In today’s episode of “Games nobody played” we’re gonna be reviewing Drakengard 3. A game that I had to personally import from the US because Square thought this game was too niche for Europe to get a retail release.
Would I regret the added effort that I had to go through to get this game? Read this briefiew to find out.
Drakengard 3 is the latest entry (so far) of this hack n’slash series of games on which, as the name would suggest, also includes fighting while riding dragons.
Story-wise, Drakengard 3 is a prequel so any newcomers to the series shouldn’t be afraid of losing grip on what the story is about, at least, not because of having missed the previous entries. In this game you’ll be playing as Zero, an intoner with one clear objective in mind, getting rid of all of her other intoner sisters. Seems like a pretty straightforward plot at first, but as you progress you’ll discover that some things weren’t as they seemed.
The fighting in this game could remind you to Dynasty Warriors in how you’ll often be facing helpless goons in abundance but it’s not as massive nor as simple. Yes, Zero is amazing, you’ll feel really powerful while controlling her. She can block, jump, dash (also in mid air) She feels quite agile compared to those you’ll be fighting.
The game has a wide variety of weapons which you can even upgrade. There are 4 weapon types (Swords, spears, bracers and chakrams) and you can choose one of each to join you in battle. Then you can instantly swap between them on the fly creating flashy combos which is lots of fun.
Mikhail, your dragon companion, can be called in during certain sequences, sometimes he helps you attacking foes on scripted events but other times you’ll be controlling him completely as Zero rides him, mostly during the epic bossfights.
Things I liked
- Deep story: It starts with a quite simple set up at least until the end of the first credits (yes, I said first) but then the story goes places you’d never imagine. I’ll obviously won’t spoil what happens but it was deep, it was mind-twisty at times and it was awesome.
- Amazing Soundtrack: Let’s be honest, this game will never be considered one of the greatest games of all time. Its soundtrack however does manage to be up there with any of those memorable games. It’s beautifully melancholic when it has to be and heart-pumpingly epic when the action requires it.
- Engaging Combat: Fast and responsive, the fighting in this game is very satisfying. Zero manages to feel agile and strong at the same time which is great.
- Lengthy: The Hack n’Slash genre usually bring us games that are over before the 10 hour mark, that isn’t the case with Drakengard 3. The main story is well developed on its own but then there’s the side missions, the time you’ll be spending trying to acquire all the weapons…
Things I didn’t
- Horrible performance: As you can already tell by the screenshots, this isn’t the prettiest game on ps3. The original designs make up for the simple textures and such but you wouldn’t think this game is requiring much of the console, right? Wrong. This game has one of the worst framerates I’ve ever encountered. It’s so persistently low that you actually get used to it but I could see most gamers out there not being able to put up with that.
- That final rhythm game: Shouldn’t explain too much because of spoilers so I’ll try to be as vague as I can. This section was put on the game because it’s kind of a staple in the series now I guess. However, I’ve never liked it and I wish it never came back. It’s unnecessarily frustrating and just not fun. It leaves you with a sour taste as you have to play that right at the end of the game.
Who’d like this
I liked the game a lot yet I can’t just tell everyone to go and buy it because I know that awful framerate would make a lot of gamers turn off their consoles by the second chapter. If you can put up with that though, you’ll find a charming little game worth experiencing. If not, I can at least recommend you the soundtrack.