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Dreamworks Dragons Dawn Of New Riders

Posted by GG Goblin On February - 13 - 2019

Me and my dragon.

When someone tells me a video game is targetted at the younger audience, I don’t usually pay that much heed as we have all seen just how capable younger gamers can be, often out performing those who have age and experience on their side. Outright Games’ Dreamworks Dragons Dawn of New Riders is one such game that could have gone either way, despite being aimed at the young fans of the How To Train Your Dragon movies. Does this action adventure really have nothing to offer gamers who have reached an age in double figures?

dddnr1 (Copy)

Also working against the game right off the bat, is the fact that Dragons Dawn of New Riders is a movie tie-in game, a genre that really doesn’t get a good rap. The game is being released to coincide with the next movie in the How To Train Your Dragon series and as such should pique the interest of all those little gamers who are just dying to continue their movie experience. The good news here is that, rather than just being a video game representation of the movie, which are usually quite badly done, Dawn of New Riders offers a new story with a new character and their associated dragon, set between the previous movie and the new one.

The story follows a young man who is found in the wreckage of Havenholme and seems to have lost his memory. Evidence suggests that he is a scholar and, as such, is called Scribbles, at least until he remembers his name. He is found by Hiccup and his dragon from the movies, and other characters from the series will also make an appearance through the game, which will no doubt please the fans. I assume there were some budget limitations when making the game, as none of the characters are voiced, rather making different grunting noises combined with text displayed conversations, which is a real shame, but to be expected I guess.

dddnr2 (Copy)

Anyway, Scribbles discovers a dragon egg nearby which he feels somehow connected to. After a brief pursuit where Scribbles has to chase down someone who steals the egg, which also acts as a small tutorial sequence, the egg finally hatches to reveal a new type of dragon known as a Chimeragon. The Chimeragon takes on various attributes of different dragons, and so is quickly called Patch. The young dragon becomes Scribbles’ companion through the upcoming adventure, in which they will explore the islands in an attempt to find out what is going on, and try to work out their own origins.

The game plays from a top down view with a fixed camera. The gameplay is fairly easy to understand, with a singular attack button being responsible for Scribbles attacking with whatever weapon he has equipped, or Patch using their breath attack. The player will be able to switch between these two characters at will, and then be able to use their unique skills to overcome anything preventing their progress. There is also a button to bring up the shield, roll out of the way, or use a potion to heal. It really is pretty simple stuff, and is nicely suited to the younger gamers.

Things are more up and down in the actual gameplay. Players will find themselves coming across various enemies on their travels, and fighting them can feel a little clunky. The singular attack button tends to mean that simple button mashing will overcome most adversaries, but it can still feel slightly awkward. When it comes to the boss encounters, a little more thought and planning are needed, raising the difficulty level to something that the younger gamers may actually struggle with, depending on their skill.

dddnr3 (Copy)

The same can be said of the puzzles that players will encounter through their journey, either on the islands or in the dungeons. Most of the time, puzzles will simply involve either pulling a switch or stepping on a pressure plate. Some times though, these puzzles will require the player to use the various abilities of their two characters, and new abilities are unlocked as the player progresses in order to mix up the puzzle solving. To start with, Patch can breath ice which solidifies water, making it passable. Eventually though, Patch will have new breath abilities, such as lightning or fire, that will be used in different ways. The same can apply to Scribbles as he finds new equipment. Mostly, the puzzles will relate to whatever new ability has been unlocked, but occasionally a real head scratcher will pop up and bring the progress to a halt, at least for a little while.

Visually, the game is nice and bright, and should appeal to all of the fans of the movies. The environments are nicely varied, and the dragons and characters all look good. This is not cutting edge stuff, but goes far enough to put a smile on the fans faces.

Smashing everything that the player comes across will give plenty of materials that can be used for various upgrades to weapons and armour, or things like potions. There are also plenty of different places to head off and explore beyond following the story, which adds longevity. However, even taking all of that into account, the game will only run for around five or so hours. That might not seem to bad for the younger player, but when you take into account the £30 asking price, it does feel like a slightly pricey treat for the dragon training fan.

dddnr4 (Copy)

The fact that Dreamworks Dragons Dawn of New Riders doesn’t follow the story from the movie works in its favour, offering something new to the fans of the movies. While there are a few times that the difficulty jumps up a little, the overall gameplay is easy enough to keep the target audience engaged and enjoying their time in the game. It may be a bit on the simple side, both in the gameplay and the presentation, but I would suggest that even older gamers looking for something a little more laid back, or who are fans of the animated movies themselves, could get some enjoyment out of this. Either way, Dreamworks Dragons Dawn of New Riders does what it aims to do, and younger fans of How To Train Your Dragon will have plenty of fun here.




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