Not just dragons

Who I am
Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
Author and references

Honestly, Dragon Commander looks like the fruit of an evening drenched in too many beers. Not a remote event, considering that the developer, that Larian Studios known for role-playing prowess, is based in the charming Ghent, Belgium. After so many years spent on the Divinity series and with Original Sin in production, recently funded by a successful fundraising campaign, it must have been liberating to be able to create something completely new without abandoning the fantastic universe shaped in over ten years of hard work. : the result is a strategic one with elements taken from numerous other genres that, although set in the world of Revellion, moves away from any previous experiment and tries to draw a path of its own. A gamble that from the very first games shows its side to numerous problems, but which all in all will amuse those players looking for something profoundly different from the usual, as well as with unexpected qualities. On the other hand, there aren't many titles that mix dragons, strategy, tactics and lots of dialogues.



Divinity: Dragon Commander is an unusual but all in all successful mix of different genres

A kingdom to be pacified

As a spin off of the Divinity series, Dragon Commander develops within the same universe as Rivellion, a fantasy world that here takes on different shades, pushing very hard on the hybrid atmosphere with steampunk hues. On board your ship, the Raven, you have to play the role of the bastard son of an emperor whose kingdom is now shattered and disputed, a land to be pacified and brought back under a single flag.


The plot is standard but on the deck of the ship you will meet representatives of the other races involved in the war and with them alliances will be discussed, the next moves planned and the fate of the game decided. Representatives of the undead, dwarves, lizardmen, imps and elves will be welcomed and discussed with them the most disparate issues, economic but also political and social, signing alliances and suffering the inevitable consequences of the enmities that will be created. Making a pact and possibly ending up marrying a representative of the hyper-capitalist dwarf empire will lead to different situations than the path one would follow by embracing the theocratic culture of the undead.


Each race has its own connotations and the long dialogue sessions, with all that they entail, are the most interesting part of the gaming experience precisely because they are extremely peculiar. There are many stereotypes and the judgments expressed are all too clear, almost caricatured, but the beauty is this. The result is a narrative component, which mixes very modern themes in a fantasy context that is not innovative but solid, truly successful. The diplomatic maneuvers, combined with those related to the research and development of new technologies, are realized on the "board game" map divided into provinces. Regions to be conquered by moving troops, building structures and in general acting as dozens and dozens of board games have taught us. In this sense, Dragon Commander works fairly well even if it does not really invent anything new and in the long run it may lack a bit in terms of the variety of situations experienced. The other highlight of the offer, however, are the battles in real time, what at least on the cards should be the real beating heart of the experience.


The year of the dragon

Real-time battles mix strategy and action. You can play one fight in person at a time, possibly delegating the others to your commanders, and how you get there in terms of units and special abilities depends on the choices made during the turn-based phases.


The link between the two types of gameplay, in real time and not, may recall the Total War series and in fact there are points of contact, but the substance is very different. In fact, if the tactical map closely resembles a classic board game, the other has several strategic elements but also a substantial action component. During the battles the units, land and air, must be controlled as in any RTS, moved in order to conquer the territories and with the ultimate aim of destroying the opposing base. You can summon new troops and apply a large part of the strategies experienced in this genre of gameplay, although you shouldn't expect the depth of titles like StarCraft and Company of Heroes. Here the beauty comes when the timer expires and you can finally take control of your dragon: as in any third-person action, we can move it in the air both to destroy enemy forces, and for slightly more sophisticated purposes, for example. sabotage the opposing structures in order to slow down the sending of reinforcements.


An interesting find that, however, clashes with a couple of problems that cannot be underestimated. After a while, in our opinion, the formula tires and, especially due to a non-stratospheric variety, the initial enthusiasm fades. And then the control system, especially when trying to pilot the dragon and manage the production and management of the units, brings out excessive confusion and little intuitiveness. In general, the feeling is that Larian Studios wanted to do many different things without being able to give the right depth to each. The multiplayer component mitigates but does not cancel this general problem, which we would have felt we would have weighed less had it not been for the price, 39.90 euros, dangerously close to that of many so-called triple A productions.


PC System Requirements

Test Setup

  • The editorial team uses the ASUS CG8250 Personal Computer
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 860 at 2.8 GHz
  • Memory: 8 GB of RAM
  • Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670
  • Operating system: Windows 7 64-bit

Minimum requirements

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600 processor
  • 2 GB RAM
  • Scheda video NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT (512 MB) o ATI Radeon HD 4850
  • 15 GB of disk space

Recommended Requirements

  • Processore Intel Core-i5 2400 or Phenom II X4 960T
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Scheda video NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550ti 1GB ram o ATI Radeon HD 6850
  • 30 GB of disk space

Comment

Resources4Gaming.com

7.5

Readers (13)

6.2

Your vote

Divinity: Dragon Commander is a soup of interesting elements, which could have been really great had it not been for a little lightness demonstrated in some of its fundamental components. Even as it is, however, it is a successful game that we recommend trying not so much to the hard and pure strategy enthusiast, but rather to the player looking for something different from the usual and with a strong narrative component. Strategy and action mix nicely, making defects disappear in long stretches, which at other times reveal themselves in the form of frustration and boredom. Finally, a pity for the price, which does not entice those in the mood to make a bet to buy.

PRO

  • Unusual mix of different things
  • Interesting characters and situations
  • A fun and well thought out game ...
AGAINST
  • ... pity for certain reasons of frustration
  • The individual components lack depth
  • Visual style between fantasy and steampunk a little
add a comment of Not just dragons
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.