Drakengard 3 is the type of game that caters to a certain audience. It is a funny, weird and memorable experience. I can’t remember the last time a video game made me laugh out loud as much as this one did. Playing the single player experience with friends made the jokes even funnier. The tongue-in-cheek humor is blatant and, though it seems like something that can grow tiresome, I never bored with the interactions between Zero, the main character, and Mikhail, her new found dragon friend. Mikhail is innocent and needs explanations for most of the dialogue between Zero, her sisters and her disciples (A.I. Companions that help throughout the game).
Though all the interactions are considerably mature in nature, sex jokes abound, the games narrative takes itself seriously, to the point where boss battles will have you holding your laughter in an attempt to get through them. Banter between characters occur often, and the best parts of the game are catching the little quips between characters while fighting. Even AI enemies are funny, as they profess their impending doom. The over-the-top nonsense is taken so seriously, that the game forces you to find it funny, rather than bizarre. I’d liken the humor to that of Lollipop Chainsaw. For example, there’s a point where Zero is murdering another character, and instead of showing you the gore, a chibi style animated screen shows up that says the content has been deemed too inappropriate to view, after everything else we’ve already seen. It’s a funny intervene to the action.
Time For Some Action (Pun Intended)
Speaking of action, the gameplay is simply fun. It develops as you play, the more weapons you unlock, the bigger variety of combos you have to attack your enemies. When you begin, enemies can be ruthless, but the game rewards you for combinations made, as well as for using different weapon types for different enemies. Switching between weapons is easy and seamless, and though fighting can be difficult, it is rewarding to tear through enemies using flashy combos you’ve discovered through experimenting with different weapons. Weapons become more powerful as you level up, improving the overall combat feel as you progress. Where melee fighting is inherent, fighting atop a dragon has a bit of a learning curve. The controls aren’t the easiest, but once you get used to the mechanics, the feeling of being awesome will soon return as you wreak havoc on the back of the sweet innocent Mikhail, who unlike every other character, decides everyone is absurd and they should all try talking out their differences. This fighting mechanic helps to keep boss battles interesting and provides a nice alternative to all the hack and slash you’ve been doing leading up to the event, though better controls would have improved the experience. One can just smash through the entire game if necessary, but it defeats the fun of finding the new combos and knowing when to use which weapons.
Enemies get stronger, and they are never easy to beat, so Intoner mode allows for Zero to become invulnerable and go into a super attack mode for a short period of time. Speed and attack power are increased as she easily disposes of groups of enemies. It becomes a move to rely on when in a tough situation.
To See Or Not To See
Unfortunately tough situations can arise often if you aren’t being careful, and the camera work will kill you on more than one occasion. The game almost forces you to use the lock-on system, but this system doesn’t always lock onto the target you’re looking to attack. If you aren’t locked on, the camera can get into angles where you won’t be able to see, and those crucial seconds of fixing the camera will most likely cost you your life. Death requires you to redo the most recent area, which also takes you out of the experience as some dialogue that was funny the first time around, isn’t as funny the second or third time hearing it. When too many things are happening at one time on the screen, survival becomes more difficult, especially since every second counts. Frame rate drops and camera/environment clipping aren’t horrible enough to remove you from the experience, but it does create a hiccup in the games immersion. Graphics are on par with that of FFX/X-2 HD remaster. It’s almost an HD port from a ps2, rather than a new ps3 game. As for disciples that fight alongside you, unhelpful AI is well, unhelpful.
All in all, the game is fun, and anyone who is interested in having a laugh with a bit of sexual innuendo, is encouraged to enjoy the combat, and story that they will eventually fall for, something that kept me going until the end of the game.
Drakengard 3 is a fun immersive game, with tons of laugh out loud moments, fun combat that lets you figure out its best mechanics for the situation and a weird story that pulls you in with its absurd yet serious demeanor. Though camera angles can cause environment glitches and death, and frame rate drops remove you from the immersion, it’s a must play for anyone who enjoys the genre.