Dragon’s Crown PS3 review – Heroic RPG brawler finally lands on European shores
Before you it stands, atop a shimmering heap of fantasy treasure, bringing massive axes, ale soaked beards and thunderous music. But be warned: amongst Dragon’s Crown’s loot lay the perils of laughable lady proportions, casual sexism and gear grinding. If you dare venture further, read on. If you’d rather skip to the end and discover if it’s any good or not, turn to the end of page… well this page. Use your imagination.
If the above meant nothing to you, worry not: your perseverance will be rewarded. Firstly, even though Dragon’s Crown might look intimidatingly niche, it’s a sophisticated, totally accessible RPG brawler. Perhaps the best side-scrolly beat ‘em up since the days when people actually played them. Secondly, as of now, I promise to stop talking like a wizard.
You pick your characters as they sit around a weathered tavern table. Of course you do. Each class has abilities that are swollen to the same glorious proportions as their physical attributes. Pick the Fighter if you want a stompy, direct tank, or the Amazon if you want to deal choppy death at the expense of defense. Casters like the Wizard and the Sorceress are specialist classes, there for the experienced (or brave). The differences aren’t just superficial: the Dwarf can crowd control by chucking enemies around, while casters can turn crates into helpful wood golems. Yes, that kind of different. There’s enough variety here to warrant repeated playthroughs of the 12-odd hour story.
Story-wise it’s more knee-slapping barbarian drinking buddy that purse-lipped elf. The journey has political intrigue and drunk fairies. There are gossamer damsels to liberate, orcs to stomp and massive cats to tame. For a game that’s essentially ‘walk right, murder everything’, it’s painted with wild flair and velvety charm. Abilities trickle out as you level up, so your fighting style evolves. Yes, you’ll want to survive each mission and unearth every secret: but you’ll also want to look like a stone-cold badass as you do it.
This is scandalously pretty
but with an open devotion to
exposed female flesh that some
will consider unacceptable
Let’s talk about looks. This is a game so scandalously pretty that you it’ll give you that funny, churny, probably-love feeling in your tummy. That said, Dragon’s Crown has an open devotion to exposed female flesh that some will consider unacceptable. Stupidly, the cleaving heavages mean little to true axe statisticians: behind the bosomy stuff all we care about is the medieval Matrix of numbers and modifiers. Sexy is a better hammer.
You can let out a disappointed sigh out at the bawdiness of Dragon’s Crown, but you should remain allies for the heroic fighting, hidden depths and looks that will make the even sternest knees knock. A lute-played love song to everything fantasy, Dragon’s Crown brings crisp combat with all the RPG trimmings. Your adventure begins here.