Drakengard 2 Review

Drakengard 2 has a “2” after its name because it is a sequel, but it could just as easily signify the fact that there are really two sides to the game. One has you playing as a young knight slashing through hordes of enemies as you button-mash your way through strings of combo attacks. The other side has your knight taking to the air on the back of a dragon, fighting enemies in the air with a variety of breath attacks and even making things difficult for your enemies on the ground should they be so foolish as to venture outdoors with a dragon in the neighborhood. So far it sounds pretty cool, but unfortunately the “2” can also stand for 2-dimensional. There’s not a lot of depth here and some players may grow weary of the repetitive gameplay long before making it to the end of the story. This means that it will probably not rank too highly on your “games to buy” list, but is it worth a rental to you? Let’s find out…

There's plenty to kill in this game.
Drakengard 2 stars a young knight named Nowe. Nowe is no ordinary young warrior – he was raised by a dragon named Legna and can still call upon the firebreather for help when in a pinch. As the game opens, Nowe has just completed his training and is initiated into the order of the Knights of the Seal. These knights are charged with keeping the kingdom safe and peaceful, but as Nowe soon finds out appearances can be deceiving and the knights are not as upstanding as they would have others believe. You must guide Nowe (and a couple of his friends) in his quest to find the truth behind the Knights of the Seal and to restore true peace to the kingdom.

Drakengard 2 is an action game through and through, but it is packed with an RPG-length story. With most action games delivering around ten hours or less of gameplay, Drakengard 2 weighs in at about three times that. This sounds great for you action fans out there, but unfortunately the action delivered by the game becomes repetitive enough that you may wish it was a ten hour or less game. And that’s without taking the camera issues into consideration, which I will get to shortly. In battle you have a primary attack button and an alternate attack that tosses enemies up in the air. Different sequences of these buttons will unleash combo attacks which are more damaging than the basic ones. On the defensive side of the coin you can block enemy attacks or evade them by rolling out of the way. Pretty much every enemy in the game is vulnerable from the rear, so your basic battle involves rolling to the side to get behind your enemy and then mashing the attack button until he turns around. Once he does, you roll again and repeat until he’s dead. Most of the time you won’t be fighting a single enemy, you’ll be facing mobs of enemies out to kill you. This may sound like a recipe for a good action challenge, but the best way to handle just about every single battle is to mash the attack button and through in an occasional roll to the side. With so many enemies on the screen you’re sure to hit somebody on their back or find someone that is slow to get his guard up. And so it goes – mash, mash, mash, roll, repeat. Things would probably be more interesting if there were more to other aspects of the game instead of constantly moving to a new area, clearing it, and then moving to the next, or even if the game was visually more appealing. Unfortunately the graphics are not really anything to write home about, delivering pretty simple looking enemies cloned into large numbers of identical simple looking enemies. Making matters worse is that the camera is not implemented well and somehow manages to keep most of the action off-screen on far too many occasions. Yes, you’re not only button-mashing; you’re blindly button-mashing.