Right off the bat, you’ll find that the aesthetic for Dragon’s Dogma is quite familiar; you wouldn’t be faulted for being reminded of BioWare’s Dragon Age. The game really seems to lack any sort of visual identity. If you didn’t know what you were looking at, you could easily confuse Dragon’s Dogma for one of many other dark fantasy games.
Basic combat is performed through a series of light and heavy attacks. There didn’t appear to be any sort of depth with regards to chaining together light attacks into heavy ones as you’d find in some action games – light attacks simply let you unleash a flurry of blows, while heavy attacks let loose a single, powerful blow. Holding down either shoulder button gives you access to a set of special attacks with different properties. These abilities seem to be tied to your equipped items, meaning you could utilize a series of sword maneuvers with one button and perform shield-based skills with the other.
One element of combat that does help differentiate Dragon’s Dogma is the grab mechanic. Performed through the right trigger, grabbing a basic enemy will let you grapple with it or perform a unique move based on the scenario, such as ripping annoying harpies out of the sky. This especially comes into play against larger enemies like hulking bosses, which can be climbed and mounted in order to reach more vital spots. It definitely beats simply slashing away at the ankles of giant creatures.