In a nutshell, Dragon’s Dogma is an open-world action adventure set in a world of swords, sorcery and enormous, deadly monsters. “When I was at junior high school I was really taken in by The Lord of the Rings, so I’m sure that has had a strong influence,” explains Hideaki. “You can expect to see a lot of those creatures from Greek and Norse mythologies that fantasy fans will be familiar with.”
“While we don’t share a common history and mythology, Japan has had access to the same pop culture experiences over the last 30 years, and I think that Japanese people do like fantasy games, movies and books. Because of that, we have the same working knowledge of myths and creatures such as the Hydra and the Griffin and people in Europe and America do.”
Dragon’s Dogma has been in development for three years and currently has more people working on it than any other Capcom game. “This is a game that I have wanted to make for many years,” Hideaki adds. “I’ve never felt that we had the technology in place to take on a project of this scale. Now, we have consoles powerful enough and a development team at Capcom knowledgeable enough to bring this vision to life.”
Your three accomplices in monster-bashing are a key part of the gameplay and are known as Pawns. You can issue commands to them using the directional buttons and they respond with tips along the lines of “Orcs hate fire” and “deploy the rolled-up newspaper” (I made the second one up), and they can develop abilities of your choosing. Interestingly, there are more than 200 individual NPCs in the game world, each with spoken dialog and a full 24-hour daily routine, and any of them can be recruited as Pawns and then customised to your needs.