Drakengard is a series from the now dead developpement studio Cavia. The series likes to delve into sick, twisted and depraved realms. That’s in part what makes the games so interesting – they deal with themes most other games wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole. Infantcide, canabalism, suicide, extreme sexual depravidty and pedophila are some of the more colourful traits the characters possess.With that in mind the Drakengard games and the spiritual sequel, Nier are some of the most haunting and beautiful games to be made. With special emphasis on Nier as it is one of my all time favourite games, it’s a flawed game for sure, but it leaves a strong impression.
Drakengard 3, just like Nier, is so much fun to play, the characters are hilarious, the story is interesting and the music is beautiful. You start off the game playing as Zero, one of six goddesses who keep humanity unified and stops them from slipping into chaos, using the power of song. The goddesses are called Intoners. Zero’s mission is to find each of her sisters and murder them. The game’s story gets deeper as you go, although it’s slow to unravel the mystery behind Zero and her dragon Mikhail. Having not beaten the games yet, I am yet to learn the true mystery to the game and I am certain that more will be revealed in new game plus.
Zero’s character is very brash and abrasive with a penchant for using expletives, so basically, my type of gal. She is often rude to her companions, especially her young dragon Mikhail (whom she makes a point of not referring to by name, instead calling him Dumbass or Dummy). You do get to see a bit of a softer side of Zero, but for the most part she’s a ball-busting killing machine. Zero is by far my favourite part of the game, just listening to the banter between her companions and her cussing out enemies as she’s cutting them down, it’s great. Mikhail is Zero’s young dragon, he is the ying to her yang. Mikhail is sunny, cheerful and is opposed to her plan to murder her sisters, but Mikhail goes along with it because he considers Zero his friend.
Along the way you recruit companions and they are all…. depraved. Sadistic, Masochistic, sex crazed, you name it. Zero states she just keeps them around for sex, even the old dude. So it is basically a reverse harem. Their depraved proclivities leads to some hilarious conversations in game. The companions are a little one dimensional, just having their one kink and that’s almost all there is to them, but that’s okay. They are there for comic relief.
The game play is a lot of fun. It’s a hack and slash, action-rpg. You cut down waves of enemies with Zero, who can switch between weapons mid-combo, which leads to some fun and interesting game play options. It’s very fast paced, like a dumbed down Bayonetta or at least that’s how I play it. I dodge a lot, always keep moving from enemy to enemy. I’m sure you can play as a more brutish Zero. That’s up to you. Zero also has an Intoner mode, where she goes into a blood rage which works great if you’re in a pinch. Zero goes beserk, time slows down and you just watch the enemies get torn to shreds. Finally there are the aerial battles, which is a standard for Drakengard. You fly around on Mikhail’s back shooting fire at enemies, and dodging their attacks. It’s fun, but the controls are a little clunky, especially when you have to fit with Mikhail while on the ground. Luckily, this game has fewer dragon battles than the first Drakengard.
What I find this game to do better than the previous Drakengard games is the music. It’s hauntingly beautiful and really sets the mood. I’ve actually taken to listening to it while at work. There are a lot of vocal tracks, just like Nier (both games have the same composer), which are absolutely breathtaking, then there are some more upbeat tracks that really get your blood pumping. The boss battles are rock/metal songs with the beautiful vocals as an undertone, which really blends together well.
Overall, if you are a fan of Nier or previous Drakengard games, you will love this. If you haven’t played either but you love a game with a very dark setting juxtaposed against a goofy, silly and sometimes slapstick sense of humor. And dick jokes, gotta have dick jokes.
I like how the game turns the action genre on its head. It’s about a woman who is trying to overthrow and murder a bunch of very powerful women, who keep men as their servants/ sex slaves. I’ve heard people be unsettled by the fact that the story revolves around murdering women, but Zero has to kill hundreds, maybe thousands of men to kill 5 women.
I’m not going to rate the game, as I haven’t finished it, but I consider it to be fantastic. However, the graphics aren’t top-of-the-line, the frame rate can be choppy at times and the dragon battles are clunky. I love everything else in the game and it is exactly what I wanted this game to be. It’s funny, twisted, beautiful and action packed. Go buy it, Dummy!
– Marty X