Indie Review: Fight The Dragon

With so many RPG-lite multiplayer creation games fighting for relevance nowadays, Fight The Dragon is a pretty decent breath of fresh air at times. At other times, its the same old thing we’ve seen a thousand times, and at other times is a totally broken mess that freezes my computer and crashes all together. My love for this game goes back and forth. In its most bare bones definition, this game is an RPG Hack and Slash where quests and other things are created by the community.

Lets begin with the character creation. There’s no way around this conclusion, this entire game hinges on its community creating things for it. At its base level the character creation is very “meh” at best. That’s where Steam’s Workshop comes in. I have never played a game that was so suited for Workshop (besides Garry’s Mod of course) that used it to the best of its ability. You’ve got your usual stuff here though: Hair, Face, Clothes, and etc. The playable characters you get are: Fighter, Fire Mage, Frost Mage, and Rouge. Thrilling stuff I know.

So what about the big feature this game relies on, its community creations. That image above is from the In-Game Construction Kit. While a bit daunting at first, they’ve really gone out of their way to make the construction of quests and dungeons easy for first timers to this kind of game. With a status in your right hand corner keeping track of everything from enemies, traps, bosses, loot, and checkpoints, and then grades it all on the bottom of the screen to let you know just how difficult it is. I have found that this system could use some tweaking. There are times I go to play what should be an easy level and get completely destroyed by enemies, as well there are times I go to play a hard level and it feels like I just breeze right through it. I’m not sure whats going on behind the scenes of the Construction Kit but I feel it could use a bit of tinkering.

The over world is great. For the most part. I like that I get to create the map of the over world based on the levels I decide to play. I love the filtering system so I can play daily challenges for extra XP, that is utterly satisfying. As well as being able to find levels based on difficulty, ratings, creators, etc. I love this and it has helped me keep up with fantastic level creators as well as ignore those who have a history of broken levels. Speaking of broken levels though, I’m not sure why it happens or how it happens but sometimes this game falls apart on you. It mostly happens inside certain levels but the most frustrating one by far happens on my over world screen. I play a random level only to keep falling through the world and dying over and over until it fails me. When I get back to the over world screen and try to remove this level my entire game freezes and after about a minute it crashes my game. This has happened about six different times. So I’ve given up on trying to remove any levels on my over world.

You can spend hours upon hours creating levels and being the ultimate dungeon master or you can be like me and play level after level made by much more talented creators. While I am super grateful for all the work people have put into creating levels and items for this game, I can’t be bothered at this point. Then again, that’s me. I want to play all of the levels from the absolute drivel to the jaw dropping levels that make you wonder how on earth they even came up with the idea for such a quest. Also, this game looks good. It may have a few things in common with voxel games but Fight The Dragon is pretty. It can often feel like a table-top RPG come to life. As someone who’s poured 100’s of hours of his life into Table Top RPGS, I appreciate this dearly. There are so many games out there like Never Winter and Shadowrun that take the premise, random chance elements, and stories, and make a game around that, and those games are amazing in what they do. Well, Most of them anyways. Fight The Dragon is the first time that I felt like I was truly playing on a dungeon map, its that table top map brought to life. With a game who’s story is as vague as “level up to fight a dragon” what they do with such a simple idea is astounding. I give so many props to 3 Sprockets for creating a game that feels so unique when compared to the flood of other sandbox style multiplayer creation games.

Split Screen Co-op
Split Screen Co-op

Before I finish this, I have to talk about the most important thing. Adventuring with friends. I’ve spent a lot of my time with this game adventuring alone and I’ve spent a lot of it playing with friends. While playing by yourself this game is still an addicting loot fest that keeps you wanting more. With friends though, this game is all of that and more. From tackling some of the hardest bosses to goofing around in levels. Its been a long time since any of us had played around in co-op like we did with Fight The Dragons. I was my sixth grade self all over again when I first found Dungeons and Dragons. There is this idea of “Wow there’s so much to explore and I get to do it with my best friends” and this feeling makes some of even the most frustrating bosses a good time. If you can’t find any friends to play this game, I still recommend it if everything else I said tickles your fancy. If you enjoy what I said about the game and have friends who already own it, go pick this game up. You will not be disappointed. Just know that you will have to fight the actual dragon alone, so make sure you pick up all the Dragon Scrolls you can. Oh and for a quick tip, his health loss is permanent specifically so you keep using scrolls to go back and fight him. I didn’t realize this and horded the shit out of those things for when I got to a super high level.

So in conclusion, I love this game. Even with its occasional game breaking glitches and music/soundFX so bland I forgot to even mention it. Its RPG elements are light enough that even beginners like my wife (someone who’s never played anything other than Super Mario and The Sims) picked this up and understood its mechanics with no real explanation. Its also satisfying enough for RPG veterans like myself to want to keep playing. You can feel your character getting stronger and more powerful with every level up and every bit of loot you pick. That as well, the loot, the wonderful loot. Its everywhere and it never gets old. The daily challenges that boost your XP for that “just one more level” feeling. This game hinges on a thriving creative community and thank god it found one. I have over 25 hours in this game on Steam currently and I plan to put MUCH MUCH more hours into it. Its cheap on Steam, even if this type of game isn’t your thing, I’d still recommend giving it a shot. As well go try out Cubemen, another game series made by Fight The Dragons developer.

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