Sweetly Streamlined: A Review Of Divinity: Dragon Commander
Listen, I’m not going to belabour any points here. The hook in Divinity: Dragon Commander is that you can summon a dragon to help you overtake the opposing forces. A dragon. The first one I saw had a jetpack.
Sometimes a game with that degree of in-your-face ridiculousness will let its insanity linger, but that’s typically because it fails to deliver anything substantive. Thankfully, this is not that game. Speaking specifically to the multiplayer component, it’s honestly superb; so much so that the aforementioned ridiculousness nearly gets forgotten.
For example, here’s an exact thought I had while playing the game:
“Alright, things are going good. I’ll just move these troops over here so they can attack, and… oh, I… I might lose here. But this is every ground unit I have! How could I…!?
“Oh wait… I can summon my dragon.”
And again, that dragon had a jetpack. It was extremely gratifying to have the dragon swoop in and save the day–not to mention that the level of detail serves the game quite nicely, including forests that burn and fires that spread long after you’ve torched them. You’re not sacrificing anything, either–you can move troops on the ground while you’re scorching castles with your dragon.
Sure, playing with the dragon was a kick, but none of this is to overlook the fact that there’s an excellent strategy game at work here. You’re given a nice, big area to play with, and there’s a great variety of enemy troops and structures as well, all finely-detailed and interesting.
As I review games, often times I’ll simply start playing them–without relying on introductions or tutorials–just to see how “kind” the game is. Even though strategy games aren’t normally my thing, I still knew immediately what to do in this game; with zero direction, it’s readily apparent from one glance at the screen who you will ostensibly control, who the enemies are, where everyone is, and what the ultimate goal is.
Sometimes strategy games can seem too complex, but Divinity: Dragon Commander feels more straight-forward. Many things–from outward appearance to objectives, like taking over an opponent’s structures and simple troop movement–are very intuitive, which is likely the game’s greatest strength. Overtake enemy lands, battle troops, build up your forces (both air and ground)… it’s all here, and it’s all well-implemented. It doesn’t have the degree of customization that some other titles offer, but in this case that only means that the core mechanics are refined to near perfection.
The quick-and-dirty here is that the multiplayer component of Divinity: Dragon Commander is beautifully streamlined. It’s a great game that easily serves its ludicrous concept–which is exactly what games are for.