not a horrible game in its current state but it does have more than its fair share of issues.